Vail Christian girls tennis dominates 3A Region 8 tournament
The Saints advance their No. 1, 2 and 3 singles and No. 1, 2, 3 and 4 doubles to the 3A individual state tournament next week
The Vail Christian girls tennis team is still on fire.
A week after taking down Peak to Peak in the quarterfinals of the team state tournament, the Saints brought their 11-0 regular-season team record to Grand Junction for the 3A Region 8 individual tournament. After going 7-for-7 in 2022, the Saints went 6-for-7 on Thursday and Friday. Since the top-two placing athletes in each division are state qualifiers, all seven of Vail Christian’s lines punched tickets to Colorado Springs for the 3A state individual tournament from May 11-13.
“It’s exhilarating! We are competing for a state championship,” head coach J.D. Webster exclaimed. “The girls have worked so hard for this moment.”
In Thursday’s first-round matchups, the Saints only dropped three games across the board as No. 2 singles Summer Sveum, No. 3 singles Jessie Allen and the No. 1, No. 3 and No. 4 doubles groups all went 6-0, 6-0. There was a bit more battling in the afternoon second round, at least in the singles department. No. 1 singles Annika Iverson had probably the stiffest test against Glenwood Springs’ top player, but came away with a 7-5, 6-1 victory to advance to the title game. Sveum (6-4, 6-2), Allen (6-1, 6-4), and all four doubles teams followed suit.
On Friday, Sveum took down Grace Brice 6-3, 6-4 and Allen came away with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Aspen’s No. 3. Iverson would fall 6-2, 6-2 in the No. 1 final to the Sailors’ Lucia del Haya, but was positive after the weekend showing.
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“I’m so proud of our whole team,” the senior captain said. “They’ve made my last year so much fun and I will remember it for the rest of my life.”
Juliet Studness and Anna Baker crushed Steamboat’s No. 1 doubles duo 6-3, 6-0 in the championship. Webster and Kamryn Mitchell outlasted the Sailors No. 2 team 6-1, 6-7 (3-7), 6-1.
“I really couldn’t be happier with the results from this week,” Webster stated. “Our team and all our competition created an electric environment that was just fun to be a part of, and it made it an even sweeter win for us.”
In the No. 3 doubles championship, Jenna Elalayli and Sofie Brunner went 6-0, 6-0 for the third-straight match to complete their perfect weekend. Heidi Iverson and Sofia Elalayli rounded out the scorecard with a 6-4, 6-0 win in the No. 4 doubles title.
“It has been a real joy to watch our players compete,” said Eric Meyer Homestead Court Club tennis pro. “Every time they face better competition or face a little adversity, they just rise and compete at a higher level. Above all, they have approached their success with great humbleness and sportsmanship.”
While the 3A individual state tournament begins next weekend, Vail Christian has some other community business to wrap up before then. If the No. 5 Saints can take down No. 1 Holy Family on May 9 in the team state tournament, they’d advance to the state team championship on May 16 in Denver. Varsity coach Erica Studness believes the team is sufficiently battle tested after last week’s matches.
“There was great competition and (it was) a good way to prepare for states next week,” she said. “There’s no one out of our league, we’re in for all of it.”
“We are such a strong team,” Iverson added. “I’m excited that we all get to go to states and cheer each other on.”
After the impressive regional showings, Webster thinks the hot streak isn’t about to flame out soon.
“It’s safe to say we’re all ready to keep up the pace and streak we’re on all the way through states,” she said.