Sarah O’Day’s final prep season of competitive tennis got off to a promising start.

Playing doubles with sophomore Abby Deeths, O’Day played a role in Fruita Monument High School defeating both Steamboat Springs and Central 7-0.

Then the coronavirus pandemic suddenly and permanently halted every spring sports season.

“It was definitely sad for sure,” O’Day said. “Obviously, it was disappointing when that happened. It was just one of those things that we knew had to happen, so we kind of just went along with it and kept each other updated on how we were doing and tried to keep that spirit alive and support each other even though we couldn’t play.”

High school sports were among the first of many things to be canceled in the Grand Valley after the initial surge of the coronavirus. Many events, such as Palisade’s Colorado Mountain Winefest and Peach Festival, Country Jam, and the Alpine Bank Junior College World Series were scrapped.

Fortunately for O’Day and other players who missed out on a season because of the pandemic, the Western Slope Open was not among the event casualties.

Before she heads off to college, O’Day will have a chance to leave as a champion, facing her partner this year, Deeths, in the championship match of the girls 18-16 Australian singles bracket today.

“It’s just an awesome opportunity to get to play and continue spending time with people,” O’Day said. “The tennis community here is so great, so getting to hang out with friends and play is valuable.”

O’Day will begin her enrollment at Arizona State University this fall. She will not be playing for the Sun Devils women’s tennis squad.

However, that doesn’t mean she’s going to retire her racquet.

“I’m definitely going to play club or intramural, or at least just with friends,” O’Day said. “I’ll keep playing.”

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