LONGMONT -- Spring's beginning has dealt the inexperienced Silver Creek girls tennis team a brutal 1-2 combo.

The Raptors' lineup, which features four sophomores and two freshmen, opened the season with back-to-back 7-0 losses. No Raptor has borne the brunt of the brutal start more than Raptors No. 1 singles player Jennie Spielman.

It is, after all, toughest at the top. But Spielman's sustained positive outlook finally produced a 6-1, 6-2 win over Skyline's Angel Trull and a 7-0 team win for the Raptors on Tuesday afternoon.

"We started off a little rocky but as the season progresses, I think we'll continue to grow," Spielman said. "It feels really good to win. Once you're past your first win, it gets a little easier."

Skyline’s Nono Ncube returns a ball during the No. 3 singles match at Skyline High School on Tuesday.
Skyline's Nono Ncube returns a ball during the No. 3 singles match at Skyline High School on Tuesday. (Greg Lindstrom/Times-Call)

Both Spielman's season-opening losses came against state tournament players -- Centaurus' Glenna Gee-Taylor and Niwot's Erin Mulshine. But on a frigid Tuesday evening at Centennial Park, she controlled her cross-town rival with solid play from the back line and looked to score often with powerful groundstrokes.

"I definitely like to hit on it a lot," Spielman said. "I loved my serves today. They've been improving over the past few years, ever since I was a freshman. I proud of that."

Niwot swept the Raptors five days prior to Tuesday's win. Following the loss, Raptors head coach Kelly Burns said his players needed to be more active and aggressive.

Against the Falcons, senior doubles player Amanda Burns said the Raptors were more confident.


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"I think we played aggressively and getting our shots in," Amanda Burns said. "Niwot was a little scarier but everyone was calm today. We tried new strategies, we were poaching, we were getting across the net and just overall we did a good job."

Also netting their first wins, Silver Creek's Piper Doering defeated Allison Stibbards, 6-3, 6-0 at No. 2 singles and Brigid Winn defeated Nono Ncube, 6-1, 6-1 at No. 3.

While the Raptors are inexperienced, the Falcons may be even more so.

First-year head coach Lulu Buck said only three Falcons brought prior experience to this year's team. Everyone else, she said, picked up a racket for the first time this season. Ncube, for example, joined the team late as a freshman and played her first match on Tuesday.

"It went pretty well on my part. I mean, I know I could have made some better shots but I'm pretty proud," Ncube said.

Burns teamed with Elsa Erickson to defeat Chloe Koo and Jasmin Canales 6-1, 6-1 at No. 1 doubles. At No. 2 doubles, Kaleia San Miguel and Maria Grant took down Skyline's Slesha Shrestha and Liz Lichte, 6-1, 6-1.

Silver Creek's Eva Hartman and Kathryn Trees toppled Sam Klopping and Rhianin Alvarez 6-1, 6-0. Faith King and Savannah Dehnyng defeated Makenzie Sweet and Jill Irvin, 6-0, 6-0.

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Silver Creek 7, Skyline 0

At Skyline H.S. & Centennial Park

Singles -- 1. Jennie Spielman, Silver Creek, def. Angel Trull, 6-1, 6-2; 2. Piper Doering, Silver Creek, def. Allison Stibbards, 6-3, 6-0; 3. Brigid Winn, Silver Creek, def. Nono Ncube, 6-1, 6-1.

Doubles -- 1. Amanda Burns/Elsa Erickson, Silver Creek, def. Cloe Koo/Jasmin Canales, 6-1, 6-1; 2. Kaleia San Miguel/Maria Grant, Silver Creek, def. Slesha Shrestha/Liz Lichte, 6-1, 6-1; 3. Eva Hartman/Kathryn Trees, Silver Creek, def. Sam Klopping/Rhianin Alvarez, 6-1, 6-0; 4. Faith King/Savannah Dehnyng, Silver Creek, def. Makenzie Sweet/Jill Irvin, 6-0, 6-0.