PLAYERS TO WATCH

Seraphin Castelino, So., Fairview: The reigning BoCoPreps.com Player of the Year will miss some matches early to make sure that she is 100 percent to make a run at defending her Class 5A No. 1 singles crown.

Rachel Drake, So., Niwot: Would like nothing more than to place at No. 3 singles for the Cougars.

Sophie Pearson, So., Fairview: Her dramatic win at No. 3 singles last years helped the Knights to a state title.

Julia Pentz, Jr., Niwot: Just one part of the Cougars' 1-2-3 singles punch that hope to push Niwot up the team standing in Pueblo.

Madison Risi, Sr., Monarch: Got a taste of the state experience last year at No. 3 singles and looks to help an improving Coyotes squad.

Trini Somasundaram, So., Peak to Peak: Qualified for the 4A state tournament last year at No. 2 singles and will be one of the contenders at the same position this year in Class 3A.

Trisha Somasundaram, So., Peak to Peak: Just missed on a state appearance last year in a loaded regional tournament, but will be among the favorites in Greeley at the new Class 3A tournament.

Taylor Thulson, Jr., Niwot: A two-time state placer at No. 2 singles for the Cougars, Thulson is a threat at whatever position she lands on the Niwot ladder.

POSTSEASON INFORMATION

Note: Regional tournaments must be completed by May 6. In Class 5A, regional assignments are based on league finish.


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4A REGION 5 — At Niwot. Local teams: Centaurus, Longmont, Niwot, Silver Creek, Skyline.

CLASS 3A REGION 2 — At St. Mary's Academy. Local team: Holy Family.

CLASS 3A REGION 3 — At D'Evelyn. Local team: Prospect Ridge.

CLASS 3A REGION 5 — At Erie. Local teams: Dawson, Erie, Frederick, Mead, Peak to Peak.

5A STATE TOURNAMENT: May 11-13 at Gates Tennis Center, Denver.

Holy Family’s Lindsey Bovine was part of a Tigers squad that finished sixth at state.
Holy Family's Lindsey Bovine was part of a Tigers squad that finished sixth at state. (Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer)

4A STATE TOURNAMENT: May 11-13 at Pueblo City Park, Pueblo.

3A STATE TOURNAMENT: May 11-13 at Centennial Courts, Greeley.

TEAM-BY-TEAM OUTLOOK

BOULDER PANTHERS

Coach: Elizabeth Korevaar (third season).

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

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: None.

Outlook: Korevaar didn't have much to say about her 2017 squad other than this will be a rebuilding year for a very young Panthers team.

BROOMFIELD EAGLES

Coach: Tara Tovar (fourth season).

Last year: Third place in regionals; Did not score at Class 5A state tournament.

Returning state qualifiers: Sydnie Ho (Jr., No. 2 doubles); Ana Horvath (Jr., No. 1 doubles).

Others to watch: Katie Herby (Jr.).

Outlook: Said Tovar: "Our team this year has a lot of depth. With five spots left open from seniors, I am looking for my incoming freshmen and returning players to fill our roster. Talented and athletic players are coming up and our team is looking towards a balanced and strong doubles lineup and a singles lineup with experience and skill. These athletes are ready to work hard and we are excited to take on a difficult schedule on our run for state."

CENTAURUS WARRIORS

Coach: Julie Daniel (first season).

Last year: Seventh place in regionals; Did not score at Class 4A state tournament.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Sophia Delaney (Sr.); Kole Lavoy (Sr.); Emily Nicol (Sr.), Allison Updike (Sr.); Kaelen Woodruff (Sr.).

Outlook: Said Daniel, who takes over this season for Craig Hoeltgen while he is on paternity leave: "We should compete well this season with our strong and experienced senior leadership. This team has enjoyed playing tennis together during the off-season. Our annual summer camp with clinicians Alan and Chad Tsuda from Rich's Tennis School really helps our team further develop fundamentals and achieve improvement goals. Most of all, this is a team that knows how to keep the fun in competition, and we are excited about the opportunities to improve our tennis through competition against the quality opponents that our league and region provide."

DAWSON SCHOOL MUSTANGS

Coach: Kathy Benninghoff (ninth season).

Last year: Tied for 12th at Class 4A state tournament.

