Glenwood, Roaring Fork tennis players battle for state berth |

Glenwood, Roaring Fork tennis players battle for state berth

Phil Sandoval

The format and the method to advance out of this weekend’s Class 4A Western girls tennis regionals to the state tennis tournament is tough.

The only guaranteed way to go to next week’s state championship in Pueblo is win the championship match. For everyone else it’s a crap shoot.

Eight teams, including area schools Glenwood Springs and Roaring Fork will be contesting for the two available state tournament berths in each of the three singles and four doubles divisions scheduled at the Elliott Tennis Center on the Mesa State College in Grand Junction.

Play begins this morning at 8 a.m., concluding with championship matches on Saturday.

The regional champion automatically goes to the state championships. That’s the easy part.

What’s harder is the way the second state qualifier is determined.

With only two state berths available, a consolation bracket is not needed.

Instead, losing players from an earlier round can challenge the championship game runner-up to a playback match – providing that person, or persons, have not played the eventual runner-up earlier in the tournament.

It’s a system Glenwood Springs head coach Phyllis Zilm and assistant coach Sue Giest don’t care for, but most the current Demons have experience with the format.

Along with the pressure to win.

“They have been there before,” Zilm said of the Demons. “But you never know what that little bit of pressure of regionals will do to them.”

Among the current Demons, Celeste Cashel and Molly Axelson, who play at Nos. 2 and 3 singles, respectively, have the team’s best records. The two players have identical 7-2 marks, which should translate into high seeds. Courtney McCallum, Glenwood’s No. 1 singles player is 5-4 on the year.

Among the doubles teams, the No. 2 pair of Regina Waltsak and Jackie Weast have the best overall mark at 6-2. All three of the other Demon doubles teams sport winning records.

Roaring Fork’s top players with a chance to advance are No. 1 singles Lindsey Cheney and the No. 1 doubles tandem of Lacey Delost and Stephanie Gustine.

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