Colorado Academy edges Vail Mountain, 4-3 |

Colorado Academy edges Vail Mountain, 4-3

DENVER – For most high school kids, spring break is a time to relax. The Vail Mountain tennis team, however, isn’t taking it easy.Wednesday, the Gore Rangers faced a tough opponent in Colorado Academy in preparation for this weekend’s Western Slope Tournament.Even without a full squad, the Gore Rangers played the Monarchs in several tough matches, but fell, 4-3.”I liked the way we were playing mentally,” said Vail Mountain coach Rob Honzo. “We were relaxed and loose, and stayed focused.”The Gore Rangers’ Stephanie Miletich won the No. 1 singles’ match, 6-5 (7-6), 6-1 against Christina Bradley. Miletich came from behind in the first set to win in a tiebreaker.”She was down, 5-4, and it was really windy, so she missed some shots, but she stayed tough and came through,” Honzo said.In No. 2 singles, Vail Mountain’s Lara Green defeated Brett Eagleton, 6-3, 6-3.”The score didn’t show it, but she was the toughest competitor I’ve seen all year,” Green said. “She had a huge serve and a really good ground stroke. But my serve was really consistent and I was able to ace her a lot.”Green used her solid backhand to break Eagleton late in both sets.”What I needed to do with her serve was return it to her backhand or give it to her deep in the court, because if I got her to back up or got her to run for it, she lost her composure.”Double treatSuzette Irons and Ellie Rubenstein came from behind to knock off Colorado Academy’s Britney Bushacker and Ali Hursh, 6-7, 6-4, (6-5)10-6.”That match was a huge win for those girls to beat a Denver team,” Honzo said. “Those girls earned that win.”In the final set tiebreaker (which goes to 10), the Vail pair trailed, 3-0, before rallying.”They were working well together, putting the ball in the right spot, not making errors and putting all the pressure on their opponents,” Honzo said. After losing the first set in a tiebreaker, the Vail pair wasn’t deterred.”Our approach is that the first set is a warm-up to learn about the opponent,” Honzo said. “They changed their strategy, stayed aggressive and it worked.”At the No. 3 doubles, the Gore Rangers’ Ily Dorgan and Sarah Logan fell to Casey Brown and Sarah Goodyear, 7-5, 6-4.”It was a close match. We just made a few more errors,” Honzo said. “It came down to winning big points and moving a little more, instead of standing and watching the ball.”Vail Mountain’s No. 4 doubles pair of Lauren Biegler and Adi Slifer fell to Claire Abraham and Elena Wickner, 6-2, 6-2.”It’s Lauren’s first time playing, and Adi played last year,” Honzo said. “They played very hard, just making errors, and that’ll come along with more time on the court.”Back to the SlopeHonzo was pleased with his team’s performance, even without some of his top players.”We were missing a lot of the varsity. If we had our full lineup, I think we would have walked away with a win,” Honzo said.Green was happy to gear up for the Western Slope Tournament in Grand Junction Friday and Saturday.”It was good to play someone of that level going into a tournament like this weekend’s,” Green said. “I’ll see girls that can hit as hard, but who won’t be as consistent. I feel confident right now.”Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14631, or, Colorado

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