Summit cruises in rare home match
summit daily news
FARMER’S KORNER ” The Summit High School tennis team finally got what it wanted on Thursday ” a home match.
The Tigers handed Jefferson a 7-0 loss in their first and last home match of the season.
Summit coach Rae Anderson was thrilled to be on home turf after seeing Summit’s three previous home dates postponed or switched to a different venue due to weather.
“This is what it must be like every day in Denver,” Anderson said. “The girls get to go to all their classes, then walk out the door and start warming up.”
The Tigers improved to 9-3 with the anti-climactic win.
Jefferson, which was unable to field a team last year, has lost all of its matches and can boast just one individual victory on the season.
“I wish it had been a tougher match to keep it more interesting,” said Sutton Anderson, Summit’s No. 1 singles player. “But the turnout is great. I’ve been to lots of other schools and I’ve never seen half the number of people that we have here today.”
The senior captain’s easy 6-0, 6-0 victory capped off her dominant 10-2 season.
She said her team benefited from Thursday’s victory, even though it barely broke a sweat.
“This is a good confidence booster for some of our players,” Anderson said. “It helps to get a solid win right before a tournament.”
The Tigers will compete in the 10-team regional tournament May 4 and 5, where the top two players at each position will advance to the state tournament.
The Tigers have their work cut out for them, but with their winningest team in at least six years, they could make some noise at regionals.
“It would be really neat if all three singles players could make it to state,” No. 3 singles player Alex Critz-Culp said. “We’ve seen the whole playing field now as far as who’s going to be at regionals. We’re going to analyze what we’ve learned and use that knowledge to fight back.”
Critz-Culp had a rocky start to her match on Thursday by relinquishing three games in the first set but then quickly recovered to win the second set 6-0. She was the only Tiger to lose a game to the Saints.
Coach Anderson described Thursday’s match as off pace. Due to Jefferson’s astounding inexperience, her team wasn’t exactly running on all cylinders.
Jefferson’s roster included only one player with any tennis experience prior to this season. The small squad was unable to field a No. 4 doubles team Thursday, which gave Summit the victory by forfeit.
Thanks to JV stand-in Kaley Alie, however, the No. 4 doubles match was played anyway.
“We loaned them a girl for the match,” coach Anderson said. “(Alie) volunteered. When I asked if anyone was willing to step in and play, I knew she would be the one.”
Alie and her newfound Jefferson teammate had some tough competition in the form of Holly Westwood and Jodi Houghtaling.
“It was weird playing against (Alie),” Westwood said. “It was a pretty friendly match; we were all laughing when we messed up.”
The junior tandem of Westwood and Houghtaling completed an impressive 10-2 regular season with the victory.
Thursday’s match was followed by a pot luck that was furnished by the Tigers for their Denver-based visitors.
“When they came up here two years ago, their coach was looking for a McDonald’s after the match,” Anderson said. “Some of their kids only brought one or two dollars for meal money.”
The Tigers’ gesture of kindness seemed to be well received.
“It was Rae’s idea to put this together and our girls loved it,” Jefferson co-coach Tara Garcia said. “Coming here is an adventure for a lot of our girls. They don’t get out of the city much.”
The remainder of Summit’s winners included No. 2 singles player Carly Walsh, the No. 1 doubles team of Kali Turrin and Megan Hollenbeck, the No. 2 tandem of Mandy Miles and Tessa Manton and the No. 3 tandem of Tiana Shelton and Megan Hartman.
Adam Boffey can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 13631, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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