Skip to content

Boys tennis: Monarch’s Jensen named Daily Camera player of the year

Monarch tennis player Luke Jensen poses for a portrait in Longmont on Monday. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)
Monarch tennis player Luke Jensen poses for a portrait in Longmont on Monday. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)
PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

Monarch senior Luke Jensen felt much happier after the final Class 5A state tournament of his high school career.

The four-year Coyote, who began his campaign in the No. 2 doubles position as a freshman, played all the way to the semifinals before falling to the eventual state champion, Grandview’s Eduard Tsaturyan. He battled back through the consolation bracket to place fourth at No. 1 singles, a year after “blowing” his first round match at No. 2 singles.

He thought he should have been the runner-up.

This season, he changed his mindset and altered his game to ensure that first-round match at state wouldn’t be his last. It was far from it, as he went 3-2 in that final competition. For that, and his upward trajectory since his freshman year, Jensen earned the Daily Camera boys tennis player of the year honor.

“I think I just focused more,” Jensen explained. “I didn’t feel any pressure. I guess it should be a lot of pressure for me but to me, it was just more fun and exciting that I just played really well. I know a lot of people probably got really nervous because it’s their last year of high school and they’re 1 singles and they have to prove it all at state. I didn’t really see it that way. I just saw it as another tournament for me to get better, another tournament for me to have the opportunity to play really good players. I just saw it as a very fun opportunity so it made me try really hard to win.”

Monarch's Luke Jensen competes in his No. 1 singles match against Grandview's Eduard Tsaturyan at the Class 5A state tournament at City Park in Denver on Friday morning. (By Alissa Noe/BoCoPreps.com)
Monarch’s Luke Jensen competes in his No. 1 singles match against Grandview’s Eduard Tsaturyan at the Class 5A state tournament at City Park in Denver. (Alissa Noe/BoCoPreps.com)

Head coach Billy Downs, who has been a part of Jensen’s court development over the past four years, saw immense growth even from day one this season.

“He became a little smarter player,” Downs said. “He started moving in on balls, instead of (letting) the ball come back to him. He used to be a counter-puncher, you know, 15 feet behind the baseline and just wait for the other people to miss. As he started playing the better players, he realized they didn’t miss as much, so he started being a little bit more aggressive, closing in on the baseline and taking out some people even in the state tournament that he had lost to at the beginning of the year. His overall game just developed better, came to the net more often.”

Jensen’s prosperity wasn’t just confined to his court game.

For years, he balked at the idea of leading his team and the idea of having to introduce his teammates at tournaments. “Team captain” wasn’t on his resume, and he didn’t view himself as a leader of anything.

He slowly but surely shed his own doubts as the season progressed, and came out much stronger than he had in any year prior. Now, he hopes to continue his tennis career at the next level, whether that’s for an NCAA-sanctioned program or a college club team.

The trajectory that his high school career has taken proved he’ll be up to the challenge.

“Just to see everyone be so happy that I was playing so well, it made me want to play better and practice more,” Jensen said. “I tried as hard as I could in my matches, but I think I was missing something. And this year, I kind of found what that something was.”

Join the Conversation

We invite you to use our commenting platform to engage in insightful conversations about issues in our community. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable to us, and to disclose any information necessary to satisfy the law, regulation, or government request. We might permanently block any user who abuses these conditions.