For the second straight year, the Doherty girls’ tennis team swept through competition in the Colorado Springs Metro League. This week at regionals, longtime coach Cheri Rogers will see if a beefed-up schedule is enough to carry more of her Spartans to the 5A state tournament.
“When you get into the Denver area, it’s a whole different thing,” Rogers said. “We played at a tournament in Longmont and missed second place by two points. That was impressive to me.”
Led by the Simons sisters – junior Reagan at No. 1 singles and freshman Kylie at No. 2, Doherty hopes to repeat, if not surpass, last year’s achievement at state, when it qualified 10 players from regionals and was the only area school to score points on the Gates Tennis Center courts.
Despite the loss of six seniors, Rogers had an experienced corps returning along with a stellar rookie season from Kylie Simons, who went undefeated in league play.
“Kylie went through tryouts and moved her way to No. 2 singles as a freshman, and she had an unbelievable season,” Rogers said. “That was a wonderful addition in what that did for our team.”
The Spartans also feature a strong No. 1 doubles team in Allie Wilson and Regan Waneka with state aspirations.
Doherty’s success is far from the only noise made by Pikes Peak-area squads in 5A.
Pine Creek freshman Nicole Kalhorn led the Eagles to a second-place team finish in the CSML, rolling through league play. Her only loss came to reigning 4A state No. 1 singles champ Meagan Monaghan of Denver South. She powers a team already loaded with state experience with Sarah Kosbab and Hannah Clack having reached state at No. 2 and No. 3 singles, respectively, a year ago.
Also, Pine Creek’s top doubles team of Katrina Steck and Taylor Verity takes an undefeated season record into this week’s tournament.
Rampart may no have the depth of some of the area's other teams, but No. 1 singles player Hannah Young could make a run at regionals.
Liberty enjoyed unparalleled success under first-year coach Ilona Wilson, going 7-3 in dual matches, the best in school history.
Sand Creek transfer Kirtsten Jensen, had to sit out half the season but shined at No. 1 singles once her eligibility was restored. Wilson also got solid contributions from sisters Amy and Jessica Goldstein at No. 2 and No. 3 singles, respectively, and the No. 1 doubles team of volleyball standouts Tammy King and Lauren Mann.
“This is the best season we’ve ever had, and this was very good for the girls to have some success,” said Wilson, originally from Romania. “We’re very excited for regionals.”