PUEBLO — Cheyenne Mountain's girls' tennis team woke up Saturday morning thinking it could keep a dynasty going.

But Niwot was too strong, too deep and too competitive to stop.

Cheyenne Mountain won twice in the Class 4A state tournament finals at Pueblo City Park, while Niwot triumphed in all five of its title matches to capture the championship for the first time since 2008. That ended the Indians' nine-year run as the state's top program.

Niwot won with 86 points, followed by Cheyenne Mountain's 72. Kent Denver (25) and Mullen (25) tied for third, while Lewis-Palmer (23) -- led by a sophomore -- finished fifth.

"It's been a great run," Cheyenne Mountain coach Dave Adams said.

That run started when most of the players on this year's roster were in elementary school. It continued year after year. Last year, the Indians were so dominant they clinched the state title a day before the championship matches.

One of the returning Cheyenne Mountain champions was Corey Patton Lossner, who won the No. 2 singles title again after defeating Lewis-Palmer's Austynn Crocker 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 in a match that lasted about 3 1/2 hours.

The Indians also triumphed in the No. 1 doubles, as Taylor Heinicke and Jensen Enterman captured the championship with a 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 victory.

Niwot sealed the state title about midway through the day.

Freshman Lucy Lu led the way for the Cougars by defeating Kent Denver's Josie Schaffer, who had won the previous two titles at No. 1 singles. Niwot also won the No. 3 singles and No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 doubles.

"I knew this team was special and I knew this was the year to do it," Niwot coach Aimee Keronen said. She added that her talented freshman forced her to move other players to lower positions that suited them better.

Some Cheyenne Mountain players knew they had lost their shot at repeating while they were in the middle of their matches. Every time Niwot won a title, players and fans cheered loudly and tournament officials noted that after Lu's win the Cougars secured enough points to dethrone the Indians.

Cheyenne Mountain's Ariana Arenson fell short in the No. 3 singles title match. And so did Emma Delich/Sydney Wagner and Zola Bzdek/Maggie Dwyer at No. 2 and No. 4 doubles finals, respectively. Meanwhile, junior Morgan Hall finished third at the top singles position.

Adams, the Indians coach, was already thinking as Saturday's tournament concluded that his team could have another run in 2019.

"We are excited to get back after it and see what we can do next year," he said.

comments powered by Disqus