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  • Kira Horvath

    Fairview senior Katie Kuosman figures to anchor another talented Knights squad after the team took runner-up honors in 5A a year ago.

  • Steve Bigley / For the Camera

    Longmont senior Ashley Wright is Longmont's lone returning state qualifier this tennis season.

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5 TO KNOW

Glenna Gee-Taylor, Jr., Centaurus: She manned the Warriors’ No. 1 singles spot her freshman and sophomore years and aims to do some damage at the position again.

Katie Kuosman, Sr., Fairview: She took won the Class 5A No. 2 singles title last year and returns to anchor a deep and talented Knights team.

Katie Li, Jr., Fairview: One of the Knights’ three returning state champions, having taken the top of the podium last year at No. 3 singles.

Dayna MeMeritte, Jr., Broomfield: The Eagles’ lone returning singles player, she returns a year older and wiser at No. 1 singles.

Erin Mulshine, Jr., Niwot: The No. 1 singles player is back in the top spot for the Cougars and aims to help her team get back to the upper echelon of Class 4A.



POSTSEASON INFORMATION

Notes: Regional tournaments must be completed by May 4. In Class 5A, only regional host sites are determined before the season. Regional assignments are based on league finish.

4A REGION 1 — At Colorado Academy. Local team: Alexander Dawson.

4A REGION 2 — At Kent Denver. Local team: Peak to Peak.

4A REGION 4 — At Greeley Central. Local team: Niwot.

4A REGION 5 — At Broomfield. Local teams: Broomfield, Centaurus, Erie, Holy Family, Longmont, Silver Creek, Skyline.

5A REGION 2 — At Fairview. Teams tbd.

4A STATE TOURNAMENT: May 9-11 at Pueblo City Park, Pueblo.

5A STATE TOURNAMENT: May 9-11 at Gates Tennis Center, Denver.

 


ALEXANDER DAWSON MUSTANGS

Coach: Kathy Benninghoff (sixth season).

Last year: Placed third at regionals.

Returning state qualifiers: Fiona Bell (So., No. 1 doubles), Jill Howarth (Jr., No. 1 singles).

Others to watch: Briannah Wilson (Sr.); Nicole Finan (Sr.); Rachel Clair (Jr.).

Outlook: With a strong singles lineup and depth in the upper doubles positions, Kathy Benninghoff believes this spring bodes well for Alexander Dawson. The coach believes her players’ athleticism and experience should earn the Mustangs several state berths and move them up the standings.

 

BOULDER PANTHERS

Coach: Sarah Templeton (first season).

Last year: N/A.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Hannah Racket (So.); Tanya Cooper (Sr.); Shanti Van Vuuren (Sr.).

Outlook: The Panthers are excited about the season, boasting a hardworking core of players under first-year coach Sarah Templeton, a Fairview grad. The team graduated its only state qualifier from last season, Miquela Newhardt. But with a slew of returning varsity players, Templeton is certain her team will be well-represented at state.

 

BROOMFIELD EAGLES

Coach: Justin Dilts (second season).

Last year: Regional champion; 10th at Class 4A tournament.

Returning state qualifiers: Shivaun Wood (Jr., No. 1 doubles); Monro Obenauer (Jr., No. 1 doubles); Marisa Eafanti (Jr., No. 2 doubles); Michelle Midanier (Sr., No. 2 doubles); Cassandra Ho (Sr., No. 3 doubles); Ali Dionigi (Jr., No. 3 doubles).

Others to watch: Dayna DeMeritte (Jr.); Lindsdey Ross (Sr.); Mikaela Clements (Jr.); Madi Clements (Fr.).

Outlook: The Eagles return a ton of state talent, but have some big holes to fill. The team lost its No. 2 and 3 singles players, meaning some of its talented doubles teams might get split up. Even with some pieces that need to fall into place, coach Justin Dilts is certain his team will continue to be a competitive force in Class 4A.

 

CENTAURUS WARRIORS

Coach: Craig Hoeltgen (first year).

Last year: Third at regionals; 21st at Class 4A state.

Returning state qualifiers: Annie Fernandez (So., No. 2 singles); Glenna Gee-Taylor (Jr., No. 1 singles).

Others to watch: Lynn Daniel (Jr.).

Outlook: The Warriors are young this season, but up to the job of pushing some players to state. First-year coach Craig Hoeltgen has two state qualifiers to work with, both in singles. But he expects his doubles to provide the team with plenty of depth.

 

ERIE TIGERS

Coach: Carrie Mitchell (eighth year).

Last year: Eighth in regionals.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Grace Lahrs (Sr.); Brittany Hobbs (Jr.); Karah Parrs (Jr.); Natalie Sinks (Jr.); Emily Farineau (Jr.); Kaitlyn Thornton (Jr.).

Outlook: Carrie Mitchell does not have any returning state qualifiers to work with this season, but that has not dimmed the hopes of the Erie coach. With a roster dotted with juniors and seniors, the Tigers have plenty of seasoned talent.

 

FAIRVIEW KNIGHTS

Coach: Susan Stensrud (ninth season).

Last year: Regional champions. Placed second at 5A state tournament.

Returning state qualifiers: Katie Kuosman (Sr., No. 2 singles); Katie Li (Jr., No. 3 singles); Jesse Clauson (Sr., No. 2 doubles); Hannah Embree (Jr., No. 4 doubles).

