The skies were clear, but there were few bright spots for the Demons on Saturday morning.
A day after storms rained out three matches against Montrose, the Durango High School boys tennis team found itself wishing for a washout in a 7-0 drubbing from Fruita Monument.
"There was an ebb and flow to some of the matches that was tough to figure out," DHS head coach Dave Weisfeldt said. "Some of the players, their rhythm was kind of broken up by the style of play. Fruita's a tough team."
DHS ace Austin Lillard fell 6-4, 6-4 to the Wildcats' Tristan Beck in the main event. The senior struggled to adapt to Beck's nonaggressive play and tried to force the action against an athletic and heady opponent.
"If you can make your opponent hit two, four, six, eight, 10 more balls, you're going to stay in long enough for him to blow it and make a mistake," Weisfeldt said.
"The old saying is you don't change when you're in a game, but it was so neutrally balanced at the set that neither player wanted to take any chances."
Clayton Haidaris, a day after securing his first victory of the season at No. 2 singles before lightning ended play against Montrose at DHS, had no such fortune in a 6-0, 6-1 defeat to Antonio Pestello.
"His spin was all over the place," Weisfeldt said. "Clayton seemed to handle it pretty well, but he was accurate with his placement, too."
Keaton Whitcomb made his official varsity singles debut (he led in a rained-out Friday match) and showed glimpses of a good service game and intelligent movement in a two-set loss to Vinny Castellini.
"It was good to see him hold his own (Friday) and (Saturday)," Weisfeldt said.
All three doubles teams quickly found themselves down a set Saturday, but Kenny Walstedter and Matt Burns managed to snatch one back in their 6-1, 1-6, 6-2 loss to Jace Griffiths and Tanner McKenzie at No. 3.
The top doubles team of Marcus Sansoni and Aidan Graham was beaten 6-2, 6-1 by Chase Martin and Cody Iden, while the No. 2 pair, Luke Galland and Jayson Else, lost 6-3, 6-3 to Ryan Hantzinger and Chad Hotimsky.
With all the other players finished and watching, the No. 4 group of Alex Peters and Tanner Bradshaw was swept 6-0, 6-0 while onlookers were treated to the comic stylings of zany partners Jeff Hoffman and Alex Lickers-Lawson.
Overheard on court from the latter: "Maybe our primary focus should be hitting overheads and keeping them in."
"Maybe we should stop messing up."
"That should be our secondary focus."
Weisfeldt said the lineup still is subject to change with the pending return of a couple of absent players.
"We've got to make do with what we've got," Weisfeldt said. "We'll look at it Monday."
Durango will face rivals Montezuma-Cortez next at 4 p.m. Tuesday in Cortez.