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Brown and Green bound for state

Preston Utley/Vail DailyVail Mountain's Lara Green, left, and Brittany Brown will be competing in the 4A state tennis tournament starting today in Pueblo as a doubles team.
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VAIL – It did not take long for Vail Mountain School tennis to make the big time.In its first season, VMS is sending the doubles team of Britney Brown and Lara Green to the 4A state meet which starts today down in Pueblo.”It was really shocking for us to go to state, but as the season progressed, we realized how amazing of a team we were and how well we worked,” Green said. “Going into it and seeing the teams we had to play, knowing that we had beat them during the regular season, we knew that we were going to be able to possibly pull it off.”Making it all the more impressive, Brown, a sophomore, and Green, a junior, hadn’t played tennis since their middle school days. Both were club volleyball players, but jumped at the chance when VMS started a tennis program.The two had played together and against each other during summer camps at the Homestead Court Club years ago. And, it didn’t take much time for the two the find their groove this spring.

“I think we’re a pretty strong team,” Brown said. “At the very beginning off the season when we beat Aspen gave us a lot of confidence and we strove throughout the season.”And the duo got their state invite by downing Hotchkiss at the Western Slope regionals last week.”Lara and Britney have an awesome work ethic,” VMS tennis coach Rob Honzo said after regionals. “They’re practicing every chance they get, even on their off time. It paid off for them this week.”Brown and Green complement each other well on the court. Brown can get down on herself during a match and Green does a nice job of picking her up. Likewise, Green’s forehand can get a little wild and Brown will nudge her to take a little juice off of it.”It came back really quickly,” Green said. “I think we both got back the hang of what we used to have in tennis and our old rhythm. It was really fun. We really understand how the other one works as a player.”

VMS fourth at regionalsVMS tennis was by no means a two-person show in 2005.Taco Tuesdays, Marble Slab ice cream after matches and long car rides made for good times on and off the court.On the court, the girls finished fourth as a team at regionals in their first season.”Our team has worked very hard to get where they are,” Honzo said. “They worked hard to play at a higher level. To place where they did was phenomenal for the first year of the program.”

Although the team was under the banner of VMS, there were plenty of Battle Mountain Huskies on board, making for a nice mix.”It was a little different, but we all got along great,” Battle Mountain’s Brown said. “We all pretty much knew each other from other sports. We all got along pretty good. It was fun this year. We’re going to miss the seniors.”In regional action last week, Briton Bock took third in first singles. Jenna Tjossem finished fourth in the second spot. In third singles, Paige Bennett made it to the quarterfinals before falling.In second doubles, Ily Dorgan and Catherine Gerken lost in the first round. Kendall Gotthelf and Sophie Sunderland won their first match, lost their second and went to playbacks and lost in the third set to Hotchkiss. In fourth doubles, Zoie Liotta and Adi Slifer lost in the first round.Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 614, or cfreud@vaildaily.com.Vail, Colorado


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