On one of the recent snowy afternoons, when Holy Family coach Brittany Storgaard and her team were scheduled for a match, they instead found themselves — once again this season — inside trying to make the best of it.
This go-round the Tigers team sat down and wrote themselves notes about what they expected out of themselves and the rest of their team as the season headed into its most important stretch ... the regional and state tournament.
"Something that has been really special about this year is that we've had an incredible team spirit," said Storgaard, whose team's biggest regular season tournament of the year, the Colorado Academy Invitational, was called off on Saturday.
"We spend a lot of time in these really close dual matches and tournaments talking about how every point and every game you play, you play for your teammates who are counting on you to play your position well ... and everyone has taken that to heart."
It starts at the top for the Tigers. The singles trio of Tori Montoya (No. 1), Julia Giltner (No. 2) and Elly Beyer (No. 3) have lead the way for Holy Family this year, a team that has gone undefeated in dual matches and owns victories at both the Broomfield and Longmont Invitational.
The positive energy that Storgaard called "magical" has fed down to the doubles teams too. And those pairings, including the No. 3 team of An Tran and Brianna Bartlett — who finished runners-up at No. 4 doubles at state in Pueblo last season — are the ones that are going to score the big time points for the Tigers at the regional and state tournaments.
The confidence has been high since the beginning of the season. Dual wins against 5A Arvada West and then strong teams from University and Eaton have propelled the Tigers to an unbeaten regular season.
"Those were huge and we knew going into the season that we had those matches right away, so we worked really hard in the preseason and had that in the front of our mind that, especially that Eaton match, was going to be the league championship right off the bat," Storgaard said. "It was one of the most dedicated preseason we've ever had, just keeping that in mind."
Holy Family will get one more challenging dual on Monday against D'Evelyn, a team they would have seen at the CA Invite before heading to the regional tournament in Boulder at CU's South Courts on Wednesday and Thursday.
Expectations heading in are realistic but doable and Storgaard knows her team will be more than prepared for the most grueling two weeks of the season.
"This is one of the most solid ladders that we've had in a long time and we know we've got big challenges with Niwot's No. 1 and 2 singles as well as Peak to Peak," she said. "Every single team has a chance to pull their doubles through, so we are just trying to prepare everybody to bring their best and to leave everything on the court."
Action gets underway on Wednesday morning at 8 a.m. and the tournament which includes all the local 4A BoCo teams will get through a majority of the tournament before wrapping up at the same time on Thursday with championship and consolation rounds.