Girls tennis: Fairview qualifies six of seven positions for state

BOULDER — Given the program’s track record as one of the most consistently competitive teams at the Class 5A girls tennis state championships, it would be understandable if Fairview felt the nerves whenever the regional tournament rolls around.

After all, half the battle of scoring well at state is simply getting there, and it is during regional play when one bad set or even just a series of bad shots can stymie some of those state dreams.

Yet the key for Fairview is how the Knights tend to approach the regional tournament with the same intent and focus they typically take to state. That mindset was on display Tuesday, as the host Knights dominated the 5A Region 2 tournament, advancing entrants to state at six of seven positions while running away with the team title.

Originally scheduled as a Tuesday-Wednesday tournament, the entire regional was played in a marathon session Tuesday given the inclement weather expected on Wednesday.

“There are so many good teams here that we really have to come in focused, even more so maybe than at state,” senior No. 1 singles player Katie Kuosman said. “Our state I’d say technically starts now. I consider us already at state. It feels like it because you’re getting in that mode where all the teams are good. You really have to come ready to play.”

Kuosman, last year’s state champ at No. 2 singles and also the winner of the No. 3 singles state title in 2010, added another impressive accolade to her prep resume by leading the Knights’ sweep of the three singles titles.

Kuosman, playing at No. 1 singles, earned her fourth regional crown in singles by recording a 6-1, 6-2 win in the championship match against Clara Larson of Douglas County.

The Knights’ No. 2 singles player, freshman Natalie Munson, defeated Rock Canyon’s Claire Wilt 6-2, 6-4 to earn her first regional crown, while Katie Li claimed the No. 3 singles championship with a 6-0, 6-1 win against Paige Stockton of Lakewood.

“I think everyone gets nervous. I was nervous given all the good players here,” said Li, the No. 3 singles state champ last year. “The competition at state is really heavy too, so we just try to come in and do our best and see where it goes.”

Fairview also advanced three of its four doubles squads, getting regional titles at No. 1 doubles (Jessee Clauson and Hannah Embree), No. 2 doubles (Jacqueline Schmiedeler and Anastasiya Nicol) and No. 4 doubles (Skylar Caledonia and Jessie Merheb).

The only position the Knights will be lacking at state will be No. 3 doubles, where the combo of Laura Jamison and Alli Thamm lost to the No. 3 team from Rock Canyon in the semifinals. The Fairview duo still had an opportunity to advance through a playback match against Lakewood, but the Knights dropped a 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 decision to Lakewood.

“There’s a lot of pressure to take everyone to state, because typically we do take everyone to state and I hate having anyone feel left out,” Fairview coach Susan Stensrud said. “It’s been frustrating this year with the snow. We haven’t had very many doubles practices, so the kids that are new doubles players are a little bit behind. But today, I feel they performed well under pressure.”

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Class 5A Region 2

At Fairview H.S.

Team scores — Fairview 79, Rock Canyon 41, Lakewood 39, Douglas County 26, Rocky Mountain 14, Bear Creek 8.

CHAMPIONSHIP MATCHES

Singles — 1. Katie Kuosman, Fairview, def. Clara Larson, Douglas County, 6-1, 6-2; 2. Natalie Munson, Fairview, def. Claire Wilt, Rock Canyon, 6-2, 6-4; 3. Katie Li, Fairview, def. Paige Stockton, Lakewood, 6-0, 6-1.

Doubles — 1. Jessee Clauson/Hannah Embree, Fairview, def. Lakewood, 6-3, 6-2; 2. Jacqueline Schmiedeler/Anastasiya Nicol, Fairview, def. Lakewood 6-3, 6-1; 3. Rock Canyon def. Lakewood, 6-3, 6-2; 4. Skylar Caledonia/Jessie Merheb, Fairview, def. Lakewood 6-1, 6-4.

LOCAL PLAYBACK MATCHES

No. 3 doubles — Lakewood def. Laura Jamison/Alli Thamm, Fairview, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2.