Returning state qualifiers: Ellie Beeck (Sr.); Nicole Hilton (Sr.).

Others to watch: Isha Banerjee (Sr.); Bridget Bell (Fr.); Maggie Berry (Sr.).

Outlook: Dawson, with an impressive slate of singles and doubles players, is keen to compete in the new 3A division. Five seniors will provide strength and experience, and younger players have already brought positive energy and intensity to an excellent squad.

ERIE TIGERS

Coach: Carrie Mitchell (first season).

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

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Kaely Harris (Sr.); Kylee Hensruud (Sr.); Kami Thomson (Sr.); Abby Townsend (Sr.); Claire Wolff (Sr.).

Outlook: Said Mitchell, who returns to the coach the Tigers after a brief two-year retirement: "With five seniors that have several years of experience, this team is seasoned and we are looking to make strides in dual matches and at regionals."

FAIRVIEW KNIGHTS

Coach: Susan Stensrud (13th season).

Last year: Class 5A state champions.

Returning state qualifiers: Angela Cai (Sr., No. 2 doubles); Seraphin Castelino (So., No. 1 singles); Kylie Feliciano (Jr., No. 3 doubles); Sophie Pearson (So., No. 3 singles); Denali Pinto (Jr., No. 4 doubles); Ellie Savage (Sr., No. 1 doubles)

Others to watch: Ellen Bartels (So.); Emily Bechtel (Jr.); Cassie Harper (So.); Rachel Heilbronner (Jr.); Grace O'Neill (Sr.).

Outlook: Coming off a state championship season, the Knights are again loaded for a run. Castelino and Pearson are state champs and are favored to do so again. Said Stensrud: "We have a strong and experienced returning team of both singles and doubles players. Our goal is for all of our players to maximize their potential, love tennis and their team, and to defend our 5A state title."

FREDERICK WARRIORS

Coach: Chelsea Stuval (third season).

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

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Jessica Kelley (So.); Mari Orozco (Jr.).

Outlook: Said Stuval, whose team joins the new Class 3A ranks: "Every year we have progress and win one more. This year we are hoping for the same. I have almost 30 girls this year, which makes last year seem like a drought with only 16 girls who came out. I am hoping with so much new talent, the program will continue to grow and we will really start competing."

HOLY FAMILY TIGERS

Coach: Brittany Storgaard (fifth season).

Last year: Second at regionals; Finished 6th at Class 4A state tournament.

Returning state qualifiers: Lindsey Bovine (Sr., No. 1 doubles); Ciara Donovan (Jr., No. 2 doubles); Paige Giltner (Jr., No. 1 doubles); Maren Steiner (So., No. 4 doubles); An Tran (Jr., No. 3 doubles).

Others to watch: Julia Giltner (Jr.); Camilla Ruiz (Sr.); Leah Schwartz (Sr.).

Outlook: Perhaps no team benefits greater from the new Class 3A format than the Tigers. After their best season in school history last year in 4A and a majority of their team back, Storgaard said: "Our team will benefit from veteran varsity players ready for another shot at state titles as well as up and coming players new to the top team, but already just as tough and eager to make a difference."

LEGACY LIGHTNING

Coach: Stefan Cox (first season).

Last year: Third place at regionals; Did not score at Class 5A state tournament.

Returning state qualifiers: Disha Mishra (Jr., No. 2 doubles).

Others to watch: Leila Daoud (So.); Lydia Karlson (Fr.); Jordan Korb (Fr.); Christine Weitz (Jr.).

Outlook: First year coach is hopeful that the Lightning can have a similar season to last year and qualify at least a singles player and a doubles team for the state tournament.

LONGMONT TROJANS

Coach: Gale Howard (first season).

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

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Tanna Carson (Sr.); Eva D'Epagnier (Jr.); Madison Jayne (Jr.); Taylor Mertz (So.); Rebecca Pavot (Fr.); Amber Weston (Fr.).

Outlook: The Trojans will be competitive with a young team, and under the direction of longtime tennis fixture Gale Howard will get the most out of what they have. Said the former Boulder coach: "We will be very young, but we do have some new talent that will be evaluated."

MEAD MAVERICKS

Coach: Ben Holskin (first season).

