CHEYENNE – Four individuals and three doubles pairings for the Torrington Trailblazers finished in the top-four at the South regional tournament over the weekend in Cheyenne, including two third-place finishes.
“The team was relentless at regionals and gave opponents strong matches,” coach Lyle Wiley said. “It was some great tennis to watch this weekend. We let a few opportunities slip, but overall the team as a whole competed hard and finished strong.”
Richelle Fitzsimmons had the best placing among the Lady Blazers, finishing third in the No. 2 singles bracket. She won her opening match up against Sasha Bentley (Rock Springs) in two sets, 6-3 and 6-2, before falling to Cheyenne East’s Lexie Woolridge. Fitzsimmons lost the first set, 6-4, before taking the second, 6-4. Woolridge persevered in the third set, winning the match 6-4.
In the consolation bracket, Fitzsimmons went to work, winning her first match against Laramie’s Kyra Wulff in two sets, 6-0 and 6-2 to advance to the third-place match, where she had a rematch against her opening opponent in Bentley. Fitzsimmons again proved victorious over Bentley, winning in two sets (6-2, 7-6).
“Richelle continues to have success with her wall-like approach in matches,” Wiley said. “She just does everything she can to keep the ball in play and make her opponents pay for mistakes. She has a nice draw for state and could go far.”
Emi Glass competed at No. 1 singles for the Lady Blazers, finishing second in the consolation bracket, or fourth overall. She lost her first match against Rawlins’ Kryslin Poppie (Rawlins) in two sets, 6-3 and 6-2. Glass picked up a first-round bye in the lower bracket and advanced to play Laramie’s Ally Franc. Glass snagged her first win of the tournament in two sets (6-2, 6-1), advancing to the third-place match against Anna Larson (Cheyenne East). Larson squeaked out with the win, 7-6 and 6-3.
In doubles action, Aubree Powell and Sera Glass tied for the best finish, taking fourth in the No. 2 doubles bracket. They won their first match of Rock Springs’ pairing in two, 6-0 and 6-0, before losing to the Laramie duo, 6-0 and 6-1, which dropped the two Lady Blazers to the lower bracket. Powell and Glass picked up a win over Cheyenne East’s doubles team (6-4, 6-2), which put them in the third-place match. The Lady Blazers won the first set 6-0 before falling in the next two sets, 6-0 and 7-6.
Kalli Smith and Sydney West (No. 3 doubles) had a similar path to their fourth-place finish as Powell and Glass, with two of their four matches going to three sets. They won their first match over the doubles team from Rock Springs (6-1, 4-6, 6-4) before being bounced from the upper bracket by Cheyenne Central’s duo in two sets, 6-2 and 6-1.
Once in the lower bracket, Smith and West fell in their first set against Rawlins, 6-2, but rallied to win the next two sets, 7-5 and 6-2. In the third-place match, Green River’s pairing bested the Lady Blazers in two sets (6-3, 6-1).
Mia Saucedo and Shelby Luttrell competed at No. 1 doubles, falling in their first match against Cheyenne East’s duo in two sets, 6-4 and 6-3. In the lower bracket, the Lady Blazers bested Laramie’s pairing in two sets (6-3, 7-6), before being eliminated from the bracket by Rock Springs in three sets (6-7, 6-2, 6-0).
As a team, the Lady Blazers amassed 27 points to snag fourth, one point ahead of Laramie. Cheyenne Central took the top spot (67 points), with Cheyenne East (39) and Green River (38) rounding out the top-three.
Like Torrington’s No. 2 girls singles player, Clay Peterson had the best finish among the Blazer boys, taking third in No. 2 singles. He lost his first match of the tournament against Quingfeng Li (Laramie) in three sets, with each sets score sitting at 7-5.
After his first loss, Peterson ran the table in the consolation bracket, winning three-straight matches. He beat Seth Davidson (Cheyenne East) in two sets (6-0, 6-2), followed by a win over Cheyenne South’s Wyatt Ebben in two sets, 6-1 and 6-0. Peterson squared off against John Prevedel in the consolation finals and won in a close two sets, 6-4 and 7-6.
“Clay earned a great draw at the state tournament because of his outstanding play this weekend,” Wiley said. “He was limiting errors and commanding his strokes. He has a change to go far at state this week.”
In the other singles division, Ethan Creagar finished fourth. He won his first match over Green Rivers’ Gregory Marchal in two sets (6-3, 7-5), before falling in the semi-finals of the upper bracket to Brendan Lock (Cheyenne South) in two sets, 6-1 and 6-0. Creagar met Cheyenne East’s Luke Macy in the semi-finals of the lower bracket, winning in two sets, with the score sitting at 6-2 for each set. Brian Joelson (Cheyenne Central) got the best of the Blazer in the third-place match (6-2, 6-3).
“Ethan played some of the finest tennis of his time at THS,” Wiley said. “He ran into two extremely strong opponents who were able to get the win, but Ethan was crushing the ball and setting up the opposition with smart placement and intelligent strategy.”
Kelly Peterson and Brian Fenn had a similar path in the No. 1 doubles bracket that Creagar did in the No. 1 singles bracket. The Torrington duo beat Cheyenne South’s pairing in two sets (6-1, 6-1), before falling to the No. 1 seed from Laramie in two sets, 6-1 and 6-4. Peterson and Fenn beat Cheyenne East’s twosome in the lower bracket (7-5, 6-2) to advance to the third-place game, where they lost in two, 6-2 and 6-3.
In No. 2 doubles action, Levi Wickham and Mason Weis picked up a win before being bounced from action. They lost their opening match to a pairing from Cheyenne South. They bested the Rock Springs duo by a very tight margin in two sets (7-6, 7-6), before losing to Cheyenne East’s No. 2 doubles team in three sets, 6-3, 4-6 and 6-4.
Jaysen Stitt and Mason Brummell were Torrington’s representatives at No. 3 doubles. They lost two matches, falling to Cheyenne Central’s pairing (6-2, 6-2) and Rock Springs’ team (6-0, 6-4).
As a team, the Blazer boys finished fifth, earning 26 points. Cheyenne Central and Laramie tied for the top spot with 52 points apiece, while Green River (38) and Cheyenne South (31) rounded out the top of the leaderboard.
The action in Cheyenne was to decide seedings for the state tournament. The Blazers are set to compete in the state tournament this weekend in Gillette. For full brackets leading up to the weekend of action, check out whsaa.org.