Nobody would blame Steamboat Springs freshman Allison Griffing if she was a little star-struck as she walked off the tennis court following her first state tennis tournament.
She had just witnessed, either first-hand or courtside, some of the best tennis players in the state putting it all on the line at last weekend's state tennis tournament at the Gates Center in Pueblo. And she is ready to go back.
"I was very happy with the way I played," Griffing said. "I'm looking forward to going back and trying to do even better."
The Steamboat Springs freshman said the state tournament opened her eyes to the quality of tennis players at the high school level in the state and how things can change when you are playing for a state title.
"That Cheyenne Mountain team was great. All around, they had amazing players," Griffing said.
Griffing said that she ran into a tough match against Andrea Ackerman a player she had beaten earlier in the year.
Ackerman won the first set in a tie-breaker. But Griffing rebounded to take the next two sets and advance to the quarterfinals.
"After losing that set I came out really strong," Griffing said. "I knew I had to win if I wanted to take it to three (sets)."
In the second round, Griffing ran into another familiar foe in Eaton's Carlee Carpio. Griffing had lost to the Eaton player a couple of weeks ago at the Northern Colorado Tournament in Loveland.
"I felt like I was pretty well prepared," Griffing said. "I was pumped for the match."
But Carpio also took her game to another level, topping Griffing in straight sets 6-0, 6-2.
Griffing came back to beat a player from Liberty in the consolation bracket, but fell to Pueblo Centennial's Regina Cuputo just short of the consolation championships (for third place) and was eliminated for the tournament. Cuputo fell to Dakota Ridge's Renee Nuccio to finish fourth. Griffing finished in a tie for fifth.
Cheyenne Mountain won the 4A team title at the championships with 58 total points. Kent Denver was second with 48 and Mullen was third with 38 points. Griffing, the only representative from Steamboat, earned two points for her team.
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