DHS tennis on track for regionals

Demons fall 6-1 to the ‘powerbouse’ Fruita Monument team

The Durango High School girls tennis team lost 6-1 to a “powerhouse” Fruita Monument team Saturday, but DHS head coach Dave Weisfeldt said if the Demons play at regionals like they did against the Wildcats this weekend, “We’re going to be pretty successful.”

“We played some pretty good tennis,” Weisfeldt said.

Eva-Lou Edwards picked up the Demons’ lone victory Saturday at No. 1 singles, beating Fruita Monument’s Grace Gaglione 6-0, 6-0.

Weisfeldt said Edwards was getting lots of different looks and had to make adjustments.

“Not surprising. Eva-Lou just tried to work on her consistency,” Weisfeldt said.

At No. 2 singles, Ellen Southworth “got off to a little bit of a shaky start with consistency.” She lost 6-2, 6-1 to Meredith Soychak.

Erin Neele had a “phenomenal” match against Sierra Segrest, losing 6-3, 6-3 at No. 3 singles as Neele tried to mix up her play to throw off her opponent.

“Erin was really stepping into her shots,” Weisfeldt said.

“But her opponent was like a mirror image of her. We had to try some different things. (Neele) was looking really consistent, she wasn’t making any errors,” Weisfeldt said. “She didn’t double-fault the whole game.”

At No. 1 doubles, Gina Gates and Sierra Lillard lost 7-6 with a 7-4 tiebreaker and then 6-2 in the second set to Laren Cyphers and Bronte Hayward.

The No. 2 pair of Jamie Wanzek and Claire Ochsner played one of the longest and most exciting matches of the day. They won 6-2, then lost 6-4 and 6-3 to Jacque Soychak and McKenna Griffiths.

“Up and down, topsy-turvy, but great points,” Weisfeldt said. “They just needed to control a few errors.”

The Durango doubles teams at Nos. 3 and 4 struggled against a deep Fruita Monument squad, although they did make big adjustments in the second sets of their matches, Weisfeldt said.

At No. 3 doubles, Kit Hackett and Stephanie Bowles lost 6-1 in the first set against Taylor Poudrier and Shannon Hautzinger before making their adjustments for a much better 6-4 second-set loss.

“That’s what we love to see,” Weisfeldt said. “If you can adapt and adjust, you’re going to beat a lot more opponents.”

Durango’s Anna Wright and Emma Hagen also lost their first set 6-1 to Amanda Charles and Kelsi Barnett before playing a better 6-3 second-set loss.

DHS will play the Class 4A regional tournament Thursday and Friday at Canyon View Park in Grand Junction.

heraldsports@durangoherald.com