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Gazette Premium Content Cheyenne Mountain will again turn to its depth in quest of another state tennis title

NEAL REID Published: October 12, 2011

Any question marks Cheyenne Mountain boys’ tennis coach Dave Adams had before the season have been answered, and in a big way.

His Indians have blitzed their way through the 2011 season, dominating the 4A ranks in much the same fashion that has led to four state titles in the past six years. They swept their way through regionals and are primed and ready for another state title run as the tournament begins Thursday at Pueblo City Park.

Adams is cautiously optimistic about his team’s chances at the state tournament, which concludes Saturday.

“This is going to be a heck of a state tournament, and a lot of things can happen,” said Adams, who has led Cheyenne Mountain to 15 boys’ state titles during his tenure. “It’s going to be wide open. I think it’s going to be between us and Niwot for the team race, and I know there are going to be a number of spoilers in there from other schools that will definitely impact the way things come out.

“I think we’ve got some pretty good momentum built up, and we’ve had a good season.”

That’s an understatement.

The Indians went undefeated in dual meets while winning 71 percent of their games and were only challenged by Niwot, last year’s state runner-up. Niwot’s talented singles players swept Cheyenne Mountain’s Stephen Moore, Billy Fielding and Andrew Venner in mid-September, but the Indians swept doubles play for a 4-3 dual meet victory.

Its quartet of doubles tandems has been the team’s anchor this season, losing just one match among the group. With the Indians’ top two returning doubles players – Fielding and Venner – switching to singles and new doubles teams stepping into the spotlight in 2011, Adams was curious how his pairings would fare.

He has not been disappointed.

“Our four doubles teams combined have lost one match, and I would never have guessed that at the beginning of the season,” Adams said. “The guys have come along nicely and jelled well.”

Cheyenne Mountain’s No. 1 doubles team of senior Abe Yellen and junior Cole Benson – who won a state title together at No. 3 doubles last year – is one of the Indians’ undefeated pairs. They attribute much of their success to their familiarity with each other.

“The chemistry works a lot more when you have experience with the other person,” Yellen said. “Communication plays a really big role, because if you want to do well in a match, you can’t let your opponents see your weakness. Sometimes it can be shown by the way you communicate with your partner.”

Benson agrees.

“The best thing is that we both know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and we know our place,” Benson said. “Our biggest problem is staying focused. If we can do that, we believe we can do anything.”

Team depth will be another asset for the Indians this weekend as they look to hold off Niwot, a team they beat 80-58 for last year’s championship.

“I predict it’s going to be settled on Saturday and that nobody’s going to clean it up before then,” Adams said. “Niwot’s got the advantage with three singles players, and that’s where most of the points are. We’ve got more of an advantage with our depth, and we’re just going to have to see how it comes out.”

 

NOTES

Air Academy also qualified all three of its singles players and four doubles teams and could make waves in Pueblo this weekend. The Kadets’ Kellen Kaltenbacher could run into Discovery Canyon’s Luke Lorenz in the No. 1 singles quarterfinals if both players win their opening matches. Brandon Nachbar also qualified for Discovery Canyon, in No. 2 singles, and could face Lewis-Palmer’s Josh Elliot in the quarters. Lewis-Palmer’s No. 1 doubles team of Jonathan Forte and Jared Stuart also qualified for state.

 

AREA STATE QUALIFIERS

5A
Thursday-Saturday at Gates Tennis Center, Denver

No. 1 singles
Travis Kimsey, sr., Rampart

No. 2 singles
Matt Jacoberger, soph., Liberty
Tim Shepard, sr., Pine Creek

No. 1 doubles
Ian Cuthill/Cameron Edsall, Pine Creek

No. 4 doubles
Daniel Mawhirter/Brandon Biondi, Pine Creek


4A

Thursday-Saturday at Pueblo City Park

No. 1 singles
Kollen Kaltenbacher, jr., Air Academy
Luke Lorenz, soph., Discovery Canyon
Stephen Moore, jr., Cheyenne Mountain

No. 2 singles
Josh Elliot, sr., Lewis-Palmer
Billy Fielding, jr., Cheyenne Mountain
Brandon Nachbar, jr., Discovery Canyon
Stuart White, sr., Air Academy

No. 3 singles
Kennan Kaltenbacher, fr., Air Academy
Andrew Venner, jr., Cheyenne Mountain

No. 1 doubles
Taylor Ball/Kent Schaller, Air Academy
Abe Yellen/Cole Benson, Cheyenne Mountain
Jonathan Forte/Jared Stuart, Lewis-Palmer

No. 2 doubles
Jase Wyeno/Zach Vargas, Air Academy
Nick Beaumont/Jaryn Heath, Canon City
Vincent Chow/Canyon Barry, Cheyenne Mountain
Reese York/Erik Sabelstrum, Palmer Ridge

No. 3 doubles
Jeff Milliman/Naish Gaubatz, Air Academy
Declan Hyde/Matt Clancy, Cheyenne Mountain

No. 4 doubles
Mickey Martin/Alex Peters, Air Academy
Nathaniel Rocks/Austin Hampton, Cheyenne Mountain
Gavin Wolf/Ryan Courtney, Palmer Ridge

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