DENVER — Go figure. Another big spring sports event, and another day of headaches and frustration due to our tempestuous spring weather.
Mother Nature’s latest victim on Thursday was the opening day of the Class 5A girls tennis state tournament, which endured an on-again, off-again kickoff before the bulk of the opening rounds were postponed in the early afternoon.
Only five matches were played to completion before the elements ultimately claimed the day. Fairview, which boasts entrants at six of the seven positions in the tournament, was fortunate enough to claim one of those five completed matches, as No. 1 singles player Katie Kuosman advanced out of the first round with a straight-set victory.
“It’s just standard to have bad weather at the state tournament today,” Fairview coach Susan Stensrud said. “It doesn’t matter though. This is a marathon and we’re looking to win long-term, so we’ll be good.”
The postponement sets up what indeed will be a marathon day of play on Friday at three different sites. The tournament will resume Friday at 9 a.m. at three locations, with all three singles draws as well as the No. 1 doubles entrants remaining at the host site at the Gates Tennis Center.
However, the No. 2 doubles will be moved to the courts behind Denver South High School, while the first two rounds of the No. 3 doubles and No. 4 doubles brackets will be held at Denver’s City Park. While those sites will host the first two rounds (through the quarterfinals), the playback rounds and the semifinals will shift back to the Gates Tennis Center.
Organizers hope to hold the semifinals at about 4 p.m. Friday, but those matches will start earlier if possible. The schedule for Saturday’s closing day at Gates also will be slightly altered, with playback matches slated to begin at 8 a.m. and all finals scheduled for 9:30 a.m. The third-place matches will begin as soon as possible following the championship matches.
“I do think with the experience of my singles and my one doubles, I can count on them to be prepared. They know what’s happening,” Stensrud said. “Luckily, I have a large group of experienced kids and I think they’ll be ready.”
After starting late in order to let the courts dry, Thursday’s opening rounds were delayed twice before the plug was pulled. Organizers from the Colorado High School Activities Association, while anticipating delays due to inclement weather, sent the entrants at No. 3 singles and No. 1 doubles to City Park in hopes of still perhaps getting in all of the first day’s contests. However, those athletes had barely warmed up before they were summoned back to Gates.
Kuosman was one of the fortunate few who completed their opening match, as the Knights’ two-time state champ posted a 6-2, 6-0 win against Kendra Lavalle of Mountain Vista. Kuosman will await the winner between Ralston Valley’s Alex Purfield and Fossil Ridge’s Shawnea Pagat in the quarterfinals.
Fairview’s No. 2 singles player, freshman Natalie Munson, posted a 6-1 win in the first set against Leia Krebsbach of Mountain Vista and held a 5-3 lead in the second set when play was halted. All matches that had started Thursday will resume where they left off on Friday.
“I’m so relieved I was able to get one in, because I think one of the hardest things would be to start again in the middle of a match,” Kuosman said. “Hopefully that will only help me as we keep going (Friday).”
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Class 5A state tournament
At Gates Tennis Center
No. 1 singles (completed matches only) — Nicole Kalhorn, Pine Creek, def. Katie Kirby, Mountain Range, 6-1, 6-3; Katie Kuosman, Fairview, def. Kendra LaValle, Mountain Vista, 6-2, 6-0; Rebecca Weissmann, Loveland, def. Clara Larson, Douglas County, 6-0, 6-0; Madison Porter, Legend, def. Lauren Lindell, Ponderosa, 6-0, 6-3.
No. 2 singles — Gloria Son, Cherry Creek, def. Claire Wilt, Rock Canyon, 6-0, 6-0.