PUEBLO – Very quickly on Thursday, Palmer Ridge’s lone singles player (Julia Kerr at No. 2) and doubles team (the No. 2 tandem of Scarlett Baskin and Shale Perconti) bowed out of the championship bracket of the Class 4A girls’ state tennis tournament at Pueblo City Park.
Once a loss is registered, the waiting game for a playback opportunity begins. The earlier the setback, the longer the wait. That wait ended upon the completion of the semifinal round late Friday morning.
Then, Palmer Ridge came to the realization that their season had no more matches. Because they lost to a player/team that did not ultimately reach the championship, there was no playback offered.
As it turned out, Palmer Ridge was the only Pikes Peak region team not “lucky” enough to get a playback. Singles players for Air Academy, Cheyenne Mountain and Fountain Valley got a second chance, as did doubles teams from Air Academy, Cheyenne Mountain and Discovery Canyon.
In some sports, such as wrestling or small-schools basketball, athletes and teams are guaranteed at least two chances in which to perform.
Not so at the state tennis tournament.
But please, don’t shed tears for the Bears.
“I don’t mind this format,” Palmer Ridge coach Sheri Hiester said. “My kids are really motivated to get to the next round next year. It’s the top tournament for the season. They need to play at the highest level, or they go home. I think that makes it special.”