BROOMFIELD -- Lisa Hug figured she'd better punch her ticket to the Class 4A state tournament before the opportunity slipped away behind a veil of wobbly knees and utter fatigue.
Because after Hug's epic battle with Centaurus' Glenna Gee-Taylor, earning that state berth by winning a playback match probably would have seemed as daunting as defeating one of the Williams sisters.
Hug, a junior from Skyline High School, made certain to take care of business before exhaustion set in, defeating Gee-Taylor 7-6 (7-5), 2-6, 6-4 in the No. 1 singles final of the 4A Region 5 tournament on Thursday.
It was a Herculean battle between Hug, an exchange student from Germany, and Gee-Taylor, as the duo traded hard-fought
"It's really hard when the points are really long like that," Hug said. "You win one, then you lose one and you have to catch your breath. I started to become more aggressive going after the balls, and I think that is really what helped get me through it."
After winning the first set in a tiebreaker, Hug dropped the second set before leaping to a 5-2 lead in the third set. However, as was the script for this draining showdown, Gee-Taylor did not go away quietly, recording two consecutive points before Hug finally notched the win.
Hug noted that while she is not usually the type of player that attacks the net, that strategy paid big dividends against Gee-Taylor, a player who shares Hug's style of deliberate volleying.
"She showed that she can really fight and compete, because she played a really good player today," Skyline coach Tom Russ said. "This is fantastic for Skyline. Not just for the school, but because she is a fantastic kid. She's the kind you want representing your school, your sport, the whole bit. I just couldn't be happier for her and for Skyline. She makes us all proud."
Longmont advanced two of its doubles teams to next week's 4A state finals in Pueblo. The Trojans' No. 4 doubles team of Rebeka Cowley and Ashley Wright collected a regional title by posting a 6-4, 6-3 win against the Thompson Valley duo of Miranda Sheets and Andria Kelly.
Longmont's No. 2 doubles team of seniors Olivia Lance and Kayla Pekarek also advanced to state by defeating the No. 2 team from Wheat Ridge in the playback final.
Silver Creek's No. 4 doubles team of Emily Lyneis and Amanda Burns had an opportunity to advance to state after reaching the playback final, but the duo suffered a 6-4, 7-6 (7-3) loss against Sheets and Kelly of Thompson Valley.
"It's a stressful day, but to have teams going to state really solidifies that," Longmont coach Michael Merz said. "It would have been a heartbreaker if we hadn't gotten those teams in. For those seniors, to go is huge. That's just the way to go out. They've been on the team for four years and this is the first time they're going to state. It's a good feeling."
Follow Pat Rooney on Twitter: @prooney07
Class 4A Region 5 Tennis
At Broomfield Swim and Tennis Club
Broomfield 66, Thompson Valley 49, Centaurus 41, Longmont 35, Skyline 22, Wheat Ridge 16, Erie 12, Silver Creek 8, Skyview 2, Weld Central 2.
Singles -- 1. Lisa Hug, Skyline, def. Glenna Gee-Taylor, Centaurus, 7-6 (7-5), 2-6, 6-2; 2. Hannah Gregory, Thompson Valley, def. Katie Christman, Broomfield, 6-0, 6-0; 3. Shannon Galligan, Thompson Valley, def. Madison Subry, Broomfield, 6-4, 6-0.
Doubles -- 1. Shivaun Wood/Monro Obenauer, Broomfield, def. Emily Erickson/Samantha Sheets, Thompson Valley, 6-2, 6-2; 2. Marisa Eafanti/Michele Midanier, Broomfield, def. Olivia Lance/Kayla Pekarek, Longmont, 6-3, 6-3; 3. Ali Dionigi/Cassandra Ho, Broomfield, def. Megan Niewoehner/Sydney Herman, Centaurus, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2; 4. Rebeka Cowley/Ashley Wright, Longmont, def. Miranda Sheets/Andria Kelly, Thompson Valley, 6-4, 6-3.
LOCAL THIRD-PLACE MATCHES
Singles -- 1. Dayna DeMeritte, Broomfield, def. Erika Land, Wheat Ridge, 7-5, 6-3; 2. Annie Fernandez, Centaurus, def. Cindy Davis, Skyline, 6-0, 6-2; 3. Erica Offerle, Centaurus, def. Dailyn Johnson, Longmont, 6-1, 7-6 (7-2).
Doubles -- 1. Kelle Kloster/Maddie Precht, Longmont, def. Jenae Davis/Kassie Davis, Erie, 6-2, 6-3; 3. Kelsi Foregth/Joey Neuhans, Longmont, def. Karah Parrs/Sarah Martinez, Erie, 6-2, 7-6 (7-2); 4. Emily Lyneis/Amanda Burns, Silver Creek, def. Jasjit Mangat/Devyn Fontana, Centaurus, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0.
LOCAL PLAYBACK FINALS
(Winners advance to state tournament)
Singles -- 2. Annie Fernandez, Centaurus, def. Katie Christman, Broomfield, 6-0, 6-2; 3. Madison Subry, Broomfield, def. Erica Offerle, Centaurus, 6-4, 6-3.
Doubles -- 1. Emily Erickson/Samantha Sheets, Thompson Valley, def. Kelle Kloster/Maddie Precht, Longmont, 6-2, 7-5; 2. Olivia Lance/Kayla Pekarek, Longmont, def. Hannah Hock/Lauren Herrera, Wheat Ridge, 6-2, 7-6 (7-4); 4. Miranda Sheets/Andria Kelly, Thompson Valley, def. Emily Lyneis/Amanda Burns, Silver Creek, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3).