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Fairview's Natalie Munson fires a shot during the opening rounds of the Class 5A girls tennis state tournament. Munson advanced to the semifinals at No. 2 singles.
MARK LEFFINGWELL / Daily Camera
Fairview’s Natalie Munson fires a shot during the opening rounds of the Class 5A girls tennis state tournament. Munson advanced to the semifinals at No. 2 singles.

DENVER — All Fairview coach Susan Stensrud could do was shake her head.

She had spent the whole season prepping her girls to perform on the state’s biggest stage at Gates Tennis Center. On Monday her Knights sent five of the seven positions to the state semifinals, but it’s the two that didn’t that will stick with her.

“I’ll take five out of seven,” said Stensrud, whose team is in second place in the team chase with 16 points after Day 1 behind Cherry Creek’s 21. “Everyone played hard today and it’s state, it can go either way.”

It was a banner day in singles for the Knights — starting at the top where freshman Amber Shen surrendered just four games in her two matches and rolled into the semifinals.

“The first match felt real good,” said Shen, who will face her friend and Intermountain doubles partner Casey Zhong of Mountain Vista at 9 a.m. in the semifinals.

In the opening round, Shen dismantled Pine Creek’s Ally Bellas in just over 40 minutes. After a lengthy wait to take the court again, Shen shook off some early rust against Ralston Valley’s Bella Melena before rolling to a 6-3, 6-0 win.

The setting was nothing new for Shen, who is used to coming to Gates and despite being a freshman, she wasn’t overwhelmed by the stage.

“It always feels a little different at Gates just because all the big tournaments are here,” Shen said. “I just like the atmosphere here.”

Natalie Munson, who is a two-time state runner-up, took two steps toward making her third state title match. Munson beat Liberty’s Lauren Spillane 6-0, 6-1 to start the tournament and then fought off the heavy-hitting Ashley Zaeske of Mountain Range in the quarters.

“It was definitely a relief, I was never for (the Zaeske) match.” said Munson, who draws Mountain Vista junior Kendra Lavallee in the semifinals. “That was the third time we’ve played this season and the first time it was fairly close.”

At No. 3 singles, Angela Cai also moved on with relative ease, winning both her matches in straight sets. The sophomore will have another go at Front Range League foe Jennifer Phan of Mountain Range in the semis.

Fairview’s No. 2 doubles team of Carolyn Roberts and Ellie Savage, which teamed up to reach the state final a year ago at No. 4 doubles, beat the Broomfield duo of Ana Horvath and Sydnie Ho in the opening round 6-1, 6-3. They moved on to the semis with a victory over Denver East and will face another familiar foe in Poudre’s Laura Lenczycki and Anna Hoffman on Tuesday morning. The Impalas twosome won both of their matches in three sets.

Finally at No. 3 singles for Fairview, the first-year duo of Sarah Sharpe and Skylar Caledonia continued their cohesive roll and will have a chance at Heritage’s Caroline McLeod and Olivia Woods for a right to play in Wednesday’s finals.

The stunners for the Knights came at Nos. 1 and 4 doubles. The team of Jacqueline Schmiedeler (who had to make a trip back to Boulder to take a test in between matches) and Anastaiya Nicol had their way with the team from Greeley West during the regular season, but were unable to figure them out on Tuesday. The Spartans advanced to the semifinals with a 6-3, 1-6, 7-5 victory.

“I think the girls played well and it was a close match and the girls they played a tough team that we have beaten before,” said Stensrud, whose No. 4 team bowed out in the first round. “But I think they were really ready for us this time.”

The lone Boulder entrant into the tournament was No. 3 singles senior Jamie Young. She played well against Phan, but eventually lost 6-4, 6-4 and will now have to hope that Phan beats Cai in the semis for a chance to play in the playbacks.

Follow Jon on Twitter: twitter.com/JonEYunt

CLASS 5A STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS

At Gates Tennis Center

First round

Team scores (after quarterfinals) — Cherry Creek 21, Fairview 16, Fossil Ridge 13, Mountain Vista 10, Ralston Valley 8, Mountain Range 7, Heritage 7, Poudre 5, Rock Canyon 5, Greeley West 4, Denver East 4, Lakewood 2, Regis Jesuit 1, Liberty 1, Columbine 1, Legacy 1, Ponderosa 1, Highlands Ranch 1, Douglas County 1, Arapahoe 1, Legend 1.

No. 1 singles — Kristen Kirby, Mountain Range def. Sarah Fleming, Fruita Monument, 6-0, 6-1; Shawnea Pagat, Fossil Ridge def. Grace Koza, Chatfield, 6-4, 6-0; Kalyssa Hall, Cherry Creek def. Mackenzie Jones, Arapahoe, 6-0, 6-1; Ky Ecton, Poudre def. Lauren Lindell, Ponderosa, 6-2, 7-5; Bella Melena, Ralston Valley def. Kylie Somons, Doherty, 6-3, 6-2; Amber Shen, Fairview def. Ally Bellas, Pine Creek, 6-0, 6-1; Casey Zhong, Mountain Vista def. Abby Wohlford, Horizon, 6-0, 6-1; Clara Larson, Douglas County def. Maleeha Chowdhury, Rock Canyon, 6-0, 6-0.

