FORT COLLINS — First year Monarch girls tennis coach Mark Reuter hangs on every point, be it his No. 1 singles player down to his No. 4 doubles team.
He is passionate about the sport and, just over a month into the season, it is starting to bleed over to his young team.
One year after the Coyotes won all of one dual, they improved to 4-1 this season after Wednesday's 4-3 triumph over Fort Collins on yet another breezy spring day.
"I am proud of the whole team. We are finding ways to win and pull these matches out and I'm just really happy for all the girls," Reuter said. "Even the ones that lost today, they played some good matches and they are hitting the ball well."
One of those losses was his own daughter, Allie Reuter, at No. 2 singles. A junior, Allie Reuter lost to the Lambkins' Delsie Johnson, 7-6 (5), 6-2.
There is a really thin line between the coach/player and father/daughter dynamic between the Reuter's. Mark even consulted Allie before he took the position to make sure that everything would be kosher.
And it has been thus far. Mark's knowledge of the game has been palpable throughout the entire Coyotes team that seems to be getting better every time they have the fortune of getting out on the court.
"We get along very well. He is very passionate about tennis and so am I," said Allie Reuter, who played her freshman year at Fairview before transferring to Monarch last season. "He knows me well and he knows how to pick me up when I need help. He gives good advice and I haven't had a problem so far.
"I think he has brought a new level of energy to our team. He knows the sport, he knows how to help people and he has created a good team and that is a good change for us."
The Coyotes were dominant on the doubles side of things on Wednesday. The No. 1 doubles pairing of Ana Pacheco and Sinead Heaney rolled to a straight set victory over Karina Pedroza and Mona Dai, 7-6 (3), 6-3.
Mark Reuter, who raved about the success of his No. 3 pairing, got another big win from the tandem of Jana Gresser and Mari Pacheco 6-2, 6-4 in their match.
And with everything on the line and the dual knotted up 3-3, the Coyotes No. 4 doubles team of Sam Malott and Kenzie Nelson cliched the victory with a 6-0, 7-6 (2) win over Emma Byrne and Rachel Weiss.
"This was a good match, a tight one," said Mark Reuter, who watched his No. 4 team rally from a 4-3 deficit in the second to force the tiebreaker. "It was closer than I expected, but I am happy to take the win."
Monarch's No. 1 singles player Jenna Nguyen did not face Fort Collins' usual No. 1, Taylor Campos — who rolled her ankle in a match last week — instead she drew junior varsity player Cammie Park and rolled to a 6-1, 6-0 win.
Monarch 4, Fort Collins 3
At Fort Collins
Singles — 1. Jenna Nguyen, Monarch def. Cammie Park, 6-1, 6-0; 2. Delsie Johnson, Fort Collins def. Allie Reuter, 7-6 (5), 6-2; 3. Emily Hay-Arthur, Fort Collins def. Madison Risi, 6-4, 6-0.
Doubles — 1. Ana Pacheco/Sinead Heaney, Monarch def. Karina Padroza/Mona Dai, 7-6 (3), 6-3; 2. Nicole Pihlstrom/Holly Faust, Fort Collins def. Sarah Mautz/Laura Cook, 6-3, 6-4; 3. Jana Gresser/Mari Pacheco, Monarch def. Katie Carlson/Paige Lowry, 6-2, 6-4; 4. Sam Malott/Kenzie Nelson, Monarch def. Emma Byrne/Rachel Weiss, 6-0, 7-6 (2).