Tennis team celebrates trophy

The Salida girls’ tennis team celebrates with their new trophy after winning the 3A Region 7 tennis regional championships. Front, from left: coach Josh Bechtel, coach Mike Mendicino, Grace Johnson and Vivian Volkmann. Back: Caroline Edgington, Daisha Thompson, Annie Hill, Lane Baker, Lydia Tonnesen, Allyna Bright, Brooke Bright, Raley Patch and Maddie Anderson.

The Salida girls’ tennis team won the Colorado High School Athletics and Activities 3A Region 7 championship tournament Saturday by a literal coin flip.

Coach Josh Bechtel said while Salida led Pueblo County by four points on Friday, he was told the teams were tied at the end of the tournament Saturday.

The decision was made to flip a coin and in Bechtel’s words “heads always wins,” which it did, securing the championship for the Lady Spartans. Bechtel said he believed this was the first time Salida has ever won the regional tournament in tennis.

Juniors Brooke Bright and Vivian Volkmann, the No. 3 doubles team, won the finals against Emily Noll and Kaylee Peabody from La Junta 6-4, 2-6, 6-3. Bright and Volkmann went undefeated the entire year.

No. 2 doubles team, senior Allyna Bright and junior Lydia Tonnesen beat Sage Russell and Khaeli Salazar from Pueblo County in the finals 6-3, 6-1.

For winning their brackets at regionals, both teams will start against a second place team from another region during the state tournament.

Junior Maddie Anderson, the No. 1 singles player, lost to Carlie Sweckard from Pueblo South in the finals, but still qualifies for state, for making it to the final round.

Senior Grace Johnson and sophomore Daisha Thompson will both go to state as alternates, for winning third place at the regional tournament.

“I’m so proud of what these girls have done,” Bechtel said. “From where they started, there has been a huge amount of improvement, especially with our short season, and several girls being new to tennis. It’s great to see all of their hard work pay off.”

The Colorado High School Activities Association state tennis tournament is scheduled for June 11-12 at Garry Berry Stadium in Colorado Springs.