PLAYERS TO KNOW

Isabelle Boucher, Sr., Legacy: The Lightning’ No. 1 singles player has one year under her belt at the position and will try to help a young Legacy team move up in the Front Range League.

Annie Chen, Fr., Boulder: First-year Boulder coach Jill Lintukorpi is beyond excited to have Chen, and her game, in the Panthers fold.

Dayna DeMeritte, Sr., Broomfield: A returning state qualifier that should help the Eagles reload after the loss of five seniors.

Maddie Farver, Jr., Holy Family: The Tigers ace is playing her second season at No. 1 singles after playing at No. 3 as a freshman.

Glenna Gee-Taylor, Sr., Centaurus: One of the best players to ever go through Centaurus, Gee-Taylor would not only like to get back to state, but also improve on her fourth-place finish a season ago.

Katie Li, Sr., Fairview: The Knights senior is looking to join elite company in her quest for a fourth straight singles title.

Erin Mulshine, Sr., Niwot: The reigning Times-Call Player of the Year is just another one of the many talented players in the region that could make some noise in Pueblo when the Class 4A tournament takes place.

Natalie Munson, So., Fairview: A runner-up at No. 2 singles last year for the Knights, Munson may assume the role at the top of coach Susan Stensrud’s ladder.

Jenni Spielman, Sr., Silver Creek: A four-year varsity letter winner for the Raptors, Spielman will play her second straight season at No. 1 singles.

 

 

POSTSEASON INFORMATION

Note: Regional tournaments must be completed by May 3. 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 8-10 at Pueblo City Park, Pueblo.

5A STATE TOURNAMENT: May 8-10 at Gates Tennis Center, Denver.

 

 

TEAM-BY-TEAM OUTLOOK

 

BOULDER PANTHERS

Coach: Jill Lintukorpi (first season).

Last year: Fifth at regionals.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Halonah Abraham (So.); Annie Chen (Fr.); Hayleigh Criss (Sr.); Savannah Hornung (Jr.); Audrey Olbright (Jr.); Jamie Young (Jr.).

Outlook: “I’m very optimistic about our season,” said Lintukorpi, who was an assistant for the Panthers last season. The Panthers have fantastic returning talent and adding Chen to the mix gives Boulder strength at the top. If anything, they should be very competitive.


BROOMFIELD EAGLES

Coach: Tara Tovar (first season).

Last year: Regional champions; 12th at 4A state tournament.

Returning state qualifiers: Dayna DeMeritte (Sr., No. 1 singles); Marisa Eafanti (Sr., No. 1 doubles).

Others to watch: Ana Chrisman (So.); Madi Clements (So.); Mikaela Clements (Sr.); Ali Dionigi (Sr.); Monro Obenauer (Sr.).

Outlook: The Eagles graduated five seniors, and like most teams it will take them a few matches to get adjusted. Tovar most recently coached the boys team at Erie and is “excited to work with such a competitive, talented group of girls and I look forward to building this team and continuing to be a force.”


CENTAURUS WARRIORS

Coach: Craig Hoeltgen (second season).

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

Returning state qualifiers: Glenna Gee-Taylor (Sr.).

Others to watch: Lynn Daniel (Sr.); Dakota D’Oronzio (Sr.); Eileen Findlay (Sr.); Juliette Kaplan (Sr.); Kelsea Krawetz (Sr.); Annie Nagel (Sr.).

Outlook: The Warriors have a lot of returning starters and at the top of the ladder is senior Glenna Gee-Taylor at No. 1 singles, one of the best in the state. Centaurus will be tough in the doubles ranks, sending out a senior-dominated line-up that has Hoeltgen who — with the help of boys coach and junior varsity girls coach Julie Daniel — is aiming to repeat, if not step up, from last year’s second-place league finish.


DAWSON SCHOOL MUSTANGS

Coach: Kathy Benninghoff (seventh season).

Last year: Third at regionals.

Returning state qualifiers: Fiona Bell (Jr.); Jill Howarth (Sr.).

Others to watch: Isha Banerjee (Fr.); Ellie Beeck (Fr.); Maggie Berry (Fr.); Rachel Clair (Sr.).

Outlook: The Mustangs have a promising blend of new and old. The freshman contingent is talented and as they improve, so too will Dawson.


ERIE TIGERS

Coach: Carrie Mitchell (ninth season).

Last year: Seventh at regionals.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Emily Farineau (Sr.); Cara Fitzpatrick (So.); Brittany Hobbs (Sr.); Sarah Martinez (Sr.); Sarah Mirabassi (Sr.); Karah Parrs (Sr.); Natalie Sinks (Sr.); Lexi Thomson (Jr.); Kaitlyn Thornton (Sr.); Becca Vincent (Sr.).

Outlook: Mitchell is blessed with a roster of over 50 players this season, which gives the experienced Tigers some depth. Look for Erie to make some noise at doubles and improve on last year’s seventh-place regional performance.


