Jeremy Papasso
Legacy’s Isabelle Boucher hits a return during her No. 2 singles loss to Fort Collins’ Maria Lawson on Wednesday.

BROOMFIELD — Despite it being a rebuilding year for Legacy girls tennis, the team has been off to a respectable start. The Lightning have given as well as they have taken, coming out of spring break with a .500 record.

Legacy, however, hit a bump in the road to its solid early-schedule play Wednesday in its second outing in the Front Range League. The Lightning were swept 7-0 by Fort Collins, all in straight-sets decisions.

It was a far cry from a year ago, when Legacy made it much more of a match.

“They certainly seem like they knew what they were doing out there,” Legacy coach Glen Gielas said. “Their singles played really well and there seemed to be a lot of communication between their double players.”

The sticky point for Legacy (2-3, 0-2) so far this year has been its conference schedule. The team’s first loss of the season came in its season opener against Front Range powerhouse Rocky Mountain (1-1, 1-1). But Gielas was not completely surprised his team took its lumps against the Lambkins (4-0, 3-0).

The coach is in the process of figuring out where all the pieces fit on the court. And his team had not been under live fire for going on two weeks entering Wednesday’s match — not that Gielas used that as an excuse.

“I don’t know if it was rust coming off of spring break as much as it is being a young team,” he said. “We need as much practice as we can get.”

The Lightning’s closest match came at No. 2 doubles, where some early momentum appeared to have Jennifer Madsen and Shaylie Margrave on the winning track. The Lightning raced ahead in the opening set to a 5-2 lead. But they ended up falling 7-6, 6-3 to Nikki von den Heevien and Camnyn Berry after a tight tiebreaker.

“It was definitely emotional,” Madsen said. “We haven’t lost a first set this year, so we were kind of shook up after that.”

Despite the rough finish to the opener, Madsen believes she and her partner could rope things back together.

“But we tensed up after we were down,” she said. “So it kind of just stuck with us.”

The Lightning had tighter matches across the board in singles play, but could not seal the deal in any of them. The most frustrating was that of Michelle Moyer, who had to gut a 6-4, 6-4 loss at No. 3 singles.

Shelly Jassica also had her troubles at No. 1 singles. The senior has been one of her team’s top performers this season, but ran into a rough stretch against a player who was very similar in style. Leah Fox exploited the Legacy player’s miscues for a 6-2, 6-2 victory.

“I let her off a lot more than I should have, letting her come up to the net and take angle shots on me,” Jassica said. “It was a little frustrating, but she was really good.”

Follow Elwood on Twitter @ElwoodKShelton.


Fort Collins 7, Legacy 0

At Fort Collins H.S.

Singles — 1. Leah Fox, Fort Collins, def. Shelly Jassica, Legacy, 6-2, 6-2; 2. Maria Lawson, Fort Collins, def. Isabelle Boucher, Legacy, 6-1, 6-3; 3. Lisa Chungsiriwat, Fort Collins, def. Michelle Moyer 6-4, 6-4.

Doubles — 1. Katie Dugan/Ellie Goodspeed, Fort Collins, def. Ellie Puls/Amanda Bagnato, Legacy, 6-1, 6-4; 2. Nikki von den Heever, Fort Collins, def. Jennifer Madsen/Shaylie Margrave, Legacy, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3; 3. Brittany Crane/Sarah Gloor, Fort Collins, def. Antonela Miocvic/Sierra Thomas-Lovric, 6-0, 6-2; 4. Callie Harward/Taylor Campas, Fort Collins, def. Jessica Wentworth/Holland Russo, Legacy, 6-1, 6-0.