Edwards, Southworth reach the regional finals

Everyone’s still alive for state berths for the Durango High School girls tennis team, although the status isn’t quite as precarious for a pair of singles players.

Eva-Lou Edwards and Ellen Southworth will play in the finals at Nos. 1 and 2 singles, respectively, when the Class 4A regionals resume in Grand Junction.

The other five positions are hoping the individual or team that victimized them win the regional crown, which in turn would allow those DHS players potentially to challenge the loser of that match for the second state berth at each position.

“With everybody still playing, that’s good,” DHS head coach Dave Weisfeldt said. “Third place does pick up a ton of points ... you’re still keeping us in contention for second place (as a team) here.”

Edwards, the top seed, battled past Vail Mountain 6-1, 6-2 before routing Glenwood Springs 6-0, 6-0 to make the finals for the second consecutive year. The sophomore will look to capture her second regional title in as many years today.

Southworth, the No. 2 seed, had to scratch and claw past Vail Mountain 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 after taking a bye in the first round.

“A real topsy-turvy match; there really wasn’t a whole lot of flow,” Weisfeldt said. “Ellen wasn’t comfortable; the coaches certainly weren’t comfortable; Vail Mountain wasn’t comfortable. But the result is a W.”

Southworth then topped Glenwood Springs 6-3, 7-5 to get within a win of her second consecutive trip to state.

Erin Neale was seeded second at No. 3 singles, but she fell 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 to Aspen in her first match despite fending off 10 match points. Should Aspen win the bracket, Neale would have the chance to play back into state, and she’ll open with Montrose today.

Sierra Lillard and Gina Gates opened with a No. 1 doubles win over Cedaredge, winning 6-1, 6-0. But the duo ran into a tough Steamboat Springs team in the next round, losing 7-6 (5), 6-1. Lillard and Gates will open the playback with Montezuma-Cortez.

Jamie Wanzek and Claire Ochsner beat Vail Mountain 6-1, 6-1 and Hotchkiss 6-3, 6-1 at No. 2 doubles before falling to Glenwood Springs 6-3, 6-2. No. 2 doubles already has started playbacks, and Durango’s tandem beat Delta 6-2, 6-2 to advance to the consolation finals.

At No. 3 doubles, Kit Hackett and Stephanie Bowles beat Glenwood Springs 6-1, 6-0 before losing to Aspen 6-2, 6-3. They’ll play Cedaredge today.

Durango’s No. 4 doubles duo of Anna Wright and Emma Hagen topped Paonia 6-2, 6-1 before falling to Delta 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. They’ll play Vail Mountain today.