Western Slope players struggle at Class 4A state tennis tournament

PUEBLO — Once again, Montrose High School’s May May Vickers saw her state championship dreams end in the quarterfinals.

The junior was upended by defending champion Sammie Watson of Kent Denver 6-2, 6-2 at No. 1 singles Thursday at the Class 4A state tennis tournament at the City Park Tennis Complex.

“Her serve was really good, so I had to block back my returns,” said Watson, who is a sophomore. “She also was real consistent. She hit a lot of high shots, so I had to be aggressive against her.”

Vickers, whose family moved to Montrose from Brunei Darussalam on the island of Borneo last year, defeated Liliana Broussalian of Thompson Valley 6-3, 6-2 in the opening round.

For Vickers to stay in the tournament in the consolation bracket, she needs Watson to get past Cheyenne Mountain’s Kristina Barber at 9 a.m. today in the semifinals. Watson beat Barber in two sets in a match earlier this season.

“I need to come to the net and be aggressive against her (Barber),” the 5-foot-5 Watson said.

One year ago, Vickers was upset in the No. 1 singles quarterfinals by unheralded senior Danni Scimeca of Fossil Ridge 6-3, 6-2.

Thursday was a tough day for most of the Western Slope teams.

Only Steamboat Springs’ No. 1 doubles team of Kylee Swiggart and Sara Bearss advanced into today’s semis. The Sailor duo will tangle with Kerry Berling and Megan Harrison of Regis.

In the team chase, Cheyenne Mountain advanced players from six of the seven brackets into the semifinals to claim the team lead with 13 points.

“It’s always easy to be greedy and I wish we would’ve moved players in all seven brackets to the semis,” Indians coach Dave Adams said. “We’re also not kidding ourselves. There are a lot of teams right behind us and there are a lot of points still out there. We’re just glad to be in this position.”

Greeley West (10) and Regis (10) are second and third, respectively, followed by Mullen and Fossil Ridge with eight points each. Steamboat is tied for sixth with Pueblo South. Both teams have points.

Defending state champion Niwot, which was depleted by graduation, is in a four-way tie for eighth place with three points. Greeley West is playing in five semifinal brackets paced by Mattison Sperry and Candice Krammer at No. 1 and No. 2 singles. Regis also has players in five semifinals and Genevieve Tarlton (No. 2 singles) and Kate Carroll (No. 3 singles) are leading the charge.

Individually, the biggest surprise came at No. 1 singles where Jessika Mozia of Colorado Academy outlasted Clarke Tatje of Fountain Valley, 6-3, 6-7 (7-0), 7-6 (7-2). Tatje, a senior, finished second one year ago at No. 1 singles to Kent Denver’s Watson.


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