The Salida High School girls’ tennis team won its fifth match in a row Tuesday, beating league foe Fountain Valley 5-2 in Colorado Springs.
The Lady Spartans improved to 3-0 in league matches and 5-1 overall with the win.
The Lady Spartans, however, had to overcome a slow start to beat the Lady Danes.
“The kids started a little slow,” coach Josh Bechtel said. “I think they were a little lethargic getting off the bus, but they started to pick their energy up as the matches neared their end.”
At No. 1 singles, senior Kathryn Edgington beat Fountain Valley’s No. 1 player over the weekend in Pueblo County’s tournament and took down a different girl Tuesday in straight sets, 6-4, 6-0.
“Kathryn played great,” Bechtel said. “She started slow but woke up in the second set and won it 6-0.”
At No. 2 singles, sophomore Grace Johnson had a close match that Bechtel said could have gone either way. Johnson ended up losing 6-3, 6-4, but the coach said she saw some strategies that could help her win next time when a spot in the state tournament is on the line.
“She played a really good match that was even closer than the score indicated,” Bechtel said.
At No. 3 singles, senior Melissa McKenna had a tight match but managed to win it in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4.
“The last few matches, Melissa has shown a lot of mental toughness,” Bechtel said. “She keeps getting tougher in tight situations.”
Seniors Aly Dewberry and Ellie Richardson continued taking care of business at No. 1 doubles, winning their match handily, 6-3, 6-0.
Juniors Lily Stephens and Maisy Haynes have also been rolling over their opponents but lost for just the second time this season, 6-4, 6-0, at No. 2 doubles.
“They started OK but had a mental lapse in the second set,” Bechtel said. “Sometimes it’s good to be humbled like that. It’s not a bad thing; it could be an eye opener.”
At No. 3 doubles, junior Madison Miller and senior Desirae Bayuk dominated their first set 6-0 and then won a much closer second set, 7-5.
“I think they got overconfident and were trying to hit shots they normally wouldn’t hit and let the other team back in it,” Bechtel said.
Freshman Madison Anderson and junior Gianna Fritz won their No. 4 doubles match in a third-set tiebreaker, 6-1, 3-6 and 7-5. The duo actually trailed 5-3 in the tiebreaker set before rallying for the win. “They regained a little focus and won the next four games in a row to win the match,” Bechtel said.
Salida’s junior varsity also played Fountain Valley Tuesday and won two of their three doubles matches.
The Lady Spartans will have another league match Thursday in Colorado Springs. Salida will take on St. Mary’s, who Bechtel said returned its entire lineup from last year.
“I think it should be exciting,” Bechtel said.