No. 2 singles — Anshika Singh, Cherry Creek def. Ali Cunningham, Chaparral, 6-0, 6-0; Laura Friedrich, Arapahoe won by default over Paige Stockton, Lakewood; Claire Cox, Ponderosa def. Jade Morre, Chatfield, 6-3, 6-3; Emma Jo Wiley, Fossil Ridge def. Taylor Campos, 6-0, 6-2; Kendra Lavallee, Mountain Vista def. Koy Ecton, Poudre, 6-1, 6-1; Caitlin Hearty, Heritage def. Kiley Cropper, Greeley West, 6-4, 6-3; Natalie Munson, Fairview def. Lauren Spillane, Liberty, 6-0, 6-1; Ashley Zaeske, Mountain Range def. Molly Winters, ThunderRidge, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (6).

No. 3 singles — Haley Hildenbrand, Legend def. Katy Fowler, Chaparal, 6-3, 6-1; Angela Cai, Fairview def. Isabella Giannini, Poudre, 6-0, 6-1; Tyla Stewart, Mountain Vista def. Sydney Walker, Coronado, 6-0, 6-3; Jennifer Phan, Mountain Range def. Jaime Young, Boulder, 6-4, 6-4; Jenesse Johnson, Denver East def. Sarah Erb, Grand Junction, 7-5, 6-3; Gloria Son, Cherry Creek def. Catherine Day, Chatfield, 6-0, 6-0; Tara Teslow, Fossil Ridge def. Murphy Harr, Ralston Valley, 6-2, 6-0; Nikki Nichols, Liberty def. Natalie Borchelt, Arapahoe, 7-5, 6-3.

No. 1 doubles — Maddie Roberts/Micha Handler, Cherry Creek def. Mari Dudek/Jordan Wade, Mountain Vista, 6-0, 6-0; Devin O’Connor/Caroline Berzins, Denver East def. Emma Campbell/Alisa Petersen, Poudre, 6-2, 6-7 (8), 6-0; Haley Weidemann/Adrien Horowitz, Ralston Valley def. Gabbie Jones/Jenna Alvarez, Chatfield, 6-1, 6-2; Lauren Austin/Emma Noverr, Highlands Ranch def. Tayvia Voytilla/Alyssa Bohrer, Fruita Monument, 6-2, 2-6, 6-2; Sam Penhale/Bailey Koronich, Fossil Ridge def. Caitlin Jackson/Kendall Jackson, Heritage, 6-4, 6-2; Natalie Sloboth/Sarah Shortall, Arapahoe def. Delsie Johnson/Emily Hay Arthur, Fort Collins, 6-1, 6-3; Jacqueline Schmiedeler/Anastasiya Nicol, Fairview def. Beanna Hayden/Rita Rochelle, Doherty, 6-3, 6-2; Kayla Hoskins/Ellie Davidson, Greeley West def. Erin Daniel/Jaclyn Bodwin, Rock Canyon, 7-6 (4), 6-4.

No. 2 doubles — Katie Mead/Alyssa Schroeder, Denver East def. Catherine/Nemechek/Claire Quinn, Regis Jesuit, 6-4, 6-3; Carolyn Roberts/Ellie Savage, Fairview def. Ana Horvath/Sydnie Ho, Broomfield, 6-1, 6-3; Kelsey Maass/Lucy Sherman, Ralston Valley def. Amy Zhong/Hannah Murphy, Mountain Vista, 6-4, 6-2; Laura Lenczycki/Anna Hoffman, Poudre def. Camryn Berry/Emma Floch, Fort Collins, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (2); Sydney Boyle/Caroline Skibness, Rock Canyon def. Kylie Hyton/Laura Wald, Doherty, 6-1, 6-0; Jessie Murphy/Mariela Holliness, Cherry Creek def. Elaine Cox/Sanskriti Sazena, Douglas County, 6-2, 6-0; Katy Cohen/Peyton Pendleton, Heritage def. Erica Wiley/Haley Crews, Fossil Ridge, 6-4, 6-4; Amanda Kircher/Angela Pearson, Greeley West def. Elle Palmer/Natalie Betts, Arapahoe, 7-6 (4), 6-4.

