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SHS tennis confident for regionals

Jason Starr

As the success has mounted for the Summit High School tennis team, the players have had the fortune of re-evaluating their goals.

Today they begin the Class 4A regional tournament at Kent Denver with the aim of securing spots in the state tournament. After last season, when the Tigers didn’t win a match, even thinking about the state tournament is a novel concept.

“Most of the girls wanted to win one or two matches after last year, and they all exceeded their goals,” said second-year coach Rae Anderson. “But I can’t say, at the beginning, we even talked about state. After last year, it was hard to look that far ahead.”

This year was very different. The Tigers finished with a winning team record (6-5) and have a few standouts with real chances to advance out of regionals and into the May 9-11 state tournament. The tournament continues Friday, and top two at each position move on.

Anderson gave some of the credit for the turnaround this season to luck but also said there was a better atmosphere on the team.

“The girls had some experience, and they had an enthusiasm that I don’t think was there last year,” she said.

The Tigers were led by Spanish exchange student Isa Pastor, who finished her No. 2 singles season with a 7-3 record. It was her first stint as a competitive player, but her athletic ability overcame her inexperience. Another Spanish student, Paula Urda, teamed with Brittany Ellsworth to accrue a 6-1 record at No. 4 doubles. They have the best chance of moving on this week.

“They just both rose to the occasion,” Anderson said of the Europeans, who both return to Spain next year. “I was stunned.”

No. 1 singles player Julie Wallace had some success at regionals last year as a doubles player. Wallace lost in the semifinals, one match from reaching state. She will have a tougher time this year, going up against the top singles players in the 4A ranks.

Summit finished the regular season Monday with a 6-1 loss to Colorado Academy. Only Urda and Ellsworth won their match. Saturday at D’Evelyn, the Tigers pulled out a 4-3 victory. Pastor was not one of the victors, and she goes into regionals on her first two-match skid of the year. No. 3 singles player Tara Dickey won in three sets, winning a first-set tiebreaker 7-3. Stephanie Swanson filled in for Bethany Buchanan on the No. 2 doubles team with Lauren Cole and got a three-set victory. The No. 3 doubles team of Lindsey Holden and Diana Smithwick won in straight sets.

Freshman Shannon Buhler and Sara Olbright took first in the junior varsity regional tournament.

Soccer to face Evergreen Friday in regional playoff

The Summit soccer team’s Class 4A regional round playoff game is set. The Tigers, the No. 3 seed out of the 4A Metro League, will play Evergreen, the No. 3 team from the 4A Jeffco League.

The game is scheduled for 5 p.m. Friday at Trailblazer Stadium off Hwy. 6 in Lakewood.

The Cougars are 6-7-1 overall and 6-3-1 in their league. The Tigers are 7-6-2 and 5-3-2. Both teams lost their final regular season games. The two teams will be in the same league next year when Summit moves to the 4A Jeffco League.

If the Tigers win they will move on to the state tournament, where they will probably be the lowest seed. They were in the same position last year, when they lost in the first round to No. 1 Mullen.


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