Mavis Edwards had to beat a defending state runner-up to win a regional championship last week. Friday, she beat the same player to give herself a chance at the biggest title of all.
Edwards, a freshman at Bayfield High School who plays for the Durango High School tennis team, won her semifinal match of the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 4A Girls State Tennis Tournament at Pueblo City Park. For the second time in a week, Edwards beat Pueblo West senior Sara Schoenbeck.
Edwards made it look easy Friday, as he beat Schoenbeck 6-4, 6-2. At regionals, Edwards and Schoenbeck went three sets, with Edwards coming out on top 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.
“Last week, it was a really slow match,” Edwards said in a phone interview with The Durango Herald. “I went in thinking I wasn’t going to win. I wasn’t trying to go for too much at the wrong time, and that’s why it was so close at regionals. I wasn’t being aggressive, I guess.
“I still didn’t think I was going to win today. But, as soon as I got there, I got through it in two sets fairly easy.”
The Bayfield freshman will undoubtedly face her toughest test of her high school career Saturday in the finals. She will take on Kent Denver’s Josie Schaffer, the defending state champion who has waltzed through the first three rounds of state with only four games lost. She hasn’t come close to dropping a set, with her closest coming in a 6-2 set win in the semifinals against Cheyenne Mountain sophomore Morgan Hall. She won that match 6-2, 6-0.
“I’ve played her before in doubles,” Edwards said of Schaffer. “She’s really good and can get almost any shot back. I know her style, so we’ll see.”
Durango had another chance in the semifinals Friday. The No. 2 doubles team of Lily Chick and Emily West took on Cheyenne Mountain’s Ariana Arenson and Taylor Heinicke. The Durango duo fell 6-4, 7-5 in a mighty test against the pair from the top team in Class 4A. But Chick and West got a second chance in the playbacks and defeated the Greeley West team of Alicia Cruz and Jana Sherif 7-5, 6-2 to advance to the third-place match Saturday.
“Cheyenne Mountain was really good and probably the team that will end up winning,” Chick said. “We thought we could beat them, and we were frequently at deuce, but they were really good.
“In playbacks, we actually went down 2-5 before we won that first set 7-5. We had a rough patch in the beginning because we were still upset about losing to Cheyenne, but we came back and changed everything around.”
Chick and West will face Niwot’s Amanda Duquette and Erin O’Neill in the third-place match.
DHS sophomore Emma Hackett also had a chance in the playbacks at No. 3 singles after falling in the quarterfinals. She won her first playback match 7-5, 6-0 against Jess Ennis of Montrose, but she fell 6-0, 6-1 to Kent Denver’s Maeve Kearney in her second playback to fall a little short of a chance to play for third place.
The No. 4 doubles team of Durango’s Camille Jacobs and Emma Vogel also had a chance in playbacks, but they fell to Mullen’s team of Angelica Garcia and Andrea Zaragoza to end their tournament.