DHS girls tennis gets an education on the Western Slope

Durango got a runner-up and a lot of lessons at the Western Slope Open this weekend.

Jamie Wanzek, the Durango High School girls tennis team’s No. 2 singles player, took the runner-up spot in her bracket after she beat Montrose 10-6, then lost to Denver East 7-5 on Saturday at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction.

“One of the Denver East coaches ran out to the court in front of me and said something like ‘I want to get to your player first. She had such a great match; I just love her spirit,’” DHS first-year head coach Laura Ehlers said.

No. 1 singles Erin Neale lost to Montrose in a 7-5 tiebreaker after playing to a 9-all tie.

Kit Hackett lost 10-2 to Heritage in the No. 3 singles spot.

“Just a really great learning experience for our girls,” Ehlers said. “Just really great tennis, great opponents.”

As the Demons’ doubles teams well know.

“It was just extremely challenging for all four,” Ehlers said.

No. 1s Rachel Redders and Meredith Nass lost to Columbine 10-0.

No. 2s Hannah Liberman and Eva Eckstein lost to Columbine 10-0.

No. 3s Rachel Cooper and Jenni Snowberger lost to Montrose 10-5.

No. 4s Charlotte Piquet and Audrey Morris lost to Grand Junction Central 10-4.

One of the brightest points of the tournament, Ehlers said, was when an opposing coach told her that the Durango tennis girls were the nicest of the 16 schools that competed.

“That was huge,” Ehlers said.

Day 1 of the Western Slope Open

Hackett was on a roll Friday.

She won all three of her matches at No. 3 singles Friday in Day 1 of the Western Slope Open.

Hackett beat Poudre Valley 6-0, 6-0, Denver East 9-3 and Chatfield 10-6.

She also was the only Demons’ tennis player to get a win in Thursday’s dual match with Steamboat Springs.

“Everybody got a win under their belt, and that did help,” Ehlers said Friday.

Neale lost to Ralston Valley 7-5, 6-0, then beat Poudre 10-5 before losing to Heritage and Steamboat 10-1 and 10-2, respectively.

Wanzek beat Denver East 7-5, 6-3, then lost to Pueblo West 6-2, 6-4, Palmer Ridge 10-1 and Heritage 10-1.

“They’re really trying to hang in. Totally, the scores do not reflect how hard and the good quality of playing for Durango,” Ehlers said.

Doubles results weren’t available Friday.