Windsor No. 4 doubles picks up win at 4A tourney
May 11, 2017
Natalie Talbot and Brooke Shrader stood on the brink of elimination Thursday.
The No. 4 doubles team on Windsor's girls tennis team had already dropped the first set in its opening-round match against Maya Glasnr and Clara Thompson of Cornado at the Class 4A Girls State Tennis Championships in Pueblo and were down to its last point in the second set.
The pair managed to stave off elimination and made the most of its extra life, winning the third set and the match and advancing to the quarterfinals.
"It was one of those epic three-set matches," coach Chris Minear said. "After the first set, they took care of business."
In a tournament defined by youth for Weld County, Talbot and Shrader's win was the only one from the five qualifiers from Windsor and Greeley West.
The oldest of the Wizards' qualifiers was junior Anna Lowndes while the Spartans graduated their top six players last year.
Windsor's No. 3 doubles team of Lowndes and Kiley Smith put up a good fight but fell 7-5, 6-4 to Caitlin Foster and Regina Park of Palmer Ridge.
Brooklynn Kelley, Windsor's No. 3 singles player and the only individual qualifier from Weld in 4A, also went down in straight sets, 6-0, 6-2, to Grace Qiu of Rampart.
As for Talbot and Shrader, the pair put up a good fight in the quarterfinals but fell to Emilie-Anne Choi and Lucy Pratt of Kent Denver, 7-5, 6-4.
"To come out and play a more experienced team from a more experienced school, they competed really well," Minear said
The three teams that beat the Wizards are still alive, meaning that if they make the finals, all Windsor's qualifiers have a chance to finish third.
"In the next couple days we're going to need some help," Minear said.
After all the turnover from last season, nobody would have been surprised to see this years Greeley West team take a step back. Instead, its season resulted in yet another trip to the state tournament — this time at 4A.
The Spartans qualified for last year's 5A tournament in four positions before offseason reclassification resulted in a move to 4A. This year, they brought two teams to state, the No. 1 doubles team of Hanna Cropper and Delaynie McPhee and the No. 2 doubles team of Alicia Cruz and Jana Sherif.
"The goal is always state at Greeley West," coach Ryan Pace said in a phone interview. "Whether it is 5A or 4A, the goal is always to make state."
Cropper and McPhee started off nervous, finding themselves behind 5-0 before finding their footing. They eventually gained their composure and battled back, but fell 6-3 in the first set. However, they could never fully bounce back, dropping the second set by the same score.
Cruz and Sherif started stronger but didn't fare much better, losing 6-3, 6-4 to Taylor Heinicke and Ariana Arenson of perennial powerhouse Cheyenne Mountain.
Like with Windsor, the teams the Spartans lost to have qualified for the semifinals, meaning Greeley West's teams will also have the chance to advance through playbacks.
"I'm just proud of the girls and the way they competed," Pace said. "This isn't the year we are supposed to be competitive. We're happy to be here and its great to get the girls experience."
Singles — 3. Grace Qiu, RHS, def. Brooklynn Kelley, 6-0, 6-2.
Doubles — 3. Cailin Foster & Regina Park, PRHS, def. Anna Lowndes & Kiley Smith, WHS, 7-5, 6-4; 4. Natalie Talbot & Brooke Shrader, WHS, def. Maya Glasnr & Clara Thompson, CHS, 4-6, 7-6, 6-3 — Emilie-Anne Choe & Lucy Pratt, KDHS, def. Natalie Talbot & Brooke Shrader, WHS, 7-5, 6-4
Doubles — 1. Hunter Jones & Lizzie McCurdy, DVHS, def. Hana Cropper & Delaynie McPhee, GWHS, 6-3, 6-3; 2. Taylor Heinicke & Ariana Arenson, CMHS, def. Alicia Cruz & Jana Sherif, GWHS, 6-3, 6-4.