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Cable, Carver qualify for state in tennis

Phil Sandoval

Jeri Cable and Crystal Carver are headed to state.

It took a while for the Demons seniors to realize their accomplishment, but once it hit home, the feeling for both of them was “awesome.”

Saddled with the additional burden of being ranked as the No. 1 team in the No. 4 doubles at the Regional Championships, Carver and Cable defeated Aspen’s Meredith Hanrahan and Christina Schluter in straight sets 6-4, 7-6 for the title Saturday.

“We’ve been trying to get here for four years,” Carver said. “It’s so exciting to get to do this,” she added.

Earlier, the Demon duo defeated teams from Montrose and Montezuma-Cortez to advance to the Regional championship match.

The State Tennis Championships begin Thursday in Pueblo.

Saturday’s victory and the Regional title earned Carver and Cable a permanent place in the school’s athletic history.

According to sources connected with Glenwood Springs girls tennis team, both players are the first Regional champions to come out of the program.

Moreover, they are only the second Demon tennis players in recent history to qualify for the State Tournament.

Cable and Carver’s championship victory was far from easy.

The two Demons rallied back from a 3-0 deficit to a 5-5 tie after earning a service break in the ninth game then winning the following game.

The two teams held serve while exchanging wins, setting up the tie-breaker.

In the tie-breaker, Cable and Carver took advantage of two Aspen unforced errors and a couple of long returns by the Skiers to wrap up the match 7-4.

Carver said it was matter of staying alert.

“We realized that we needed to be moving our feet and needed to be moving to get to the ball,” she explained. “Once we got back into the groove … that really helped us get ahead.”

Another reason, Cable said, was realizing they had more strength at the net than their opponents.

“We’re a wall when we’re both at the net,” she said. “They didn’t throw a lot of lobs at us. Then we realized that we could take charge, because they couldn’t get points off of us.”

They started pushing toward the net late in second set. The strategy earned Carver and Cable the service break they needed to change the complexion of the match.

Cable said that Hanrahan and Schluter had improved from their earlier meeting in mid-April.

As a team, the Demons had two players finish in third place. As a team, the Demons finished fourth in the team standings with 42 points, behind Aspen, Steamboat Springs and Cedaredge.

“I think it’s really great,” said first-year coach Kim Schlagel of the Demons’ showing at Regionals..

“I’m really proud of them. They worked really hard all year for this.”

Celeste Cashel, the Demons’ No. 2 singles player, and her No. 3 singles teammate Molly Axelson earned Glenwood’s third-place medals at the Regionals.

Cashel, ranked third going in the regional tournament, defeated No. 1 seed Melissa Marcus of Aspen 6-0, 6-2. Axelson defeated Montezuma-Cortez’s Amanda Frazier in straight sets, 6-4, 7-5.

Glenwood’s No. 1 doubles team, Courtney McCallum and Erin Leighty fell, to Steamboat’s Ali Fisher and Tiffany McGinn, 6-0, 6-3 in the third-place final on Saturday.

The other two Demon doubles teams fell out of the tournament in third-place semifinal matches.

Cedaredge’s Whitney De La Torre and Stacy Park defeated Glenwood’s Michela O’Leary and Jackie Weast 6-4, 6-3 in a No. 2 doubles match. In the No. 3 doubles, Demons Caitlin Hogue and Regina Waltsak were upended 6-3, 6-4 by Helen Greer and Syneva Peters from Paonia.

Roaring Fork also participated in the 11-team tournament on Friday and Saturday.

Singles players Brittany Connor and Lindsey Cheney had the best record at Regionals for the Rams.

On Friday, Connor defeated Glenwood’s Tessie Tracy in straight sets 6-1, 6-3 before getting knocked back to the elimination bracket by Steamboat’s Allison Griffin, who advanced to the No. 1 singles championship match. Laura Gordon eventually won the No. 1 singles title. She is the defending state runnerup.

Connor lost 6-1, 6-2 in a third-place semifinal to Lauren Melogoza of Delta.

Cheney had early success in the No. 2 singles tournament, beating Montrose’s Anna Fleming in a second set tie-breaker. She fell to Regional champ Brie Holz of Cederedge in the championship quarterfinals 6-1, 7-5 and was eliminated late Friday afternoon after stretching Marcus to three sets.

In doubles play, Rams Renee French and Crystal Wanner defeated Brittany Bear and Ashley Thompson, 7-5, 4-6, 6-2, then lost to Cortez’s Brittany Johnson and Cassie Carver in straight sets in the championship quarterfinals.


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