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Renjard leads Cheyenne Mountain to girls' tennis regionals sweep
Lauran Renjard knew she had to temper her emotions against Air Academy’s Jenna Milliman this time around.
Two weeks ago, Renjard hit her boiling point during a win against Milliman and Friday’s 90-degree regional meet had the potential of bubbling over with state ramifications on the line.
But the No. 1 singles player, on one of the deepest Cheyenne Mountain girls’ tennis teams, kept her cool at the Region 6 meet and the host took first in every spot en route to another regional championship. Air Academy took second followed by Vanguard in the 12-team region.
Air Academy qualified its three singles players and one doubles team. Vanguard, Coronado and Colorado Springs School each had one doubles team qualify.
“Our No. 1 goal was to get everyone through into state,” Cheyenne Mountain coach Dave Adams said. “Our second goal was to get a No. 1 seed at state by taking first here.”
Check and check.
Every player for Adams’ bunch will be a No. 1 seed at next week's 4A state meet in Pueblo including Renjard, who has gladly changed her tune when things go south.
“I felt bad for losing my composure a couple weeks ago,” the junior said after beating Milliman 6-0, 6-1. “It was my fault and I definitely play better when I keep my emotions under control. I've just got to breathe.”
Now Renjard looks like one of the best in the state with jaw-dropping agility and a merciless forehand. Looking back, she knows she might have lost some matches due to her unflinching need of being a perfectionist.
But she has transformed -- and thus transcended as she recently grabbed a tight win over Kent Denver’s Jordan Appel (7-5, 7-5), who she’d never beaten before.
“She has made jumps every year and most of that is mental,” Adams said. “She owned that she needed to control her emotions and now she’s playing at a whole different level.”
The Indians have rolled through the competition – and then some.
They’ve won 7-0 at dual meets four times and have taken first in every invitational they’ve gone to. They’ve beaten 5A powerhouses Cherry Creek (twice) and Fairview, who took first and second in last year’s 5A state meet, respectively.
And during the past two days, Cheyenne Mountain didn’t drop a set in 21 matches at regionals.
In No. 2 singles Payton Fielding beat Air Academy’s Claire Zombola, who was dealing with an overworked right arm and left wrist, in the finals 6-3, 6-1. Then, Kristen Sullivan (No. 3) didn’t drop a game in any of her three matches and concluded it with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Air Academy’s Ashley Burnett.
The doubles followed suit led by Francis Adams and Caroline Kingo (No. 1), who overcame “the best serve (they’ve) seen all year” to win eight of the last nine games to beat Coronado’s Amanda Nickless and Jessa Marra 6-3, 6-1.
After the awards were handed out, Renjard was quickly looking toward state where she hopes to set the tone for her team just like at regionals.
“I want to make the finals and just get as far as I can for us,” she said. “If I keep my composure in check I think I can do that.”
The Indians have won three straight 4A titles.