Lady Blazers battle heat, T-Birds
TORRINGTON – On a hot Tuesday afternoon, the Torrington High School girls’ tennis team and the Cheyenne East Thunderbirds battled to a 2-2 draw in the non-conference battle.
In all, Torrington had 19 of the 21 Lady Blazers got to take to the court against Cheyenne East.
“I am thankful to East’s coach, Nicole Cameron, for being willing during this non-conference match to make sure that all of our athletes got to play at least one or two sets each,” THS coach Lauren Shields said. “Playing and getting court time is so important for improvement and confidence.”
No. 2 singles player Madix McIntosh and the No. 1 doubles team of Juliana Russell and Madison Hatch picked up wins for the Lady Blazers.
McIntosh scored a 6-2, 6-1 victory.
“Madix was a much stronger player than her opponent,” Shields said. “I absolutely love Madix. She was disappointed in her match even though she got a win. She did not feel like she played her best or her hardest. Madix is still new to tennis, but she works so hard that she has improved significantly just over this summer.”
The doubles teams played to eight in a pro set, and the team of Russell and Hatch won 8-5.
“They played much better together today,” Shields said. “Juli has taken on a leader role in this partnership based on her experience. Madison Hatch has worked so hard this summer and during our short season thus far. Her hard work and coachability really show through the improvements she has made as a first year tennis player.”
No. 1 singles players Katie Watson split the first two sets, falling 7-5 in set one but rebounded with a 7-5 set two win. In the third set, the score was tied 5-5 when the match was called due to the heat.
“Katie Watson played a marathon of a match,” Shields said. “She was very consistent and hit the ball well in her match. She was very evenly matched with her opponent. It was a fun match to watch. Neither girl wanted to lose. It’s unfortunate they couldn’t finish the match, but every student’s safety is the most important thing.”
In the other two doubles matches, Marlee Foy and Madison Boyden fell 8-1 at the No. 2 doubles division.
“This is Marlee’s third year playing tennis,” Shields said. She gets better every year. I paired her with first-year tennis player, and senior, Madison Boyden. The coaches have been really impressed with Madison Boyden this year, she is coachable and works very hard.”
In the No. 3 doubles match, Olivia Judkins and Addison Hansen lost 8-5.
“They started off strong and jumped out to an early lead,” Shields said. “They struggled to maintain that level of play and finishing the set, resulting in a 8-5 loss. It certainly tells us some things we can continue to build on.”
The teams also played a number of junior varsity/alternate matches.
Judkins and Inez Chavez won 7-6, while Hansen played with Laney Grubbs, falling 6-0.
Haley DeFoe and Natalie Lira teamed up for an 8-3, while Laney Grubbs and Keelin Connelly picked up an 8-2 victory.
Sawyer Massie played with Chavez, scoring an 8-0 win.
“They played a couple East’s less skilled and newer players, however, Inez a new tennis player and a freshman. Sawyer played tennis last year, she has improved a ton. I’m excited to see the continued improvement she will make.”
Ty Fogle and Hannah Rose played a set together, picking up an 8-1 win, while Avery Hunter and Sinai Hernandez got an 8-3 win. Hunter also played a set with Connelly, falling 6-1.
“Looking at some of the JV/alternates’ scores are really exciting to see,” Shields said. “It goes to show that our girls tennis team is fairly deep at this level and that we will be able to compete well with 4A schools this year and years to come.”
Both Torrington tennis teams will be in action at 10 a.m. Saturday at home against the Rawlins Outlaws.