PUEBLO — The dry summer heat in Pueblo can suck the energy out of anything. But somehow the Silver Creek duo of Meredith Emerson and Meghna Ravi were able to maintain their energy and their positivity to remain alive in the Class 4A girls tennis state tournament at City Park.
The No. 3 doubles team held off Pueblo West’s Olivia Day and Lindsey Stevenson 6-3, 7-5 before edging Loveland’s Brianna Fava and Sierra Lammers 7-5, 7-5 to punch a ticket to Saturday’s semifinals.
“Staying positive the whole time was such a big thing for us,” Emerson said. “For me, it was going back and forth between playing well and playing bad and keeping my energy up helped with that a lot.”
Positivity was just half the equation for the Raptors. The other half was the energy that they maintained through the course of the day. They couldn’t afford to let themselves let up as long as they had momentum on their side.
“If you’re down, you can always bring it back up with energy and momentum,” Ravi said. “You can always keep that going, but if you’re mad at yourself and frustrated it won’t work out as much.”
The Raptors took the first set and then jumped out to a lead in the second. But Loveland fought back and eventually took a 5-4 lead in the second to nearly force a third and deciding set. But the Silver Creek duo rallied to give its school its only semifinalist for Saturday.
Niwot’s championship ambitions will likely be limited to individual positions and not the team championship. The Cougars did not qualify a No. 3 doubles team and two other doubles teams lost in the first round of the tournament.
Dakota Ridge’s Sidney Madlock and Audri Roberts beat Tehya Laughlin and Tracy Yu 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 and then Loveland’s Haley Vair and Libby Banks beat Claire Butcher and Harper Behmer 6-4, 6-2.
But the singles are thriving. Alys Pop cruised in straight sets in both the first round and the quarterfinals to earn a spot in Saturday morning’s No. 1 singles semifinals. A sophomore, Pop looked strong considering COVID-19 wiped out all of last season and didn’t give her the experience of playing at state as a freshman.
“It’s been an extremely valuable experience,” Pop said. “We have such a supportive team and such a great support system. We have the best coaches to train with and they’ve given us the best experience. I just wanted to come in here and play my best.”
Her best has been good enough so far and if it carries over on Saturday, the Cougars will have a chance to claim the third No. 1 singles title in a row for the program. The Cougars had 12 team points after the first day.