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Fairview's Megan Thayer, left, and partner Paris Hogan celebrate after a point during their No. 1 doubles semifinal victory on Friday at the Front Range League tennis championships.
Jeremy Papasso
Fairview’s Megan Thayer, left, and partner Paris Hogan celebrate after a point during their No. 1 doubles semifinal victory on Friday at the Front Range League tennis championships.

Megan Thayer and Paris Hogan have proven to play a resilient brand of tennis this season. It was a much-needed attribute Friday, in the Front Range League tournament.

The Knights’ No. 1 doubles team collected one of their team’s five conference championships in Friday’s gusty conditions. But Thayer and Hogan had to come storming back against Fossil Ridge after a rocky opening.

The Fairview partners dropped their opening set in a tie-breaker to Lauren Rhoda and Nicole Newell. But they only got stronger from that point on, winning 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-2.

“They’re a really good team,” Thayer said. “Every time we face them we go into extra sets.”

The victory was the last en route to Fairview winning its fourth straight Front Range League title. But the Knights were battling more than just their conference’s stiff competition.

Around two hours into the tournament, just when the championship matches were taking the court, the wind kicked in hard. The gusts sweeping off the Flatirons are nothing new for Fairview, but the conditions deteriorated so badly Friday that it became a defining factor in the matches.

“I think we have an advantage since we practice in this,” Thayer said. “But when the wind is this bad, you don’t know where the ball is going to go. So, it’s really anyone’s game.”

Even through the nasty conditions, Fairview strutted its stuff. The team’s four other championships all came in straight sets. One of the most dominant performances was produced by Katie Kuosman and Katie Li.

The No. 2 and 3 singles players and Class 5A state champions each knocked off their competition quickly and by the same score — 6-2, 6-1. Kuosman downed Mountain Range’s Katie Kriby and Li Poudre’s Sierra Crumbaker.

The wins for each player continued impressive seasons, especially for Kuosman, whose conference championship kept her undefeated streak rolling.

“It’s definitely a confidence booster,” she said. “But I’m still looking out for every opponent and know that each one is going to be a challenge.”

Boulder came the closest to making the finals in No. 1 singles, with Miquela Newhart playing a gritty semifinal match to start the day.

Newhart had Monica Li on the ropes from the start, but finally fell to the Knight in three sets. It was a vast improvement from the last time the cross-town rivals met when Newhart failed to win a game.

“I had a different mindset coming into today,” she said. “I tried to play my own game, I just pretended I was playing one of my friends from California. That just kind of eased me.”

Of all the wind the Knights had to contend with, there is one gust the team will carry past Friday’s tournament — the one at its back. The conference championship gives Fairview a boost before it hosts the May 2-3 Region 2 tournament and before it makes a run to improve its second-place finish at state last year.

“It was an outstanding preparation,” Fairview coach Susan Stensrud said. “We saw some great doubles and singles players.”


Front Range League Championship

At Fairview H.S.

Team scores: Fairview 99, Poudre 49, Rocky Mountain 39, Fossil Ridge 30, Mountain Range 14, Loveland 10, Boulder 8, Monarch 5, Horizon 3,Greeley West 3, Fort Collins 3, Legacy 2.

Championship matches:Singles — 1. Cara Cromwell, Rocky Mountain, def. Monica Li, Fairview, 6-2, 6-2; 2. Katie Kuosman, Fairview, def. Katie Kirby, Mountain Range, 6-2, 6-1; 3. Katie Li, Fairview, def. Sierra Crumbaker, Poudre, 6-2, 6-1.

Doubles — 1. Megan Thayer/Paris Hogan, Fairview, def. Lauren Rhoda/Nicole Newell, Fossil Ridge, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-2; 2. Jessee Clauson/Hayley Youong, Fairview, def. Jessica Addington/Milica Notaros, Poudre, 6-3, 6-3; 3. Lauren Petersen/Jordan Powers, Poudre, def. Lindsey Nguyen/Caroline Kruger, Fairview, 7-5, 6-7, 7-5; 4. Hannah Embree/Sonia Ghosh, Fairview, def. Julia Beckley/Katalin Kenney, Poudre, 6-3, 6-2.


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