Miletich, Sunderland’s headed to state
MONTROSE – Doubles tennis is as much about chemistry as it is about skill.So it should come as no surprise that Vail Mountain’s pair headed to state share the same last name.Sophie and Claire Sunderland shrugged off a loss Friday afternoon at 4A district 8 regional tournament in Grand Junction and fought their way back to earn a spot next week in Pueblo.”The cool thing is that they didn’t want to play together at the beginning of the season because they were sisters,” said coach Hillary McSpadden of the No. 3 doubles. “I had a feeling they would do well together. They rose to the occasion.”Sophie, in her senior year, will be making her first trip to the state tournament.In singles, the Gore Rangers’ No. 2, Stephanie Miletich, cruised to the finals, where she fell to Steamboats’ Breanne Murray. Miletich went on to win a playback match to advance to state for the first time.”She went out a little slow in finals and felt a little off from all the tennis the day before,” McSpadden said. “It was nice to do the playback – she was able to get over losing in the finals.”Despite a injury from one of its players and early exit for SAT testing for another, Vail Mountain took fourth as a team.Sarah Logan, the No. 3 singles, won a playback matches to take third.
The Sunderlands won their first match Friday in straight sets, then fell to the Steamboat pair. In their third match of the day, the Sunderlands took the Aspen pair in two sets, setting up a match with Glenwood Saturday morning. After a straight-set win over Glenwood, Vail Mountain’s No. 3 doubles played Montrose, who lost to No. 1 Steamboat in the finals.In the first set, the Sunderlands won, 6-4. Montrose then took a 4-3 lead, then a 5-4 lead before Vail Mountain came back to send the set to a tiebreaker, where they cruised, 7-1.”They play high-percentage tennis,” McSpadden said.Miletich won both of her Friday matches in straight sets.”She had a really good season,” McSpadden said. “She was undefeated except against Steamboat. In her matches leading up to (state), she’s improved a lot mentally and stays in the match better.”Vail Mountain’s No. 1 doubles pair of Beri Dwyer and Callie Tappie advanced to the semifinals. The two Vail Christian girls will be back next year.”They have an awesome chemistry,” McSpadden said.The state tournament starts Thursday at 9 a.m.Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or email@example.com.