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Cheyenne Mountain rolls to 4A state boys' tennis title
Indians win third crown in a row
PUEBLO • At 9:57 a.m. Saturday, just 57 minutes after the final round of the 4A boys’ tennis state tournament started, the Cheyenne Mountain Indians were again champions.
That’s how long it took the Indians’ dominant No. 1 doubles team of Cole Benson and Austin Hampton to win their title match 6-2, 6-1 to wrap up Cheyenne Mountain’s third straight team title and the 17th of coach Dave Adams’ career.
“We came out and took care of business,” said Benson, who hasn’t lost a high school match since dropping the championship match at No. 2 doubles in the 2009 state tournament. “We beat them earlier this season and knew if we came out here and played like we’re capable of playing we could absolutely do that again.”
Benson, a senior who said he doesn’t plan to play tennis collegiately, is regarded as the team’s emotional leader.
“I like giving people that energy,” he said. “Some people, they need a little jump-start to get themselves going.”
While that match clinched the team championship, the Indians didn’t stop there. Colt Sessions and Carsten Lux added a second doubles title with a 6-2, 7-6 victory over Kent Denver’s Jon Payne and Andrew Thompson at No. 3 doubles.
“It was a little tentative at times, especially during the second set,” Lux said. “We got down early, but we just kept fighting our way back and won in the tiebreak.”
Having overcome a 4-1 deficit in the second set, the Indians’ duo forced the tiebreaker and quickly went up 6-2. Before serving for the title, Sessions, who has also won two state titles as a high jumper, did a couple of high leaps.
“I was a little amped up,” Sessions said. “We knew that we had a brute today and they gave us a run. It could have gone either way — they’re a great team.”
Andrew Venner grabbed Cheyenne Mountain’s lone singles title, scoring a hard-fought 6-1, 2-6, 6-0 victory over Air Academy’s Keenan Kaltenbacher in an all-Colorado Springs final at No. 3 singles.
Cheyenne Mountain also scored points in the playbacks, winning third-place matches at No. 1 singles, No. 2 singles and No. 4 doubles.
“That was a good way for us to finish it up,” Adams said. “We felt good coming in obviously because we were in the catbird seat, but it’s happened before when had to win one match and we didn’t do it.
“We’re just going to enjoy this; we’ve got a lot of upperclassmen who have been a part of this team for four years. It’s kind of a stressful moment for us, but we’re just going to enjoy the day.”