Avery Leonard and Gemma Hill have Aspen High girls tennis back at state tournament – The Aspen Times

Junior Avery Leonard, left, and senior Gemma Hill stop for a picture on Tuesday, May 10, 2022, during practice at Aspen Meadows Resort. The two will represent the Aspen High School girls tennis team at the state tournament in Colorado Springs.Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

The intensity of the Class 3A state tournament might hit harder w…….

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Junior Avery Leonard, left, and senior Gemma Hill stop for a picture on Tuesday, May 10, 2022, during practice at Aspen Meadows Resort. The two will represent the Aspen High School girls tennis team at the state tournament in Colorado Springs.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

The intensity of the Class 3A state tournament might hit harder when the players finally step on the court, but heading into Thursday’s opening round it seems the most pressure-packed matches of the season are already behind both Avery Leonard and Gemma Hill.

The duo will represent the Aspen High School girls tennis team in the spring finale in Colorado Springs, with results there having little impact on the overall success of the season for the AHS players.

“I’m really excited. I feel like when you go to regionals there is a lot more pressure, because if you do bad you don’t qualify for states and you are done,” Leonard said during Tuesday’s practice session at Aspen Meadows Resort. “Then at states, there is nothing else to qualify for, so I don’t really feel any pressure toward it. I’m just going to go and have fun and obviously try my hardest to do well, but if I don’t it’ll be OK, too.”



Leonard, a junior, is the team’s No. 1 singles player, while Hill, a senior, plays at No. 2 singles. Both finished second in the regional tournament held last week in Grand Junction to qualify for the state tournament, which is being played at Memorial Park in Colorado Springs beginning Thursday and running through Saturday.

“I’m feeling good about it,” Hill said. “I love all the girls that play tennis, and I have a lot of friends on different teams that will be there, which will be super fun to see them and support them as well. I think the whole thing is exciting.”



Leonard, the daughter of noted professional golfer Justin Leonard, took over as the team’s top player after moving up from No. 3 singles as a sophomore. Last spring was her first year playing competitive tennis — keep in mind the 2020 season was canceled because of the pandemic — and Leonard made the state tournament, winning her first match before bowing out in the quarterfinals.

She admits the move up to No. 1 singles has been difficult, but her own skills with a racket have made a similar jump forward.

“It’s definitely been more challenging. But I’ve also grown in my game significantly since last year. I played all winter. So it’s been a lot of fun,” Leonard said. “Just going into this season knowing what was coming, …….

Source: https://www.aspentimes.com/sports/leonard-hill-have-aspen-high-girls-tennis-back-at-state-tournament/

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