No. 3 doubles — Julia Mannino/Grace Walker, Cherry Creek def. Laura Froning/Olivia Boyd, Chatfield, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2; Sara Worsham/Maddie Bove, Rock Canyon def. Megan Stout/Sydney Waite, Ponderosa, 6-1, 6-2; Tara Minatta/Hannah Smith, Mountain Vista def. Olivia Brohl/Ila Farhang, Grandview, 6-3, 6-1; Kate Wulf/Helena Wolf, Denver East def. Kate Penvari/Millicent Warwick, ThunderRidge, 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (3); Sarah Sharpe/Skylar Caledonia, Fairview def. Sofia Treider/Shanae Honda, Fruita Monument, 6-0, 6-3; Regan Burnham/Emily Kenney, Poudre def. Gina Buongiorno/Jordan Degani, Doherty, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3; Caroline McLeod/Olivia Woods, Heritage def. Emma Houghton/Erinn Hogan, Fossil Ridge, 6-2, 1-6, 6-4; Wendy Dietz/Leah Shaffner, Lakewood def. Caroline Carman/Kaitlyn Tyler, Arapahoe, 7-5, 6-3.

No. 4 doubles — Hannah Peterson/Allison Murphy, Cherry Creek def. Sara Frosch/Aubrielle Lahey, Denver East, 6-2, 6-0; Gabi Hewitt/Mikeala Mantele, Columbine def. Jessica Berning/Ellen Savarese, Arapahoe, 6-7 (6), 6-3, 6-2; Lydia Supe/Katie Hinz, Fossil Ridge def. Amanda Olsen-Dufour/Taylee Hardin, Grandview, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4; Gianna Neathammer/Josie Osberg, Lakewood def. Hunter Barker/Anna Armstrong, Ponderosa, 7-6 (4), 1-6, 7-5; Mackenzy Pedrie/Anna Kaminsky, Regis Jesuit def. Emilie Hines/Megan Lavoie, ThunderRidge, 6-2, 6-1; Kendall Smith/Alexa Weist, Rock Canyon def. Mimi Mijiddorj/Sara Graves, Poudre, 6-1, 6-2; Hannah Stevens/Courtney Smith, Legacy def. Jamie Tafoya/Karina Pedroza, Fort Collins, 4-6, 7-5, 6-2; Riley Knipp/Priya Keller, Ralston Valley def. Caralynn Jamison/Lily Siegert, Fairview, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 .

Quarterfinals

No. 1 singles — Kirby, Mountain Range def. Pagat, Fossil Ridge, 6-4, 6-3; Hall, Cherry Creek def. Ecton, Poudre, 6-0, 6-0; Shen, Fairview def. Melena, Ralston Valley, 6-3, 6-0; Zhong, Mountain Vista def. Larson, Douglas County, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2.

No. 2 singles — Singh, Cherry Creek def. Friedrich, Arapahoe, 6-2, 6-0; Wiley, Fossil Ridge def. Cox, Ponderosa, 6-1, 6-2; Lavallee, Mountain Vista def. Hearty, Heritage, 6-0, 6-3; Munson, Fairview def. Zaeske, Mountain Range, 6-1, 6-4.

No. 3 singles — Cai, Fairview def. Hildenbrand, Legend, 6-2, 6-4; Phan, Mountain Range def. Stewart, Mountain Vista, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (3); Son, Cherry Creek def. Johnson, Denver East, 6-0, 6-0; Teslow, Fossil Ridge def. Nichols, Liberty, 6-3, 6-2.

No. 1 doubles — Roberts/Handler, Cherry Creek def. O’Connor/Berzins, Denver East, 6-1, 6-1; Weidemann/Horowitz, Ralston Valley def. Austin/Noverr, Highlands Ranch, 6-1, 6-0; Penhale/Koronich, Fossil Ridge def. Sloboth/Shortall, Arapahoe, 6-2, 6-2; Hoskins/Davidson, Greeley West def. Schmiedeler/Nicol, Fairview, 6-3, 1-6, 7-5.

No. 2 doubles — Roberts/Savage, Fairview def. Mead/Schroeder, Denver East, 6-3, 6-4; Lenczycki/Hoffman, Poudre def. Maass/Sherman, Ralston Valley, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4; Murphy/Hollines, Cherry Creek def. Boyle/Skibness, Rock Canyon, 6-2, 6-2; Cohen/Pendleton, Heritage def, Kirchner/Pearson, Greeley West, 6-0, 6-4.

No. 3 doubles — Mannino/Walker, Cherry Creek def. Worsham/Bove, Rock Canyon, 6-1, 6-2; Minatta/Smith, Mountain Vista def. Wulf/Wolf, Denver East, 6-2, 6-1; Sharpe/Caledonia, Fairview def. Burnham/Kenney, Poudre, 6-3, 6-3; Mcleod/Woods, Heritage def. Dietz/Shaffner, Lakewood, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.

No. 4 doubles — Peterson/Murphy, Cherry Creek def. Hewitt/Mantele, Columbine, 6-2, 6-2; Supe/Hinz, Fossil Ridge def. Neathammer/Osberg, Lakewood, 6-3, 6-1; Smith/Weist, Rock Canyon def. Pedrie/Kaminsky, Regis Jesuit, 6-4, 6-2; Jamison/Sargent, Fairview def. Stevens/Smith, 6-0, 6-3.

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