Vail Mountain School tennis ready for state | VailDaily.com

Vail Mountain School tennis ready for state

EAST VAIL ” The Vail Mountain School does have more than one team at state.

Sure, soccer is off to Denver Christian today at 4 p.m., but VMS tennis is also heading to Pueblo for the 4A state tournament on Thursday after a great showing at regionals.

The Gore Rangers have entries in all three singles’ tournaments as Shannen McNamara makes a repeat trip to state, while Annika Trapness and Beri Dwyer make their first appearances.

And all three have taken a different path to state.

For McNamara, a repeat trip to state did not seem in the cards this winter after left-arm surgery. That left McNamara with little time to recover for the high school season, not to mention a new stroke.

“She wasn’t able to hit ball until the third week of the season,” VMS tennis coach Derek Fisher said. “She had to get a new stroke for the season. She had a phenomenal two-hand backhand and she changed up to a one-handed backhand. It’s pretty amazing that’s she’s made state.

McNamara starts state Thursday in No. 1 singles with Colorado Academy’s Kessika Mozia.

As for Trapness, she apparently didn’t obey the rule that freshmen are not meant to make the state tournament. Fisher described her as “cool as a cucumber.”

Trapness won the Western Slope regional tournament with her final match going the full three sets against the top-seeded player in the field from Steamboat Springs.

“To do that as a freshman is pretty impressive,” Fisher said. “She has the composure of a senior. It’ll be fun to see how she does at state.”

Trapness has a bye through the first round and will face the winner of Holy Family’s Stephanie Giltner and Greeley West’s Candice Krammer in No. 2 singles.

Meanwhile, Dwyer didn’t even play singles at the start of the season. Due to the traditional trials of spring sports like college testing and so on, she was playing doubles for most of the year.

Then came regionals and VMS had an open spot at No. 3 singles. All Dwyer, the 11th seed in a 12-player field was beat Nos. 11, 4 and 2, thank you very much.

“It’s pretty unexpected,” Fisher said. “Midway through the season, we thought Beri was going to be on No. 2 doubles. We moved her to No. 3 singles for the last match of the regular season.”

Dwyer also has a bye in the first round and faces the winner of Cheyenne Mountain’s Emily Venner and Kent Denver’s Eugenie Como.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or cfreud@vaildaily.com.