During a pause in the beginning of a tight third set, Berthoud’s head tennis coach, Leigh Vitasek, leaned toward the chain-link fence that separated her and sophomore Emily Marty and said some inspiring words.
“It looks like you’re playing to win,” Vitasek said. “Just keep it up.”
Marty came back from a first-set loss, 6-2, against Eaton’s Myiah Scott, taking the second set 6-2, which tied the match at one set a piece. Marty put herself in a position to win, Tuesday, at Berthoud High School’s dual match against Eaton, but her opponent just didn’t let up. Ultimately, the third set ended in Scott’s favor with the same score as the first, 6-2. It was Marty’s first loss of the season, and, despite the loss, Marty still smiled after the match.
“It was a tough match,” Marty said, “She is a really good opponent.
“I had high hopes coming into today,” Marty said. “I knew it was going to be a tough match, but I was looking forward to it.”
Marty said she’ll use the loss to fuel her going into Thursday’s match against another tough 4A Region 4 team, Windsor.
“She makes me want to improve my game,” Marty said.
According to Vitasek, the first-year singles player has improved greatly this year.
“She improves every time she steps out on the court,” Vitasek said.
Undefeated Eaton proved a very tough opponent, defeating Berthoud 7-0, and handing the Spartans their first league loss of the season. Eaton was in first place in 4A Region 4 standings coming in to Tuesday’s match against Berthoud and remains at the top of the list with a 4-0 league record. Berthoud is 3-2 overall and 2-1 in league play.
Another undefeated Spartan going in to Tuesday, Hannah Nash, lost in straight sets to Eaton’s Miranda Siemens, 6-0, 6-4. However, despite not winning a set in the first set, Nash fought in the second match, making Siemens work for the win.
As well, the Spartans’ no. 1 singles, Emmie Wellems, entered the day 3-1. She also walked away with another loss after the day’s closest match against Abigail Sanford ended 7-5, 6-2.
Wellems’ first match started out slow, down 3-0 to Sanford, but she came back to within one game, bringng the score to 5-4. Wellems and Sanford had never played prior to Tuesday’s meeting, but Wellems said she looked forward to the match.
“[Sanford] is a great player,” Wellems said. “It felt good, and I hope to see her again in regionals so I can play her again.”
The loss brought the senior’s season to 3-2, but she didn’t let it get her down. And she, too, is focused on Windsor.
“Thursday, I hope its 4-2,” she said.
According to Vitasek, the team knew before Tuesday’s match that Eaton would be tough to overcome.
“Eaton is always tough,” she said. “They always have a good team.”
Wellems said that every year she’s played tennis for Berthoud, Eaton is always a challenge that the Spartans look forward to.
“Generally, they’re our toughest match of the year,” she said.
The Spartans will use Tuesday’s dual loss to fuel them going into Thursday’s dual at Windsor. The contest starts at 3:30 p.m.