LAFAYETTE — The girls tennis teams at Dawson School and Peak to Peak saw plenty of each other over the past three days, trading matches in both a dual and at a two-day invitational.
It was the season's first look at a rivalry that should be replayed at least a few more times this season, including at regionals, and likely at the state tournament next month. And for fans of the dramatic volley and tense break points, it certainly didn't disappoint.
In wrap, the Mustangs were the slightly better team in both a 4-3 dual win at Peak to Peak Thursday and at the two-day Centaurus Invite that concluded early Saturday afternoon.
Among seven participating teams and one wild card made up of players from opposing teams, Dawson swept doubles play and finished with 14 points as defending champs Eloise Shehan and Victoria Joris continued their spiffy transition from 3-doubles to the top pairing in the program.
Peak to Peak was just behind with 18, led by defending champ Trini Somasundaram's win in No. 2 singles and Tiffany Tran's runner-up finish at No. 1.
Last year, Peak to Peak won the Class 3A state title. Dawson was fourth.
"That's just a terrific matchup, their team and our team," Dawson coach Kathy Benninghoff said. "This time around it broke in our favor, and that was nice, but we expect great battles with them."
Shehan and Joris beat the Peak to Peak No. 1 pairing twice in three days to lead Dawson's barrage of doubles victories. The Mustangs' duo dropped their first set in the dual Thursday but came back to win the next four sets.
Last spring, Shehan and Joris marched to a No. 3 doubles title without dropping a set at the state tournament in Greeley. They're embracing a tougher road this year.
"We've had a challenge each match this year, so it's been exciting," Shehan said. "We like a challenge."
Added Joris: "We feed off it."
In singles play, both teams were down a player. The Pumas were without No. 1 player Trisha Somasundaram and the Mustangs didn't have their No. 3 player in Alexis Gilio.
Trini Somasundaram, the reigning 2-singles champ in 3A, carried Peak to Peak to a win in the No. 2 finals. But it was Tran that quickly became the talk of the tournament.
Last year's No. 3 player has swapped back-and-forth with Trini for the No. 2 spot this season, said Pumas coach Eric Carlson. And in the middle of the spacious eight-court layout at Centaurus, the sophomore took over the top spot for Trisha and came a point away from forcing a third set in the finals match against Windsor's Jillian Arnold.
"A bunch of other coaches have come up to me and said how much they saw her improve from last year to this year," Carlson said. "It's very difficult to improve that much in a year, but she plays all the time and practices hard."
The next time Dawson and Peak to Peak could see each other may be as soon as Friday when the two are slated to play at the Eaton Invitational per MaxPreps.
Brent W. New: firstname.lastname@example.org and @brentwnew
Centaurus Girls Tennis Invite
At Centaurus HS
Team scores — Dawson School 14, Peak to Peak 18, Windsor 20, Berthoud 32, Prospect Ridge Academy 24, Ralston Valley 41, Centaurus 44, Wild card 49.
Singles — 1. Arnold, Windsor, def. Tran, Peak to Peak, 6-1, 7-6(2); 2. Trini Somasundaram, Peak to Peak, def. Marty, Berthoud, 6-1, 6-1; 3. Shrader, Windsor, def. Miller, Prospect Ridge, 7-6(1), 6-2.
Doubles — 1. Shehan/Joris, Dawson, def. McSavaney/Brakhage, Peak to Peak, 6-1, 6-4; 2. Devereux/Garfinkel, Dawson def. Buss/Butler, Windsor, 6-2, 6-3; 3. Veraza/Wittenberg, Dawson, def. Yuska/Hocker, Berthoud, 6-3, 6-0; 4. Cash/Grigore, Dawson, def. P. Burns/Keogh, Peak to Peak, 6-2, 7-6.
Singles — 1. Bell, Dawson, def. Ochoa, Prospect Ridge, 6-3, 6-3; 2. Barbour, Dawson, def. Muilenberg, Ralston Valley, 6-0, 6-0; 3. Lundgreen, Berthoud, def. Donohue, Dawson, 2-6, 6-2, 6-1.
Doubles — 1. Talbot/Daigle, Windsor, def. d'Oronzio/Alvarez, Centaurus, 6-2, 6-2; 2. Fanger/Khanna, Peak to Peak, def. Cochran/Weaver, Ralston Valley, 6-1, 6-3; 3. N. Burns/Lin, Peak to Peak, def. Dukes/Kreutzer, Prospect Ridge 6-1, 6-0; 4. Scott/Werbick, Windsor, def. Burke/Keeler, Centaurus, 6-0, 6-0.