GSHS grad’s bid for third crown falls short
ASPEN – Denver residents Nicki Fusco and Gina Kirstein knocked off the two-time defending champs in the morning, then captured their first ever MotherLode title in the evening.Undefeated, Fusco and Kirstein powered through the 35-team Women’s Open division on the sand courts at Koch Lumber Park to claim the $1,600 first prize Monday. The duo beat Glenwood Springs favorite Krista Swartzendruber and partner Angela Knopf early Monday, sending the 2002 and ’03 champions to a tie for fifth place, then overcame Denver’s Dawn Tischauser and San Diego’s Diane Pascua 21-17, 21-18 in the finals.Combining offense with deft passing and defense, the duo dictated terms all weekend.”We’re power,” Fusco said. “I shoot when I have to, but a crowd-pleaser is a hit – a real big bang – and I love to do that. Love it.”Former Colorado State teammates Swartzendruber and Knopf, now of Denver and Fort Collins, respectively, saw their three-peat bid unravel against friends Fusco and Kirstein.”They work hard, they get everything up and they don’t make it easy for you,” said Glenwood Springs High School alum Swartzendruber. “And we just made more mistakes than they did.””Sure, it’s disappointing, but it’s extra motivation to work that much harder. And you gotta give credit to other teams because they had a phenomenal turnout,” Swartzendruber added.Albuquerque’s Ingrid Rooslid and Denver’s Tia Self finished third, and Aspen native Catie Vagneur of Los Angeles and Kelly Rowe of Kinston, N.C., took fourth.Albuquerque’s Ingrid Rooslid and Denver’s Tia Self finished third, and Aspen native Catie Vagneur of Los Angeles and Kelly Rowe of Kinston, N.C., took fourth.
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