What Fort Lupton High School girls tennis coach Christy Blanchard lacks in numbers, she thinks she makes up for in team energy.
Because of the pandemic and resulting late start to the season, the Bluedevils have eight players on the roster. Five showed up for a match against Skyview May 6 in Thornton. SHS won it 5-2.
"They have a great attitude. They work hard," Blanchard said. "Several of our players are participating in other sports and activities."
One player missed the Skyview match because of a band concert.
"Our team gelled instantly," Blanchard said. "The girls came together as a unit. It makes it more fun when they are enthusiastic and want to do more. They cheer each other on. If someone makes a fabulous hit, everyone is cheering. It makes it more fun."
FLHS' No. 1 singles player Tiffany Garcia won her match against Skyview's Ashelen Mas 2-6, 6-1, 7-5. At No. 3 singles, Gracie Brucato beat Skyview's Karissa King 6-3, 6-1.
"We need some overall confidence in ourselves," Blanchard said. "All of our singles players are playing singles for the first time, and they are all nervous. Today (May 6), they were much more in the groove. They just need time to play."
The normal two weeks of preseason practice weren't available this spring because of the backed-up high-school sports seasons.
"We're trying to teach them they don't have to rush through, that things aren't as fast as they think," Blanchard said. "The big thing is getting them the time to be able to play. We only had one week to practice, and now we're starting matches. We didn't get the couple of weeks of challenge matches."
FLHS is due to host Thornton at 4 p.m. Monday, May 17.
"Our goal is to focus on enjoying the sport of tennis," Blanchard said. "It's not wins and losses. Some schools decided to cut their program because of a lack of turnout. These ladies are willing to play the sport of tennis. They love it. even if they swing and miss, they are willing to try again.
"They need a season, no matter the numbers," Blanchard added. "Today, we had five players. They still played it out."
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