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

Returning state qualifiers: Emma Drouchard (Jr.); Delaney Overlin (Sr.); Kylie Park (Sr.)

Others to watch: Ashley Andrews (Jr.); Jill Cowley (Fr.); Eryn Coyle (Sr.); Izzy Haggquist (Sr.); Antonia Hanlon (Sr.); Brianna Lambert (Sr.); Amanda Platt (Sr.); Haley Vavla (Jr.).

Outlook: It is an interesting year for the Mavericks and new coach Ben Holskin, who comes to the Mavs after years coaching in Arizona. Mead heads into the new Class 3A at possibly the perfect time, with an experienced team, because it will be new for all parties: "It's hard to say for certain," Holskin said. "But we plan to improve all season, play hard and be a competitive force at the state level."

MONARCH COYOTES

Coach: Mark Reuter (second season).

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

Returning state qualifiers: Mikayla Dudek (Sr., No. 2 doubles); Madison Risi (Sr., No. 3 singles).

Others to watch: Laura Cook (So.); Savannah Cook (So.); Ginger Harrington (Fr.); Emma Lookner (Fr.); Ana Pacheco (Sr.); Allie Reuter (Sr.); Megan Volpe (So.).

Outlook: Said Mark Reuter: "Although the team lost six varsity players, the Coyotes are optimistic about the season with a promising mix of returning players and an influx of new talent. Four returning seniors will provide a strong balance of leadership and tenacity for the team. The Coyotes look to build on last year's success and are determined to return to state."

NIWOT COUGARS

Coach: Aimee Keronen (fifth season).

Last year: Regional champion; Finished 8th at Class 4A state tournament.

Returning state qualifiers: Rachel Drake (So., No. 3 singles); Amanda Duquette (No. 1 doubles); Julia Pentz (Jr., No. 1 singles); Taylor Thulson (Jr., No. 2 singles).

Others to watch: Erin O'Neill (Jr.); Tehnley White (Fr.); Sophie Williams (Jr.).

Outlook: While a lot of people see that Niwot sent all their singles players to state last year, what they might miss is the fact that the usually powerful Cougars had an off year in the double ranks. It is an aspect of her team that Keronen has placed a lot of focus and with the quality crop of incoming freshmen as well as a new look Class 4A, Region 5, things look good for Niwot to make a run at the top three.

PEAK TO PEAK PUMAS

Coach: Eric Farran (third season).

Last year: Third place at regionals; Tied for 17th at Class 4A state tournament.

Returning state qualifiers: Trini Somasundaram (So., No. 2 Singles).

Others to watch: Trisha Somasundaram (So., No. 1 singles).

Outlook: Led by the Somasundaram sisters, the Pumas will have an immediate say in Class 3A. Farran is hopeful that the rest of his team follows suit and that they are well represented in Greeley in May.

PROSPECT RIDGE ACADEMY MINERS

Coach: Ari Finkelstein (first season).

Last year: First varsity season.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Chimena Butler (So.); Anna Hojel (So.); Aly Miller (So.);

Ariana Vigil (So.).

Outlook: Said Finkelstein: "It's our first year as official members of the Metro League, and we're excited to be fielding both a Varsity and JV team. I expect we'll have a steep learning curve against this sort of competition, but we also have a lot of fresh talent. By the end of the season, many of the girls, especially at the top end of Varsity, should be quite competitive. We're hoping for some upsets at Regionals and a very solid team going into the girls' junior and senior years."

SILVER CREEK RAPTORS

Coach: Beth Cerrone (first season).

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

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Janae Booth (Sr.); Lexis Duley (Jr.); Kimmie Fung (Jr.); Jenna Nielson (Jr.); Phoebe Norman (Jr.); Jessica Tremolini (Sr.); Jenny Valdez (Sr.).

Outlook: Said Cerrone: "Although we lost our first singles player (Elsa Erickson) to graduation last year, we have a large group of upperclassmen coming back this year. We expect the strong leadership of these young women to help propel us to the next level. I look forward to a strong season and a trip to Pueblo this year."

SKYLINE FALCONS

Coach: Phil Astras (first season).

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

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Shelby Roberts (So.); Brenna White (Sr.).

Outlook: Astras will lean heavily on Roberts and White to help the Falcons move up the charts when the regional tournament moves to Erie in May.

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