PUEBLO - An Tran and Brianna Bartlett are going to get a shot at redemption.
The Holy Family duo reached the No. 3 doubles state championship match by beating Mullen's Maia Morrissey and Mikayla Phelps 6-4, 6-2.
It's the second year in a row that Tran and Bartlett have reached the final match. Last year they fell to D'Evelyn's Trinity Payne and Cammy Lee 6-3, 6-1.
After coming so close a year ago, the team has every intention of feeding off of that loss and taking first place.
"It was huge for them to get that close and be able to taste it and to get back here," Tigers coach Brittany Storgaard said. "We didn't know if they were going to be partners again. They ended up as partners and all season from that moment we had our sights set on it, for the whole team, but especially for those two. They're a special team."
Tran and Bartlett fought their way to a win in the first set, then wasted no time in trying to seize control in the second.
In the first game of the second set, they broke the Mullen serve, putting all the momentum behind them.
"Our momentum and motivation pushed it more," Tran said. "It really flowed."
After taking a 5-2 lead in the second set, they ventured over the fence to get some final words of encouragement from Storgaard. They knew that the hardest game to win in any tennis match is the final one.
But they cruised through to take it and now find themselves with another chance at a top finish. Last year's loss doesn't so much haunt them as it does help them understand what it takes to come away a winner.
"I think a lot of it is a mental game," Bartlett said. "Last year, I was super nervous because we had never gotten this far and this year, we're just ready for it. We've been practicing our mental game all year and it's just kind of staying in the point and staying ready."
Niwot's Taylor Thulson also had a chance to reach the finals, but she lost her No. 2 singles match to Cheyenne Mountain's Daniela Adamczyk 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.
In the third set, up 5-3, Thulson had two chances at a match point, but couldn't shut the door and Adamczyk was able to fight her way and take the set.
"Going into the match, I wanted it so bad," Thulson said. "I wanted to get to the state finals. When I had match point, that's all I was thinking about and I think that's what cost me. I got ahead of myself."
Thulson beat Air Academy's Cori Campbell 6-0, 6-2 in the playback round to earn a shot at third place.
Holy Family's Paige Giltner and Lindsey Bouine won a No. 1 doubles playback and will also have a shot at third place as will Dawson School's Liv Cramer and Nicole Hilton in No. 4 doubles.
Class 4A State Tournament
At Pueblo City Park
Team scores — Cheyenne Mountain 69, Kent Denver 56, Pueblo West 30, Discovery Canyon 29, Colorado Academy 21, Holy Family 16, D'Evelyn 14, Niwot 12, Palmer Ridge 11, Eaton 8, Dawson School 4, Peak to Peak 1, Longmont 0.
No. 1 Singles — Schoenbeck, Pueblo West def. Edwards, Colorado Academy 6-2, 4-6, 6-4; Schaffer, Kent Denver def. Hall, Cheyenne Mountain 7-6, 6-1.
No. 2 Singles — Kuntzelman, Discovery Canyon def. Mease, Colorado Academy 7-5, 5-7, 7-5; Adamczyk, Cheyenne Mountain def. Thulson, Niwot 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.
No. 3 Singles — Bronston, Kent Denver def. Dibble, Cheyenne Mountain 6-3, 6-2; McCarthy, Pueblo West def. Rottwell, Palmer Ridge 6-1, 6-2.
No. 1 Doubles — Kearney/Schlatter, Kent Denver def. Leafgren/Harper, Eaton 7-5, 6-2; Ahrendsen/Arenson, Cheyenne Mountain def. Smith/McCurdy, Discovery Canyon 6-1, 6-0.
No. 2 Doubles — Casey/Jones, Discovery Canyon def. Lee/Dean, D'Evelyn 6-0, 6-1; Geisz/Metz, Cheyenne Mountain def. Kemp/Haifleigh, Kent Denver 7-5, 6-2.
No. 3 Doubles — Milka/Arenson, Cheyenne Mountain def. Bragg/Hawkey, Kent Denver 6-2, 6-2; Tran/Bartlett, Holy Family def. Morrisey/Phelps, Mullen 6-4, 6-2.
No. 4 Doubles — Wallace/Heincke, Cheyenne Mountain def. Halverson/Van der Torre, University 6-4, 6-2; Hayes/Doyle, Kent Denver def. Jones/Moinar, D'Evelyn 7-5, 3-6, 7-5.
No. 2 Doubles - Chelsey Geisz/Jessica Metz (Cheyenne Mountain) def. Ellie Beeck/Maddie Fagundo 6-2 6-2.
No. 4 Doubles - Liv Cramer/Nicole Hilton def. Samantha Ploughman/Camie Hall (Canon City) 6-3 6-0; Cramer/Hilton def. Lindsey Halverson/Liz Van er Torre (University) 6-2 4-6 6-4.
No. 1 Doubles - Paige Giltner/Lindsey Bouine def. Allie Freeburg/Jessica Ennis (Montrose) 6-2 6-4; Giltner/Bouine def. Sydney Smith/Lizzie McCurdy (Discovery Canyon) 7-6 3-6 6-1.
No. 3 Doubles - An Tran/Brianna Bartlett def. Maia Morrissey/Mikayla Phelps (Mullen) 6-4 6-2.
No. 1 Singles - Julia Pentz def. Emma Morrissey (St. Mary's Academy) 6-3 7-5; Tara Edwards (Colorado Academy) def. Pentz 6-4 6-2.
No. 2 Singles - Daniela Adamczyk (Cheyenne Mountain) def. Taylor Thulson 6-4 3-6 7-5; Thulson def. Cori Campbell (Air Academy) 6-0 6-2.