LONGMONT — A year ago, an on-charging opponent presenting a difficult situation might have prompted Skyline High School’s Alexia Spencer to respond a bit differently.
That, however, was a year ago.
Wednesday, Spencer, Skyline’s No. 1 single, withstood a strong comeback attempt by Longmont’s Emily Dewey and won in straight sets, 6-0, 6-3. Spencer’s effort was one of several solid ones turned in by Skyline, which defeated Longmont 5-2. And
Spencer’s win gave a glimpse into what she thinks is her biggest improvement this year — her mental approach.
“I’m keeping my head in the game and not getting my head down,” Spencer said.
“I thought about it (following her 2004 season) and I thought I have to play one point at a time and not think about the last point. Last year I’d get down and end up losing a set and then I’d have to come back and win the next two.”
After losing the first set of their match, Dewey played with more determination and, as Spencer said, more consistency, in the second. The turning point came when the two were tied 3-3. Spencer weathered more than a couple of deuce points and finally broke Dewey to take a 4-3 lead. Spencer did not look back.
The resiliency demonstrated Spencer’s new state of mind.
“I kept my head in the game, and I pumped myself up,” she said.
Spencer, a senior, is entering her second season as Skyline’s top singles player. She won a regional title last year and expects a repeat of that feat to be a larger challenge because this year’s competition is tougher, she said.
But she also harbors higher expectations and wants to enjoy more success — she lost in the first round of state in 2004.
So a little mental fortitude should go a long way toward reaching those goals.
“She just gets it,” Skyline coach Carrie Mitchell said. “She knows she can be in charge of a match and knows what it takes.
“She’s really starting to get that if she loses one point, it’s not the end of the world. She can come back ... That’s the biggest thing — not letting her head get in the way of being successful.”
Others who found success Wednesday for Skyline (1-1) included No. 2 single Ashlee Rugge, who beat Pam Johnson 6-3, 6-1.
“She (Rugge) has really developed her serve this year,” Mitchell said. “It’s become really good.”
Erin Geddis defeated Longmont’s Brittny Roemer 6-2, 2-6, 6-2, giving Skyline a sweep of the singles matches.
On the doubles side, Longmont’s 1 and 4 teams comprised of Kayleigh Weyant and Emily Taylor, and Katie Carver and Michele Prater, won their matches. Longmont coach Mike Merz said he switched lineups among his 2 and 3 doubles and was encouraged with how his whole team played.
“They’re fighting with their hearts, and that’s what I live to see,” Merz said.
Skyline 5, Longmont 2
at Skyline H.S.
No. 1 — Alexia Spencer (S) def. Emily Dewey, 6-0, 6-3.
No. 2 — Ashlee Rugge (S) def. Pam Johnson, 6-1, 6-3.
No. 3 — Erin Geddis (S) def. Brittny Roemer, 6-2, 2-6, 6-2.
No. 1 — Kayleigh Weyant/Emily Taylor (L) def. Rachel Narciso/Amy Cabrera, 7-6 (7-6), 6-2.
No. 2 — Mallory Brumlea/Melissa Jones (S) def. Meghan Mullison/Soshana Blank, 6-1, 6-2.
No. 3 — Jennifer Litzenberger/Alyssia Aguilar (S) Ashley Bailey/Jill Johnson, 6-0, 6-2.
No. 4 — Katie Carver/Michele Prater (L) def. Katie Finke/Tina Senesac, 3-6, 6-2, 7-5.