‘She left her mark’: Steamboat freshman learns a lot in competitive loss at state
COLORADO SPRINGS — Steamboat Springs freshman Evan Quinn was having a rough go of it in her first state tournament appearance. The young player was facing Ellie Hartman, a junior out of St. Mary’s in the No. 1 Singles bracket.
Quinn fell 6-1 in the first set and was down 3-0 in the second. No one would have blamed her for getting down on herself and succumbing to the deficit.
Instead, Quinn spoke with her coach, Eliot Guin, and returned to the court with an entirely new mindset.
“I tried to remind Evan of the situation that she’s a freshman playing No. 1 singles at state and that’s a huge win,” said Guin.
That little reminder was all Quinn needed to come back with a new energy.
“It was remembering the fact that I have nothing to lose really,” Quinn said. “Like Eliot said, ‘You’ve already won by coming here. You have nothing to lose right now.’”
With that, she started making a comeback. She was still down 4-1, but Hartman started showing signs of doubt.
Quinn noticed the St. Mary’s player had a strong backhand, so she kept placing the ball on her high forehand. Hartman fumbled more often. Quinn came back to win 6-4. To tie the match at one set a piece.
In the third set, Quinn and Hartman were evenly matched, but experience eventually put the St. Mary’s player on top 6-4.
“I think Evan’s fight and grit and resilience go there in the second set. That was her edge, but the other girl clearly had more experience,” Guin said. “Those big points, she went for it and that’s what got her through.”
With the loss, Quinn was done in the first round, but there was still a lot to be said for the competitive nature of the loss. The Sailor was the only one to force a third set in the first round. Every other player who advanced one in straight sets.
“A lot of coaches were coming up and complimenting her game. The fact that she’s a freshman and shows that much fight, she left her mark.”
So despite the loss, Quinn only gained more confidence from her state experience. She’s already looking forward to going back next year and knows to be more sure of herself and the abilities that got her to state in the first place.
“I know I can hang in with those people,” she said. “I’m definitely on their level, I just have to have the confidence to play that way.”
“Eliot’s super supportive. He’s such a cool coach,” Quinn added. “I’m super grateful for everything he’s done for me. He’s definitely changed my game, and my mental game as well.”
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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