FAIRVIEW KNIGHTS

Coach: Susan Stensrud (10th season).

Last year: Third in 5A, regional champions, Front Range League champions.

Returning state qualifiers: Skylar Caledonia (Jr.); Hannah Embree (Sr., 2012 No. 4 doubles runner-up); Katie Li (Sr., three-time No. 3 singles state champ) Natalie Munson (So., 2013 runner- up at No. 2 singles); Nastiya Nicol (Jr.); Jackie Schmiedeler(Jr.).

Others to watch: Laura Jamison (Sr.); Ellie Savage (Fr.); Alli Thamm (Jr.).

Outlook: The Knights are good. The Knights are deep. Over 125 players again make Stensrud’s team tough to deal with at state. They may not have the deep-rooted talent they have had in the past, but the Knights will be amongst the conversation in May at Gates Tennis Center during the 5A finals.


HOLY FAMILY TIGERS

Coach: Brittany Storgaard (first season).

Last year: Regional runner-up.

Returning state qualifiers: Elly Beyer (So. No. 4 doubles); Tori Montoya (So. No. 4 doubles).

Others to watch: Maddie Farver (Jr.); Tessa Nguyen (Jr.); ViVi Tran (Sr.).

Outlook: Playing their last season in the Metro League, the Tigers are hoping to go out with a bang. Storgaard, who has been with the program for five years, has a wealth of experience and talent that could take the program to previously unreached heights.


LEGACY LIGHTNING

Coach: Glen Gielas (seventh season).

Last year: Fourth at regionals.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Isabelle Boucher (Sr.).

Outlook: The Lightning have a long way to go but youthful energy, including a strong freshman class, have the program headed in the right direction. The key to success for Gielas’ team will be in the depth of their doubles teams.


LONGMONT TROJANS

Coach: Michael Merz (11th season).

Last year: Third at regionals.

Returning state qualifiers: Kelle Kloster (Sr.); Maddie Precht (Sr.).

Others to watch: Rebecca Eisele (So.); Cynthia Mosness (Jr.); Kara Pekarek (Jr.).

Outlook: The numbers aren’t quite what Merz was expecting, and with that some people will be playing out of position. The Trojans will endure some growing pains early, but Merz hopes that come time for the regional tournament, his team will be battle-tested and ready to make a run a state spots.


MONARCH COYOTES

Coach: Christopher Turner (sixth season).

Last year: Third at regionals.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Katie Mintle (Sr.); Emma Scott (Sr.).

Outlook: The Coyotes had a successful dual match record last year of 6-3 and are aiming to build upon that success this season. The Coyotes graduated six seniors last spring and will be completing the roster this season with a younger team lead by returners Emma Scott, Katie Mintle, and Alana Lacey.


NIWOT COUGARS

Coach: Aimee Irwin (second season).

Last year: Regional champion; Tied for sixth at Class 4A state tournament.

Returning state qualifiers: Jami Albert (Jr.); Maura Derr (Jr.); Meagan Londa (Sr.); Erin Mulshine (Sr.); Lauren Richards (Sr.); Janie Sieben (Jr.); Izzy Stafford (Jr.).

Others to watch: Emma Lerner (Sr.).

Outlook: “Fo a lot of these girls, it’s not their first rodeo,” said Irwin, who figures her club is a top-five team. But don’t be surprised if the Cougars sneak even higher into the Class 4A team ranks.


PEAK TO PEAK PUMAS

Coach: Eric Farrar (first season).

Last year: Fourth at regionals.

Returning state qualifiers: Rachel Reeser (Sr.).

Others to watch: Julia Martin (Sr.); Emilia Russo (Sr.); Andrea Thorpe (Jr.).

Outlook: Farrar was hired on the last day of February and will have to work fast in order to get the Pumas up to speed and rebuild a program that suffered a big graduation hit after sending three to state last year.


SILVER CREEK RAPTORS

Coach: Kelly Burns (fifth season).

Last year: Sixth at regionals.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Piper Doering (Sr.); Elsa Erickson (So.); Maria Grant (Jr.); Ava Hartmann (Sr.); Kaleia San Miguel (Jr.); Jennie Spielman (Sr.); Kat Trees (Jr.); Brigid Winn (Jr.).

Outlook: Burns is used to getting girls out for the team, but this season he has 64 players out — unprecedented in Raptors tennis. “We are looking to be above .500 in duals and to be playing better tennis at the end of the season than we were at the beginning,” he said. The Raptors are in one of the toughest regions in the state, alongside Broomfield, Holy Family, improved Centaurus and Thompson Valley.


SKYLINE FALCONS

Coach: Dan McGlothlin (first season).

Last year: Eighth at regionals.

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Savannah Davis (So.); Nono Ncube (So.); Allyson Stibbards (Sr.).

Outlook: The blend of five returning starters with some very promising freshmen can only help the Falcons get better.

 

 

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