GREELEY — Dawson senior Maggie Berry has has not lost a set all year, and she’s determined to keep that streak.
“It’s definitely been in my mind,” Berry said. “When you’re on a roll, if I lose a set it’s okay, but there’s a part of me that’s like, ‘I’ve got to keep up this streak.’ People normally tell me that I play like I’m in a rush to get somewhere.”
If Berry keeps the streak during the Class 3A state tournament, she will do something no player at Dawson has done before — win an individual girls tennis state championship.
“That would be amazing and very humbling to be the first champion,” Berry said. “I’d love to be that, so hopefully I can rest up and play my best tomorrow.”
Well, Berry is already doing something she herself has never done before.
“It’s going really well,” Berry said. “I’m really enjoying being here with the team and having their support and supporting them. Everyone that I’ve played has been so nice. Overall, it’s been a joyous experience.”
This is the first year Berry has qualified for state, and what a ride it has been.
She took down St. Mary’s Academy’s Sarah Emmanuel 6-1, 6-1 and Fountain Valley’s Delaney DeMott 6-0, 6-1 to get to the semifinals.
“What’s working for me, I think, is not letting the other players and cheers get to my mind,” Berry said. “Just sort of isolating myself. Also, analyzing my opponent’s plays early on in the game and adjusting mine to oppose theirs.”
Berry then beat Holy Family senior Lindsey Bovine 6-1, 6-3 to advance to the finals of No. 3 singles.
“That match was all about consistency. She was a very consistent player,” Berry said. “I tend to be a consistent player as well, so it was really long games. It bubbled down to who could last longest. Who could keep it in the longest. And, occasionally getting up to the net and sneaking in those slice valleys.”
At times, Berry had to stop serving to wait and give Bovine time to get set.
“I play fast,” Berry said. “I don’t know why because there’s no rush, but it’s how I play. I like to be speedy.”
Berry’s speedy play has Dawson in a great position. She’ll play Rachel Molnar from D’Evelyn for the No. 3 singles title.
Freshman Bridget Bell also has a shot to be the first individual champion after she advanced to the No. 2 singles finals over Steamboat Springs’ Maddie Thompson.
D’Evelyn leads team race heading into final day
D’Evelyn distanced itself from the field early on Friday after three teams were locked at the top to start the day, but Colorado Academy stormed back in playbacks to close the lead.
Heading into the final day of the 3A girls tennis state tournament, D’Evelyn is in the lead with 51 points. Colorado Academy and Dawson are in second and third with 49 and 44, respectively.
Colorado Academy will need to do some work Saturday to steal the team title from D’Evelyn as the Jaguars have a firm grip on the competition. The Mustangs have three players in the finals, while D’Evelyn has five. The two teams will face off in No. 4 doubles as Charity Perks and Keri Jennings take on Alexandra Ford and Story Wolf-Tinsman.
Steamboat Springs’ Mae Thorp will face off against Colorado Academy’s Sammy Moore-Thomson for the No. 1 singles title. Both Thorp and Moore-Thomson are freshmen.
In No. 1 doubles, it’s Eaton’s Courtney Leafgren and Shelby Naill vs. D’Evelyn’s Angi Reed and Taylor Whatley.
Eaton has not had a doubles champion since 1996.
The No. 2 singles matchup is set with Colorado Academy junior Savannah Mease vs. Bell.
The last singles champion for Colorado Academy was Jessika Mozia in 2012.
D’Evelyn’s No. 2 doubles tandum Cammy Lee and Elisa Dean face Holy Family’s Maren Steiner and Caroline Smolky.
Holy Family has two runner-up finishes in doubles, but has not been able to break through to win the title. Brianna Barlett and An Tran were the last tandem to make it to the title.
D’Evelyn and Holy Family will again be matched up in the No. 3 doubles title with Maggie Hime/Olivia Sanders vs. Leah Schwartz/Camilla Ruiz.