Others to watch: Natalie Munson (Fr.).

Outlook: Despite the Knights losing seven seniors, the team should remain among the best in Class 5A. The team has four returning state qualifiers, three of whom are state champions, to build its core. With most of its experience in singles, Fairview has the potential to batter the competition in solo tennis.

 

HOLY FAMILY TIGERS

Coach: Bob Wathen (10th season).

Last year: Regional champions; 11th at Class 4A state tournament.

Returning state qualifiers: Maddie Farver (So., No. 3 singles); Maeve Donovan (Sr., No. 2 doubles); Alicia Everson (Sr., No. 2 doubles); Julianne Greco (Sr., No. 3 doubles); Kelly Dempsey (Sr., No. 4 doubles); Kailey Silverstein (Sr., No. 4 doubles).

Others to watch: Lauren Woeste (Sr.); Tessa Nguyen (So.); Tori Montoya (Fr.).

Outlook: The Metro League slate should be as rigorous as ever this season, but the Tigers have the talent to keep up. The team returns six state qualifiers, so Holy Family should be as experienced as ever. But the Tigers have switched regions, meaning some uncharted waters for state qualifying.

 

LEGACY LIGHTNING

Coach: Glen Gielas (sixth season).

Last year: Placed sixth as a team at regionals.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Isabelle Bouher (Jr.); Shelly Jassica (Sr.); Michelle Moyer (Sr.); Jenny Madsen (Sr.).

Outlook: The Lightning have a solid core to build around, but Glen Gielas has some holes to fill. The biggest question the coach faces is his doubles teams, but Legacy’s strong participation numbers should give Gielas plenty of options.

 

LONGMONT TROJANS

Coach: Michael Merz (10th season).

Last year: Third at regionals; 11th at Class 4A state tournament.

Returning state qualifiers: Ashley Wright (Sr., No. 4 doubles).

Others to watch: Kelle Kloster (Jr.); Maddie Precht (Jr.); Dailyn Johnson (Jr.); Maggie Fell (Sr.).

Outlook: The Trojans have their sights set high this season, with Michael Merz naming a regional title and a top-eight state finish among his team’s goals. The coach has plenty of returning talent to work with, but only one state qualifier from last season.

 

MONARCH COYOTES

Coach: Christopher Turner (fifth season).

Last year: N/A.

Returning state qualifiers: Darlene Wen (Sr., No. 1 doubles); Katie Mintle (Jr., No. 2 doubles).

Others to watch: Julia Gallant (Sr.); Emma Scott (Jr.).

Outlook: The Coyotes are aiming to build off their recent success the past couple of seasons and plan to move more girls to the Class 5A state tournament. Coach Christopher Turner has a seasoned roster to work with, boasting six seniors and two juniors.

 

NIWOT COUGARS

Coach: Aimee Irwin (first season).

Last year: Regional champion; eighth at Class 4A state tournament.

Returning state qualifiers: Erin Mulshine (Jr., No. 1 singles); Jami Albert (So., No. 2 doubles); Kaitlyn Skinner (Sr., No. 2 doubles); Lauren Richards (Jr., No. 3 doubles); Alexander Frank (So., No. 3 doubles); Izzy Stafford (So., No. 4 doubles); Maura Derr (So., No. 4 doubles)

Others to watch: Meagan Londa (Jr.); Anika Jarvinen (Jr.); Gillian Hyde (Sr.).

Outlook: After finishing in the top eight at the Class 4A state tournament the past few seasons, Aimee Irwin is certain Niwot can make a jump this time around. The coach expects the Cougars’ experience and depth to give the team — the 2008 state champion — the push it needs to break back into the top five.

 

PEAK TO PEAK PUMAS

Coach: Billy Downs (third season).

Last year: Third at regionals; 21st at Class 4A state tournament.

Returning state qualifiers: Katherine Lin (Sr., No. 2 singles); Brittany Guidetti (Sr., No. 1 doubles); Jenny Seo (Sr., No. 1 doubles).

Others to watch: Jessica Lin (Sr.); Amy Habertheir (Sr.).

Outlook: After a couple of years of being the young team on the court, Peak to Peak finally enters a season were it boasts a seasoned roster. And there is plenty of state experience in the 3-year-old program’s ranks. The Pumas have returning three players who made their way to state last season, and this has coach Billy Downs believing this might be the year his team knocks down a high postseason team finish.

 

SILVER CREEK RAPTORS

Coach: Kelly Burns (fourth season).

Last year: Eighth in regionals.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Piper Doering (Jr.); Amanda Burns (Sr.); Jenni Spielman (Jr.); Brigid Winn (So.).

Outlook: Silver Creek is very young this season with Kelly Burns expecting most of his lines to be filled by freshmen and sophomores. But the coach expects the Raptors’ hard work to make them competitive this season. Burns has set no hard and fast goals for his team other than improve each time it steps on the court.

 

SKYLINE FALCONS

Coach: Lulu Buck (first year).

Last year: Fifth at regionals.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Jasmine Canles (Sr.); Allyson Stribbards (Jr.); Angle Trull (Jr.); Rhianin Alvarez (Jr.).

Outlook: The Falcons are going through a major rebuilding process with first-year coach Lulu Buck just trying to get enough players to field an entire team. Buck is confident she’ll get the numbers. On top of that she’s sure she can help spur Skyline to some competitive matches this season.