BROOMFIELD — Monarch boys tennis players figured that if they were ever going to beat Broomfield, why not do so emphatically?
The Coyotes comfortably won the first five matches Thursday at the Broomfield Swim and Tennis Club and overthrew the Eagles 5-2. It marked the first time in Mary Prassa’s four seasons as coach that the Coyotes have beaten Broomfield in the teams’ annual non-league match.
“It’s huge, because we haven’t beaten them with this group of guys,” Prassa said. “It’s pretty big for them.”
While No. 1 singles standout Justin Nguyen handled Josh Eafanti 6-3, 6-2, Monarch’s top returning state qualifier also was on his game. Jack Shanahan, who finished fourth in Class 5A at No. 3 singles last season, breezed to a 6-1, 6-4 win against Adam Clark in his season debut at No. 2 singles.
“At 3, a lot of kids are just pushers and just try to hit the ball back,” Shanahan said. “At 2, the kids are more aggressive, and I like playing against aggressive opponents, so I think it will fit my game well.”
Shanahan suffered a ligament injury to his left wrist a few weeks back and was playing with the wrist heavily taped. He said he could feel some pain when he hit he ball with top spin, but otherwise was “working the kinks out, trying to get back to normal.”
Monarch’s Danny Wright gave the Coyotes a clean sweep of the singles events, triumphing 6-0, 6-2 over Brandon Hull.
“My singles players are strong this year,” Prassa said. “Justin, it’s his third year at No. 1, and Danny and Jack have flip-flopped every year, so I think it makes both their spots very strong.”
Broomfield is undergoing a transition with the Eagles’ top two singles players coming off an appearance at state as a doubles tandem. Eafanti and Clark went to the 4A tournament at No. 2 doubles but no longer play side by side.
“It’s a totally different game,” Eafanti said. “It’s all about angles with doubles, and in singles, it’s all about the serve and keeping the ball in the right places.”
Eafanti is pleased with his progress, knowing it’d be a challenging match against Nguyen. He said he “kind of misses doubles, but I’ve always wanted to be a singles player.”
Eagles coach Doug Kazarosian has no problem being patient with the process.
“Every match, our guys are getting a little bit better and a little bit more experienced,” Kazarosian said. “We just hope that by the time regionals come around, we’re peaking properly.”
After Monarch’s Jason Nguyen and Jason Ferry won at No. 1 doubles and Chad Brown and Derek Wright were victorious at No. 2, Broomfield was able to avert a Coyotes sweep by winning the final two doubles matches, each in three sets.
Will McShane and Ben Stevens won at No. 3 and Matt Schmidt and Christian Lewis at No. 4.
“We have great depth at doubles this year,” Kazarosian said. “There’s not a huge drop off between 1 and 4, not like in other years.”
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Monarch 5, Broomfield 2
At Broomfield Swim and Tennis Club
Singles — 1. Justin Nguyen, Monarch, def. Josh Eafanti, 6-3, 6-2; 2. Jack Shanahan, Monarch, def. Adam Clark, 6-1, 6-4. 3. Danny Wright, Monarch, def. Brandon Hull, 6-0, 6-2.
Doubles — 1. Jason Nguyen/Jason Ferry def. Jake Sigmond/Ethan Reed, 6-1, 6-1; 2. Chad Brown/Derek Wright, Monarch, def. Tanner Lewis/Ryan Jennett, 6-4, 6-1; 3. Will McShane/Ben Stevens, Broomfield def. Sean Wickens/Steve Smith, 7-5, 2-6, 6-1. 4. Matt Schmidt/Christian Lewis, Broomfield, def. Andy Kim/Nick Ness, 6-3, 5-7, 6-1.