PUEBLO -- In the final match of her prep tennis career, Holy Family senior Maeve Donovan gave testament to the idea that it's not how you start it's how you finish.
In gratifying style Donovan finished in the No. 3 singles consolation quarterfinals at the 4A state tournament. What's more, she showed a marked improvement against a regular opponent in Broomfield junior Shivaun Wood.
After Wood defeated her in the conference tournament championship, Donovan took her to three sets and several match points in what proved to be Donovan's final match for the Tigers.
"Coming into this I wanted to get a little redemption," Donovan said. "I did in some respects. She's a great player and it was a good match compared to the last one. It stinks to lose but I lost to a great player and I played my game."
Wood, who went on to reach the consolation semifinals before losing 7-6(2), 6-0 to Pueblo West's Allie Bravo, outlasted Donovan 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-4.
Donovan played doubles her first three seasons, including a No. 2 doubles campaign in 2012 that ended in the first round at state. For her first year playing singles, Donovan was happy with her strong finish.
"Singles was a new adventure, to say the least," Donovan said. "I didn't start out the strongest but throughout the year I progress and I've been peaking at the end."
Also finishing strong, the Tigers No. 3 doubles pair Kelly Dempsey and Kailey Silverstein went as far as the championship quarterfinals.
Battling injuries at her last two state tournaments, Dempsey said her senior season was her best.
"We did the best we could with what he had. We played a lot better as a team this year," said Dempsey, whose ankle forced a medical timeout in the quarterfinals.
Still in the hunt for third place at No. 2 doubles, Broomfield's Lindsey Ross and Cassandra Ho defeated Steamboat Springs' Brooke Meztler and Maddie Labor 7-5, 6-4 in the consolation semifinals to reach Saturday's third-place match.
The Eagles duo's primary goal was just to make it to state.
"Third or fourth place, it's quite an honor to be at state anyway," Ross said. "Either way, I'm sure we'll be quite satisfied."
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