Published: May 10, 2014
PUEBLO - Minutes before Cheyenne Mountain formally accepted team and individual honors at Pueblo City Park, coach Dave Adams looked over at his celebrating Cheyenne Mountain girls' tennis team, the wheels already in motion.
While celebrating, Adams already had a certain part of him looking forward to the 2015 season, especially with the prospects of getting everyone back since the Indians have no seniors.
"We'll enjoy this one for a while, but it's a typical thing for a coach to start thinking about the future," Adams said Saturday. "Having everyone back, that's not a bad place to be."
Kalyssa Hall defended her No. 1 singles title, trading wicked forehands with St. Mary's Academy junior Alex Weil in a 6-3, 7-6 (2) victory, becoming the first Indians top player to win consecutive crowns since Becky Varnum won four straight from 1995-98.
Before Hall's victory, Cheyenne Mountain tandems of Ally Arenson and Casey Ahrendsen, Claire Dibble and Tory Louis, and Megan Dibble and Chelsey Geisz secured victories in doubles.
It marked the fourth season in a row in which Cheyenne Mountain had won at least three state doubles titles. The Indians have won six straight team titles.
"Our coaches are so supportive about playing our best and giving it all you have," Geisz said. "Because of that, I didn't feel pressure to win. I just had so much fun playing tennis."
Geisz was one of six state rookies for Cheyenne Mountain. Along with Megan Dibble, whose No. 4 doubles team lost in last year's championship match, the tandem worked a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Kent Denver at No. 3.
"I definitely think the experience paid off," Dibble said. "I was more relaxed. It's really all about experience and being here a second time. I felt more confident this time around. The entire team helps relieve the pressure of being at state. The girls coming back are encouraging to help prepare the newcomers."
State rookies Arenson and Ahrendsen cruised to a 6-4, 6-3 No. 1 victory over Niwot, while Claire Dibble and defending state-champion Louis rolled early, lost the second set, but dominated the third set in commanding fashion, 6-1, at No. 2.
Then there was Hall, admittedly never in command, but managing to win the key points to close out a tiebreaker in the second set.
"I got really tight, and I was so nervous that I couldn't get my serve in much in the first set," Hall said. "It was nice to be able to break, but I wish I could have gotten my serve in better. It's a relief for it to be over, because that was a lot of pressure and excitement because I won two in a row. I'm really happy that I was able to have such an amazing season."
Dibble thought so, too.
"It's a great feeling to know we have so many freshmen and sophomores coming back," said the junior, whose younger sister, Claire, is one of three freshmen on varsity, along with five sophomores. "It's exciting to know that we can improve and get even better with experience and hard work."