PLAYERS TO KNOW

Angela Cai, Jr., Fairview: Made the finals at No. 3 singles last year, and will be an asset to the Knights wherever she plays this season.

Annie Chen, Jr., Boulder: Missed almost all of last season after tearing her rotator cuff early in the spring.

Elsa Erickson, Sr., Silver Creek: A coaches dream-come-true. Erickson will have to battle her way through arguably one of the toughest regionals in the state to return to the state tournament for the first time in two seasons.

Natalie Munson, Sr., Fairview: Maybe this is the year for the Knights senior, who has three times finished a runner-up at No. 2 singles.

Julia Pentz, So., Niwot: The Cougars top player would love nothing more that to improve on her semifinal last season.

Taylor Thulson, So., Niwot: Place third in her freshman season at No. 2 singles for the Cougars, who have a very talented and deep roster this season.

Brianna Bartlett, Sr. and An Tran, So., Holy Family: Made history for the Tigers by becoming the first tandem to ever make the championship match in Pueblo. and ultimately finished as the state runner-up at No. 4 doubles.

Caroline Roberts, Sr. and Ellie Savage, Jr., Fairview: The same duo that finished as a runner-up in 2014 at No. 4 doubles bumped up two positions and finished in the same spot last season at No. 2. It'll be fun to see them team up for one more go in 2016.


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POSTSEASON INFORMATION

Note: Regional tournaments must be completed by May 7. In Class 5A, only regional host sites are determined before the season. Regional assignments are based on league finish.

4A REGION 4 — At Eaton, Local team: Mead.

4A REGION 5 — At Niwot. Local teams: Centaurus, Dawson School, Erie, Frederick, Holy Family, Longmont, Peak to Peak, Silver Creek, Skyline.

4A STATE TOURNAMENT: May 12-14 at Pueblo City Park, Pueblo.

5A STATE TOURNAMENT: May 12-14 at Gates Tennis Center, Denver.

TEAM-BY-TEAM OUTLOOK

BOULDER PANTHERS

Coach: Elizabeth Korevaar (2nd season).

Last year: Did not score at Class 5A state tournament.

Returning state qualifiers: Annie Chen, Jr. (No. 1 singles).

Others to watch: Anna Degolier (Sr.); Katherine Lapp (So.); Gwen Lohman (Jr.); Halonah Paiss (Sr.).

Outlook: The Panthers were hit hard by graduation, but Chen returns from a missed season due to a torn rotator cuff. Her presence at the top of the line-up will bring stability to the Panthers squad that will have to rebuild on the fly.

BROOMFIELD EAGLES

Coach: Tara Tovar (3rd season).

Last year: Did not score at Class 5A state tournament.

Returning state qualifiers: Sydnie Ho (So.), Ana Horvath (So.).

Others to watch: Madi Clements (Sr.); Katie Herby (So.); Sarah Huh (Sr.).

Outlook: "Our team is looking very strong. We have the entire team returning sans two players and we have a lot of talented freshmen coming into the program. We have great leadership at our senior level and strong and talented players to back them up," Tovar said. "Our goal this season is to get our whole team to state."

CENTAURUS WARRIORS

Coach: Craig Hoeltgen (4th season).

Last year: Did not score at Class 4A state tournament.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Meghan Donohoe (Sr.); Veva Francisco (Sr.); Kole Lavoy (Jr.); Amy Offerle (Sr.); Kaelen Woodruff (Jr.).

Outlook: "Our young team is looking forward to another great season full of growth and bonding this spring. Many of our athletes and team captains had tremendous off seasons full of fitness training and tennis," Hoeltgen said. "Local tennis pros Chad and Alan Tsuda held an incredible summer camp at the school that served as a springboard for fall training. The varsity squad is eager to return all three singles players."

DAWSON SCHOOL MUSTANGS

Coach: Kathy Benninghoff (8th season).

Last year: Did not score at Class 4A state tournament.

Returning state qualifiers: Quin Ramos (So.); Alexa Rinard (So.).

Others to watch: Isha Banerjee (Jr.); Maddie Fagundo (Sr.).

Outlook: "Dawson tennis expects its final season in 4A to be a strong one, especially at positions near the top of the ladder," Benninghoff said. "Dawson boasts good leadership from its captains and aestheticism at all rungs of the ladder."

ERIE TIGERS

Coach: Paul Drake (2nd year).

Last year: Did not score at Class 4A state tournament.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Anne Fisher (Sr.); Kami Thompson (Jr.).

Outlook: The Tigers are young, but bursting with potential according to Drake. The key for Erie is to get off to a good start and progress from there.

FAIRVIEW KNIGHTS

Coach: Susan Stensrud (12th season).

Last year: Finished 2nd at Class 5A state tournament.

Returning state qualifiers: Angela Cai (Jr.); Natalie Munson (Sr.); Carolyn Roberts (Sr.); Ellie Savage (Jr.); Lily Siegert (Sr.).

Others to watch: Seraphin Castelino (Fr.); Sophie Pearson (Fr.).

Outlook: Plain and simple the Knights are good. Some may contend the void at the top of their line-up will be an issue, but Fairview doesn't rebuild it reloads. Talented incoming freshman mean they will be good to go for a number of seasons. "This is the most hard working, fun and team oriented returning group I've ever had. With experience, depth and talent our goal is to win state this year," Stensrud said.

