Demons all alive in Delta

Edwards returns and leads DHS girls tennis team into Day 2

Two singles finalists, a doubles team still alive in the winner’s bracket and no eliminations highlighted Day 1 of the Delta County Invitational for the Durango High School girls tennis team.

After missing time to play in a tournament last weekend in Las Vegas, Eva-Lou Edwards hopped back into her No. 1 singles spot and went right to work, pulling off consecutive 6-0, 6-0 whitewashings of Roaring Fork and Glenwood Springs to advance to today’s final.

“It’s great to have Eva-Lou back,” DHS head coach Dave Weisfeldt said with a laugh after reporting her result.

Not to be outdone, Ellen Southworth advanced to the finals at No. 2 singles without the aid of a bye. She topped Cedaredge 6-2, 6-1 before beating Delta 7-5, 6-4 and Glenwood Springs 6-1, 6-2. Her time spent playing in the top spot in Edwards’ absence appeared to pay off Friday.

“It took a while to kind of settle into the match ... but Ellen adjusted, and that’s a great result for her,” Weisfeldt said. “The conditions were just outrageous (Friday). Might as well have had us play in the middle of a hurricane.”

With the usual No. 2 doubles side of Jamie Wanzek and Claire Ochsner out with other commitments, Kit Hackett and Stephanie Bowles stepped in and still are in the hunt for a title. They beat Montrose 7-5, 7-6 (4) before routing Paonia 6-1, 6-1. The doubles teams didn’t finish the semifinal rounds before play was halted.

“That was a real tight one, really competitive,” Weisfeldt said of the win over Montrose. “We see them in two weeks, so that was a good result.”

At No. 3 singles, Erin Neale took a first-round bye before besting Paonia 6-0, 6-1. She fell 6-4, 6-1 to Grand Junction Central to fall to the third-place match.

Meredith Nass joined Gina Gates at No. 1 doubles – with regular Sierra Lillard on a trip to Africa – and the duo fell to Delta 6-4, 6-1 before besting Hotchkiss 8-2 in a pro-set consolation match.

Anna Wright and Emma Hagen were at No. 3 doubles for the Demons and lost to Roaring Fork 6-4, 6-3 before beating Montrose 8-0 in the consolation bracket.

Alexandra Hickey and Brenna Kallaher fell to Hotchkiss 6-4, 6-4 at No. 4 doubles before beating Glenwood Springs 8-3.

For Weisfeldt, having all his players still alive was the positive of the day, and the tournament provided DHS with a good look at upcoming regional foes.

“In fact, one of the reasons we attend this tournament is ... virtually our whole region’s here,” he said.

The Delta tournament will wrap today.

heraldsports@durangoherald.com