Indians' fifth straight title sets tournament record

May 11, 2013 Updated: May 11, 2013 at 8:05 pm
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PUEBLO If Doug Kretzinger ever wondered, he now knows the feeling of coaching a triumphant Cheyenne Mountain girls' 4A state champion tennis team.

Exhilarating. Refreshing. Oh, and yes, very cold.

Kretzinger, summoned to the top spot in place of Dave Adams, who was attending the graduation of his son, John, in Illinois, never saw it coming ? the water cooler bath that put the exclamation point on the Indians' fifth straight team title Saturday at Pueblo City Park.

'It does feel good, under these circumstances, ' said Kretzinger, who recently retired from his dual role as teacher and athletic trainer at Cheyenne Mountain. 'I've just been coaching the girls, and they adjusted well without Dave here. It can be like putting a different jockey on a horse, and they did well, really well. '

Cheyenne Mountain, which clinched the team title Friday, went out and won five of the seven matches Saturday. The additional victories gave the Indians 92 points for their 26-2 mark during the three-day event, setting a record for the 43-year history of the event.

The Indians broke the previous record of 89 points set in 2010.

In the most anticipated match of the day in No. 1 singles, Indians freshman Kalyssa Hall blasted her way past Denver South senior Meaghan Monaghan, the 2011 state champion and 2012 runner-up, by a 6-4, 6-4 score.

Hall overcame some shaky spots in each set, including letting a 4-1 lead dissolve quickly in the first set. She kept Monaghan scrambling with powerful ground strokes from the baseline but had a hard time putting away her consistent and patient opponent.

'She's so good at getting everything back, it was frustrating when I'd miss because I felt like I should have won those points, ' Hall said. 'I thought it was a good match and to hit like I did, it's fun to get in a groove like that. I really wanted to win the state title as a freshman and was more nervous here than I usually get. I can't wait until next season. '

Hall tasted championship glory for the first time, as did fellow freshman Jessica Metz, who teamed with Lauran Renjard to win the title at No. 1 doubles with a straight-set victory.

On the other side, senior doubles player Lara Walden won a state championship each and every year at Cheyenne Mountain. On Saturday, she teamed with fellow senior Alison Lynch to down Elaina Villanueva and Rachael Haas of St. Mary's Academy, 6-2, 6-2.

'I think this one was the one we worked hardest for, ' Walden said. 'I'm really thankful to get back one more time. I felt the nerves early, knowing that it was my last match of high school. I wanted to make a statement in my last match. '

At No. 2 singles, reigning champion Payton Fielding made an early statement against Kent Denver's Carolina Kawula, winning the first set 6-1. After that, the Indians sophomore rolled, winning six of the next eight games to repeat as champion.

'There was more pressure than last year since I won it, ' Fielding said. 'So there was that expectation to have to do it again. It's sure awesome to win it again. '

Caroline Fitzhugh won her third title, teaming with Lynch at No. 3 doubles for a straight-set victory. It was Lynch's third title, too.

The only setbacks happened at No. 3 singles, where freshman Daniela Adamczyk lost a 7-6(6), 6-3 decision, and in No. 4 doubles, with the team of Megan Dibble and Elizabeth Stagnaro falling 6-1 in the third set, the third three-setter in as many days for the team.

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