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Girls tennis: Niwot reigns in Class 4A regional

Longmont, Broomfield, Erie get representatives to state

  • Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

    Niwot doubles player, Catherine Xiao returns the ball during a regional tennis tournament at the Longmont Recreation Center on May 3, 2019.

  • Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

    Longmont High School's Kallie Westmoreland plays during a regional tennis tournament at the Longmont Recreation Center on May 3, 2019.

  • Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

    Longmont High School's Ana McConahy plays during a regional tennis tournament at the Longmont Recreation Center on May 3, 2019.

  • Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

    Lucy Lu, of Niwot, won the No. 1 singles. Niwot hosted a Class 4A Regional tennis tournament on Friday at the Longmont Recreation Center.

  • Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

    Longmont High School's Rebecca Pavot plays in a No. 1 singles match during a regional tennis tournament at the Longmont Recreation Center on May 3, 2019.

  • Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

    Longmont High School's Ana McConahy plays during a regional tennis tournament at the Longmont Recreation Center on May 3, 2019.

  • Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

    Niwot doubles player, Catherine Xiao plays during a regional tennis tournament at the Longmont Recreation Center on May 3, 2019.

  • Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

    Longmont High School's Rebecca Pavot plays in a No.1 singles match during a regional tennis tournament at the Longmont Recreation Center on May 3, 2019.

  • Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

    Niwot doubles player Catherine Xiao plays during a regional tennis tournament at the Longmont Recreation Center on May 3, 2019.

  • Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

    Niwot High School's Lucy Lu won the No. 1 singles. Niwot hosted a Class 4A Regional tennis tournament on Friday at the Longmont Recreation Center.

  • Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

    Longmont High School's Tanna Carson plays during a regional tennis tournament at the Longmont Recreation Center on May 3, 2019.

  • Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

    Niwot High School's Lucy Lu won the No. 1 singles. Niwot hosted a Class 4A Regional tennis tournament on Friday at the Longmont Recreation Center.

  • Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

    Longmont High School's Ana McConahy plays during a regional tennis tournament at the Longmont Recreation Center on May 3, 2019.

  • Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

    Longmont High School's Rebecca Pavot plays in a No.1 singles match during a regional tennis tournament at the Longmont Recreation Center on May 3, 2019.

  • Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

    Longmont High School's Jesse Bartel plays during a regional tennis tournament at the Longmont Recreation Center on May 3, 2019.

PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

LONGMONT — Niwot coach Aimee Keronen tapped her index finger along the side of her forehead when asked how she manages the contrasting seasons and obstacles faced by her different players.

“It’s the same up here,” she said.

Ah yes, a quick test of the Cougars’ mental strength Friday … and they passed.

Now with a chance to defend their state crown, an even bigger evaluation looms.

Lucy Lu, Tehnley White and all four doubles pairings for the Cougars didn’t lose a set over two days at the Class 4A Region 5 tournament as Niwot won the team title and made a full booking to next week’s state tournament in Pueblo after winning six golds and a silver.

Rachel Drake, meanwhile, fell to Longmont’s Taylor Merz in the 3 singles finals but won her playback over Broomfield’s Danielle Latimer to secure the team’s final spot.

“It’s so mental with them,” Keronen said. “No matter how highly competitive or lowly competitive you are, this (mind) is always there.”

The team posed for a few quick pictures at the Longmont Rec Center courts after winning with 80 points. Longmont was second with 49.

Lu was first to finish after she dropped her first two games of the tournament to Longmont’s Rebecca Pavot, but quickly reasserted dominance in a 6-2, 6-0 victory. The reigning 4A No. 1 singles champ hasn’t lost a match this season.

“There’s definitely a little more pressure (at state) than a normal tournament, but I’m just trying to ignore the pressure and treat it normal,” Lu said.

Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer
Longmont’s Rebecca Pavot will get a chance to compete at the 4A state tournament at 1 singles after making the regional final Friday.

Following her was White, who beat Erie’s Julie Bremser 6-0, 6-3.

White was partnered with Drake in 1 doubles last season before they both moved into the vacant singles roles left by graduated players Taylor Thulson and Julia Pentz. The junior said it’s been something of a work in progress.

“It’s been kind of hard because I really like doubles and that’s where it seems like my strengths work,” White said. “But I’ve been working on (other) strengths, like I have to have a good serve, and I have to play from the baseline and move around.

“It was an adjustment, but I think I managed to get into the groove and figure out how to do it.”

The Trojans qualified for state in five spots and will have a top seed in Merz, the 3 singles region champ. The senior, who beat Drake 6-4, 6-4 after losing to her in three sets earlier in the season, said she hopes to improve on her fourth-place state finish from last spring.

“But my main goal is just to go play my best,” she said. “I just want to play the best I’ve ever played.”

Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer
Ana McConahy of Longmont, together with No. 1 doubles partner Tanna Carson, qualified for state after winning a playback match at the Class 4A Region 5 tournament Friday.

Erie and Broomfield also each qualified in one position.

4A Region 5 tournament

At Longmont Rec Center

Team scores — Niwot 80, Longmont 49, Broomfield 38, Erie 27, Silver Creek 18, Skyline 10, Centaurus 0, Standley Lake 0.

Championship matches

Singles — 1. Lu, Niwot, def. Pavot, Longmont, 6-2, 6-0; 2. White, Niwot, def. Bremser, Erie, 6-0, 6-3; 3. Merz, Longmont, def. Drake, Niwot, 6-4, 6-4.

Doubles — 1. Creek/Xiao, Niwot, def. Carson/McConahy, Longmont, 6-0, 6-1; 2. Sieben/Trank-Greene, Niwot, def. Bartel/Westmoreland, Longmont, 6-3, 6-3; 3. Lang/Sallee, Niwot, def. Ashton/Creighton, Longmont, 6-2, 6-2; 4. O’Neill/Heinritz, Niwot, def. Reichert/Spencer, Broomfield, 6-4, 6-2.

Third place matches

Singles — 1. Roberts, Skyline, def. Mahakian, Erie, 6-2, 6-3; 2. Belton, Broomfield, def. Shaw, Silver Creek, 6-0, 6-0; 3. Latimer, Broomfield, def. Nelsen, Silver Creek, 7-6, 6-1.

Doubles — 1. Penner/Roylance, Broomfield, def. Williams/Wolak, Erie, 2-6, 6-1, 6-2; 2. Walker/Compesi, Broomfield, def. Keller/Shrestha, Erie, 6-3, 6-4; 3. Long/Doyle, Broomfield, def. Ch. Pomeroy/Reddy, Silver Creek, 6-1, 6-1; 4. Johnson/Premer, Longmont, def. Toomer/Grendele, Silver Creek, 6-0, 6-2.

Playback matches

Singles — 3. Drake, Niwot, def, Latimer, Broomfield, 6-1, 6-2.

Doubles — 1. Carson/McConahy, Longmont, def. Penner/Roylance, Broomfield, 7-5, 6-2. 3. Ashton/Creighton, Longmont, def. Long/Doyle, Broomfield, 6-4, 6-3.