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Girls tennis: Longmont’s Precht off to perfect start at No. 3 singles

LONGMONT — The motion comes pretty easy for Maddie Precht. So familiar with the overhand swing for a volleyball serve, the Longmont senior has made her tennis serve an exceptionally useful weapon.

It’s been the weapon of choice so far as she has made the transition from doubles play to No. 3 singles. With that in her back pocket, she improved to 3-0 so far on the season for the Trojans on Tuesday afternoon with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Taylor Campos of Fort Collins.

A standout on the volleyball court, Precht already has wins over Broomfield and Niwot and is hoping to make a run for a state slot after she and Kelle Kloster teamed up to make the tournament at No. 1 doubles last year.

As she showed on Tuesday, she’s got a strong first serve that might catch her opponents off guard.

“That volleyball serve plays really nicely into tennis, for sure,” said head coach Michael Merz, whose young team fell to the Lambkins overall, 5-2, on Tuesday. “Three singles, girls like to loop it and not hit it so hard, but she does a little bit of everything. She has an athletic game plan, and she can slice it, hit it hard, put top spin, a little bit of everything that is going to throw a lot of people for loops.”

Precht has developed a nice system for herself, too.

“It’s funny because I actually play the games I receive with one racket and then I serve with another racket,” Precht said after her win. “I didn’t figure that out until my last match, but it’s worked really well.

“I like my first serve because I can hit it to the backhand side … hitting it just feels nice after every single point.”

It was a lot easier for everyone to control their play on Tuesday, with the weather finally suitable for the three hours the girls were on the courts. For Precht, she’s quickly gained confidence in playing by herself, and in fact it’s not the first time she’s played singles.

But, she’s grown up a lot since freshman year, she said.

“My immaturity made the mental side of the game very difficult,” Precht said. “This year, I feel like I’m mature enough to handle all the mental side has to offer.”

Kloster has been there a lot of the time. They teamed up the past two seasons, and finally now both are playing singles. Kloster also won her match at No. 2 singles, defeating Tess Bater, 6-0, 6-1.

The pair have gone through the process together, and each has seen success so far.

“For me, I’m trying to treat every match the same and that means taking one point at a time and focusing on the ball and where I want to put it,” Kloster said. “I’m proud to see (Precht) succeeding, and I think where we are placed is really working for all of us.”

As a team, the Trojans still have some work to do and they continue to gain experience in the doubles positions. The top doubles team of Cynthia Mossness and Rebecca Eisele showed they complement ea

ch other well, stretching their match to three sets before falling to the Fort Collins team.

The three remaining doubles teams are comprised of players brand new to varsity, and the learning curve is pretty steep. Still, they all were able to take some games against the Class 5A Lambkins.

“They beat us out on experience,” Merz said. “We’re going to get better and better. I just think we made the mistake of hitting it right to them too often. That was our downfall.”

“We’re a growing team, and by regionals I think we’ll be up there with everyone else,” Kloster said.

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Fort Collins 5, Longmont 2

At Longmont H.S.

Singles — 1. Leah Fox, Fort Collins, def. Kara Kekarek, Longmont, 6-2, 6-2; 2. Kelle Kloster, L, def. Tess Bater, 6-0, 6-1; 3. Maddie Precht, L, def. Taylor Campos, 6-2, 6-2.

Doubles — 1. Ellie Goodspeed/Coreen Norwood, FC, def. Cynthia Mossness/Rebecca Eisele, 7-5, 2-6, 6-4; 2. Erin Moreisan/Susan Zheng, FC, def. Lauren Offult/Diana Damian, 6-1, 6-0; 3. Camryn Berry/Sydney Ketcherson, FC, def. Melanie Reeves/Kyra Foote, 7-5, 6-2; 4. Mandy Laman/Mckaylee Thurgood, FC, def. Sophie Warne-Rowe/Anna Correa, 7-5, 6-2.