Heras wins collegiate debut
Former CNMI junior player Isabel Heras debuted in collegiate tennis in style after delivering the needed win for Dixie State University.
Heras outlasted Rebecca Osterberg, 6-0, 6-7, 7-6, in the No. 3 singles match—the final of the six singles games between Dixie State and Colorado Mesa—to hand the Trailblazers a tough 4-3 victory in their season opener last Friday (Saturday on Saipan) in Grand Junction in Colorado.
“She was the hero of the team’s win at the start of the season,” said Jeff Race, who informed Saipan Tribune of Heras’ memorable singles triumph.
Her three-set victory over Osterberg made up for Heras’ loss in the earlier doubles match. The Commonwealth player, who is on an athletic scholarship with the Dixie State, teamed up with Yolena Carlon in the No. 1 doubles event and they were beaten by Kristen Kirby and Emily Beckley, 8-6. Colorado Mesa also won in the No. 3 doubles with Osterberg and Taylor Hershey topping Polly Evans and Juliana Honczaruk, 8-2, for a 1-0 lead (only point is awarded to the team that wins the doubles event), going into the singles competitions. Kyra Harames and Megan Lynch prevailed in No. 2 doubles tiff against Georgia Hansen and Maike Waldburger for the Trailblazers’ lone doubles win.
Lynch also took care of her singles assignment (No.4), giving Dixie State the first victory after sweeping Hansen, 6-2, 6-2. Next up were Hattie Erekson and Hershey at No. 6 singles and the former triumphed for the Trailblazers’ 2-1 advantage. Harames made it a 3-1 lead when she downed Emily Beckley in the No. 2 singles, 6-3, 1-6, 6-3.
After coasting to three straight victories in the singles event, Dixie State was derailed in the next two games. Walburger snapped the Trailblazers’ streak when she rallied past Honczaruk in the No. 5 singles, 0-6, 6-4, 6-3. Kirby also needed three sets to defeat Carlon, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2, and the latter’s win tied the match for only the second time and put Heras on spotlight, as her No. 3 singles duel against Osterberg was the decider in the exciting season-opening game for the opposing squads.
The Dixie State rookie went on to deliver under pressure, stunning the favored sophomore with a shutout win in the first set before they went back and forth in the last two. Heras completed her upset over Osterberg by prevailing in the extended second and third sets.
After the tough win over the Mavericks, Heras and company were scheduled to play against Colorado College yesterday, also in Grand Junction. Heras and the Trailblazers from St. George, Utah are competing in the Pacific West Conference in NCAA Division II along with 13 other schools in California, Hawaii, and Utah. Dixie State, earlier last week, was scheduled to challenge Metro State-Denver and CSU-Pueblo, but the games were canceled and will be reset on a later date.