CSCS senior reaches 3A tournament semifinals
At Greeley: Colorado Springs Christian School senior Nicole Pei is into the semifinals of the No. 3 singles 3A state tennis tournament.
Pei battled to a 7-6, 7-5 win over Eaton’s Darcie Kaiser in the first round, then defeated Idalia Jackson of the Vanguard School 6-2, 6-2 in the quarterfinals at Centennial Park in Greeley.
Pei, the Region 6 champion, next faces D’Evelyn’s Rachel Molnar, who also hasn’t dropped a set in the state tournament. Their match is Friday morning.
Pei is the only player from the Pikes Peak region to advance to the semifinals in the inaugural 3A tournament.
Pei also beat Jackson in a dual match earlier this season.
Colorado Academy, D’Evelyn and Dawson are tied for first place in the team standings with 16 points each after the first day.
Indians No. 1 singles rallies in quarterfinals
Cheyenne Mountain No. 1 singles player Morgan Hall had to battle back after underestimating her 4A state quarterfinals opponent from Niwot, prevailing 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 at Pueblo City Park in Pueblo.
The third set was a nail-biter for the sophomore, who trailed 40-love with the set tied at 5-5.
"That's stepping up there because that was a big game there," coach Dave Adams said. "It's very hard to come back when down 6-5. I am very proud of how she battled back."
That gritty comeback was needed because Hall had defeated Niwot's Taylor Thulson earlier this season 6-2, 6-2 after the junior had traveled to Colorado Springs on a lengthy bus ride.
Thulson wasn't ready to play Hall then and Hall wasn't mentally dialed in to face her on Thursday.
"It's a good lesson to learn because at every level, if you don't take an opponent seriously, it can come back and bite you," Adams said.
It's a message he hopes the rest of the Indians heed after all seven entrants advanced to the semifinals to jump start their bid for another state championship.
"I'm very pleased with where we're at right now," Adams said. "But we have a lot of work ahead."
Rampart junior flying solo into semifinals
Rams junior No. 3 singles player Grace Qiu advanced to her first semifinals in her rookie trip to the state tournament.
She is pleased to have downed Palmer Ridge's Emma Kerr 6-3, 6-0 but a little disappointed to be the only Ram in Pueblo.
"It's a little disappointing but it's hard to mope when there are so many awesome players here to watch," she said.
Pine Creek senior hopes for another chance
Eagles No. 3 singles player Amy Wang knows the odds are pretty good that she could qualify for consolation play Saturday afternoon after losing to well-regarded Valor Christian freshman Isabella Pacheco in the quarterfinals by a 6-2, 6-2 margin.
She would advance if Pacheco defeats Qiu in Friday's semifinal.
"I am hopeful she can pull me along," said the class valedictorian, who is enrolled at Cal Tech for the fall. "I did the best I could against a strong player. I forced a lot of deuces so I am happy with how I played. I just hope I get the chance to play at least one more match as a senior."