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Finally, tennis weather arrives

Joelle MilholmGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. After weeks of playing inside or trying to shovel snow off tennis courts to play outside, area tennis teams have finally gotten enough good weather to begin their seasons.Glenwood Springs, with 19 girls on the roster, attempted to host Cedaredge and Delta March 3, but were chased from the court by rain, snow and hail showers.The Class 4A Demons finally got to play on March 9 against 5A Durango, but fell 5-2.Seniors Caitlyn Fowler and Kari Nesbit picked up individual wins, 6-4, 6-4 and 6-3, 6-4 respectively.”Right now Caitlyn is playing really well. She’s won both of her matches so far (including one against Cedaredge before weather postponed the rest of the team match),” said Glenwood head coach Phyllis Zilm. “Especially against Durango, a 5A school, she is playing really well.” Madison McCallum, a freshman, is playing in the No. 3 singles spot, but lost 1-6, 3-6 to Durango’s Jessica Wilson.Zilm rearranged the doubles pairs after all three lost to Durango. Junior Megan McGavock and Courtney Bender, a freshman at Colorado Rocky Mountain School, will work as the No. 1 duo. Juniors Tess Kennedy and Teka Israel will be in the No. 2 spot and Taylor Smith and Kellie McFerrin make up the No. 3 team.The Demons will be back on the court on Friday, hoping the sun keeps shining, to face Durango again at 3 p.m.”It’s a nice group of girls, they play with a lot of heart,” Zilm said. “Most of the kids played through the summer and came out and worked on their games and I think it shows. They are more seasoned than they were last year, or even the year before.”

Even after losing standouts Ashley Jammaron and Sarah Armstrong from last year’s squad, the Roaring Fork tennis team has 15 girls returning, and three seniors will look to lead the team this season.Erica Pelland, Kali Chesnut and Natasha Koziel all returned to the squad, bringing talent and experience.”They will be key to our success this year,” said Roaring Fork head coach Doug Ellis.Ellis also said he has a lot of freshmen on the team, but mixed with the seniors and sophomores like Riana Rollyson and Maria Flores, should have good balance.”They are a coachable group. They are hard working and, if the weather cooperates, hopefully we can have a really good year.” Four players will also be commuting from Basalt High School to play for the Rams.”They didn’t have enough girls to have their own team, so they decided to come down and join us,” Ellis said.After a rough loss on Wednesday to Aspen, a team playing its fourth match while the Rams had hardly played four days outside, the Rams are hoping to rebound Saturday against Durango. Durango will play Aspen at 11 a.m., then head to Carbondale at the completion of the match.”We weren’t ready, we got thumped pretty good, but we hung in there,” Ellis said of the Aspen match. “And everybody learned and grew and had fun. That’s what it’s all about.”


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