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Cheyenne Mountain almost clinches state boys' tennis title a day early
PUEBLO - After Friday’s play at the state boys’ tennis 4A championship, Cheyenne Mountain had not mathematically wrapped up the team title.
But it will take some very, very creative math to prevent it from happening.
“We’re firmly in the driver’s seat,” Cheyenne Mountain coach Dave Adams said. “We’re in four finals and three playback finals. That’s what I hoped would happen.”
Thanks largely to 14 points scored in Friday afternoon’s playback round, the Indians finished the day with 65 points and have all seven positions competing for points Saturday. The other teams in contention, albeit remotely, are Niwot and Colorado Academy, who can reach a maximum of 67 and 66 points, respectively, but must win all of their remaining matches to do so.
To put it simply, Cheyenne Mountain needs to score just three of its 18 possible points to wrap up its third consecutive team championship and the 17th in Adams’ 26 years leading the program.
The finals and the playback finals, which determine third and fourth place, will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday.
“That’s quite an accomplishment to have everybody playing on Saturday,” Adams said. “That’s hard to do. You’ve got to be in the top four at every spot.”
Cheyenne Mountain’s lone contender for an individual singles championship will be Andrew Venner, who reached the No. 3 final with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Kent Denver’s Kevin Adams.
“The last time I played (Adams), I was trying to go for winners and he just plays a good, consistent game,” Venner said. “I was working on keeping the ball in and just rolling it — trying to get more consistent and just not missing it and giving away free points. That worked today.”
Cheyenne Mountain will also be competing for state titles at Nos. 1, 2 and 3 doubles.
At No. 1, Cole Benson and Austin Hampton were tied at four in a first-set tiebreaker against Kent Denver’s Charlie Alpert and Ryan Beyer before reeling off three straight points to win the set. The Indians’ duo won the second set 6-3.
“We haven’t really been challenged the whole season,” Benson said. “I think it was really good for us to get that kind of push. It really showed that we can gut it out when we need to.”
Also advancing to the finals were Matt Clancy and Nathaniel Rocks at No. 2 doubles and Colt Sessions and Carsten Lux at No. 3 doubles.
“Today could have gone in so many different directions,” Adams said. “Given how tight those matches (against the same opponents) in the past have been, we could have easily dropped six of them and been in big, big trouble.
“I guess that’s what the state tournament is all about.”
That, and maybe some very creative math.