FREDERICK WARRIORS

Coach: Chelsea Stuval (2nd season).

Last year: Did not score at Class 4A state tournament.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Taylor Jovanavich(Sr.); Jojo Lee (Jr.); Haley Miller (Jr.); Mari Orozco (So.).

Outlook: In just the second year of the program, the Warriors are just trying to take baby steps in terms of competitiveness. The initial returns early on in practice are positive, we shall see how it adds up when the regional tournament rolls around.

HOLY FAMILY TIGERS

Coach: Brittany Storgaard (4th Season).

Last year: Finished 11th at Class 4A state tournament.

Returning state qualifiers: Brianna Bartlett (Sr.); Lindsey Bovine (So.); Ciara Donovan (So.); Paige Giltner (So.); Kristen Holmes (So.); An Tran (So.).

Others to watch: Elly Beyer (Sr.); Julia Giltner (So.), Tori Montoya (Sr.); Sophie Mosko (Sr.); Maren Steiner (Fr.).

Outlook: "We are very excited this year to have a great mix of returning players who are all former state-qualifiers as well as veteran players who have been dedicated to the program for four years and will be making their varsity debuts this season," Storgaard said. "The team is very close with each other and the coaches and we have a great chemistry together already. This is our last year in 4A before the new 3A classification goes into effect, so we're looking to go make one last big statement."

LEGACY LIGHTNING

Coach: Glenn Gielas (9th season).

Last year: Tied for 18th at Class 5A state tournament.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Oceane Andreis (Sr.); Megan Atkins (Sr.); Lilly Long (Sr.); Emily Ng (Sr.).

Outlook: Looking to be competitive with young blood, but tough road being in the Front Range. Said Gielas, who lost half of his varsity squad to graduation: "Want to compete early on with the goal of turning heads at regional play."

LONGMONT TROJANS

Coach: Michael Merz (13th season).

Last year: Tied for 16th at Class 4A state tournament.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Rebecca Eisele (Sr.); Kyra Foote (Sr.); Natalie Garcia (Sr.); Jessie Herold (Sr.); Maddie Jayne (So.); Melanie Reeves (Sr.); Trista Woelfle (Jr.).

Outlook: Said Merz: "We are an athletic veteran team that is willing to do what ever it takes to play competitive tennis and win. Our goal is to get to state and turn heads with our tenacity."

MEAD MAVERICKS

Coach: Dan McGlothlin (2nd season).

Last year: Did not score at Class 4A state tournament.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Sydney Boaz; Eryn Coyle (Jr.); Cara Fitzpatrick (Sr.); Antonia Hanlon (Jr.); Kylie Park; Mandi Platt (Jr.).

Outlook: Said McGlothlin, who lost just one player on his now second year program: "Several of our returning varsity players have taken lessons and clinics in the off season; thus we should be much more competitive this year. Our goal is to win at least half of our matches, which I think is very good for a 2nd year program."

MONARCH COYOTES

Coach: Mark Reuter (1st season).

Last year: Did not score at Class 5A state tournament.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Jenna Nguyen (Jr.).

Outlook: Team only lost two players and this is a good mix of experience and youth. Reuter hopes the incoming freshmen class and an exchange student will provide some depth to an improving roster.

NIWOT COUGARS

Coach: Aimee Keronen (5th season).

Last year: Finished 9th at Class 4A state tournament.

Returning state qualifiers: Amanda Duquette (Jr.); Emma Lerner (Sr.); Erin O'Neil (So.); Julia Pentz (So.); Taylor Thulson (So.); Katie Ziel, (Sr.).

Others to watch: Grace Antonucci (Jr.); Rachel Drake (Fr.); Jewell Ng (So.).

Outlook: The Cougars are deep and they have the type of roster that can make some noise when they head to Pueblo in May. The first step will be defending their regional crown.

PEAK TO PEAK PUMAS

Coach: Eric Farran (3rd season).

Last year: Did not score at Class 4A state tournament.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Trini Somasundaram (Fr.); Trisha Somasundaram(Fr.).

Outlook: The Pumas are young, but have some talent. Farran guided his burgeoning program to a fourth place finish at regionals last year and would love nothing more than to improve on that.

SILVER CREEK RAPTORS

Coach: Kelly Burns (8th season).

Last year: Did not score at Class 4A state tournament.

Returning state qualifiers: Elsa Erickson (Sr.; qualified as a sophomore).

Others to watch: Jenna Nielson; Emily Powell; Jessica Tremolini.

Outlook: Said Burns, who would love nothing more than to get Erickson back to the state tournament: "It should be a fun and interesting year, we are definitely rebuilding and will have a lot of new faces on varsity and not as much experience as we have had in the past. We have great kids, hardworking kids and it will be fun to see how quickly we can get them where they need to be."

SKYLINE FALCONS

Coach: Drew Largo (2nd season).

Last year: Did not score at Class 4A state tournament.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Andrea Rauschmayer (So.); Shelby Roberts (Fr.).

Outlook: Said Largo: "We have a very young team, with up to 12 freshmen joining the team, and only three seniors on the roster. Freshman Shelby Roberts and a much improved Andrea Rauschmayer should give a much needed boost at the singles positions."

Jon Yunt: yuntj@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/JonEYunt