Summit High tennis headed to regionals | SummitDaily.com

Summit High tennis headed to regionals

BRYCE EVANS
summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado

Summit Daily/Mark Fox

FARMER’S KORNER ” Coming into the season, Kali Turrin had a breakthrough on the tennis court. Suddenly, the game she’s played since she could first hold a racket became simple. It was easy.

So what did she figure out?

“How to play smart,” the Summit High senior said. “It’s not how hard you hit it, but where you hit it and how controlled you are.

“You need to have a rock-hard mentality or else you won’t be able to win.”

Well, it seems that Turrin’s epiphany carried over to the rest of her SHS tennis team.

Despite losing seven seniors off last year’s 11-girl squad, the Tigers matched their 2008 record this spring by finishing the regular season 8-4. Now, Summit heads into its regional tournament today in Delta with one objective: advancing to state.

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“I’m hoping for us to win (regionals),” SHS senior Ali Hartley said. “It would be really exciting for us to win, because last year’s team didn’t even do that.”

Winning is the one thing that this year’s tennis team has done a lot of, though it wasn’t expected when the season began in March.

SHS head coach Dave Turrin, who also happens to be Kali’s father, was expecting a rebuilding year. Prior to their first match of the season, the elder Turrin said it would be a great accomplishment for his team to match last season’s record.

Now, as his team stands to top last year’s mark, he still seems a bit amazed.

“We found some ways to win matches,” the coach said flatly. “It was great to see.”

Though the Tigers have had impressive team wins over perennial powers Evergreen High School and St. Mary’s Academy, coach Turrin said his biggest surprise has been the records of his daughter and Hartley. Both seniors finished the regular season 9-3 in singles, despite making significant jumps in the lineup. Turrin moved from No. 3 singles (where she was 8-4 in 2008) to No. 1 singles, while Hartley switched from playing only doubles to the No. 3 singles slot.

“Having those kind of records was unexpected,” Dave Turrin said, noting the drastic difference in competition that both girls faced. ” … That was more of a surprise to me (than the team’s record).”

The younger Turrin credits her dad in helping the team reach the level that it has.

“I think it’s the mentality that we’ve had,” she said. “My dad really talks about mental toughness each year, and the girls have really latched onto that this year.”

Kali Turrin also said that her team has benefited from great chemistry among the doubles teams. With a consistent lineup through much of the season, Summit has relied much on the play of its doubles players.

“Everyone has contributed when they’ve needed to throughout the season,” Dave Turrin said. ” … The whole team has stepped up at times.”

The Tigers don’t yet know who their first-round opponent is in the regional tourney, but both Turrins like their team’s chances. Dave Turrin said that Steamboat Springs may end up being the team to beat, but beyond that, the rest of the teams are pretty unknown.

“Steamboat’s probably the toughest, but they’re not unbeatable,” Kali Turrin said. ” … I think that teams will have to work to beat us, though.”

Bryce Evans can be reached at (970) 668-4634 or at bevans@summitdaily.com.