A t eight weeks from opening day to the state finals, the tennis season is the shortest of all in Colorado prep sports. Regional 8 competition, which includes all four Delta County schools, happens today and tomorrow at Canyon View Park in Grand Junction.
Between clearing the courts of snow and cancellations due to inclement spring weather, there wasn't much time to practice.
Delta and Paonia met in Paonia on April 25, shortly after learning that the Colorado High School Activities Association announced the tournament would open today.
"By the time you start improving, it's over," said Paonia sophomore 2 doubles player Jeze Fabijanic while waiting with partner Jessie Holt for their match against Delta to begin.
Paonia claimed wins at 1 and 2 singles against Delta, with Annavah Kropp defeating Jasmine Salazar, 6-0, 6-1.
Tyler Rapke had a close, 7-5 win in game one, then dominated Isabel Portillo to win game two, 6-1.
At 3 singles, Madison Farmer of Delta defeated Lexi Johnson, 0-6, 2-6.
In doubles action, Heather Wilczek worked the net and Rosa Medina mostly handled the back-court shots to defeat Delta's Alex Rascon and Hattie Bohling, 6-4, 6-1.
Delta 2 doubles team Rosa Gomez and Cedar Wells defeated Holt and Fabijanic, 6-6 (5-7), 3-6.
Paonia has only seven players this season, and lost by forfeit at 3 and 4 doubles.
This year's Delta varsity team is young, with two juniors. The team's only senior plays on the junior varsity squad. But that doesn't mean they, and any of the players from Delta County, don't have a shot at placing in the top four this week and advancing to the state tournament next week, said Panthers head coach Mike Chastain.
Chastain has had players qualify for state in the past, and coached the Panthers girls for eight years, ending in 2002. He returned as head coach this season, and said he's very glad to be back.
In 2005, his youngest daughter qualified for state as a freshman. She also represented Delta at state in 2006, advancing on wins rather than relying on play-backs.
"There's always a chance to get there," said Chastain. "She got there as a first-year player on play-backs."blog comments powered by Disqus