Strung along the fences that enclose the tennis courts at Cheyenne Mountain High School are a dizzying array of larger-than-life metal tennis balls, 22 in all, that commemorate girls’ team titles.
There is no ball from 2018, though.
During this season, there was no talk about the end of the nine-year run of state championships. Instead, longtime coach Dave Adams continued his consistent, tried-and-true approach of fundamentals and tuning out distractions.
On May 11 at Pueblo City Park, the Indians returned to the girls’ tennis summit, coming from behind during the day’s final matches to clip defending champion Niwot by a margin of only five points, 76-71.
“It’s about all the little things you do in practice every day,” Adams said. “All those things add up. We don’t talk about what didn’t happen last year. I don’t want to put additional pressure on the girls. I know it sounds cliché, but we just focus on the next competition and let the chips fall where they may. If everyone is consistent in their focus, I feel good about our chances.”
Cheyenne Mountain, armed with regional champions in all seven positions, needed all 76 of those points. And that focus was tested early on Saturday afternoon when many on the Niwot side began to celebrate a title defense after a victory in the No. 3 doubles final over the Indians team of Kate Twede and Charly Hall.
But it wasn’t over.
“There was a lot of drama, but not in a negative way,” Adams said. “Especially since a lot thought we had just lost it, but we found out later there were still enough points on the table to get it done. It was just great competition. Up and down our lineup, from No. 1 singles to No. 4 doubles, every position contributed. Without that success at each position, we would not have won it.”
At the top, state titles were won by Jensen Enterman at No. 2 singles, along with the No. 1 doubles team of Emma Delich and Sydney Wagner.
Maggie Dwyer and Rachel Moody fell in a hard-fought, three-set match in the championship match at No. 4 doubles, while Morgan Hall (No. 1 singles), Ariana Arenson (No. 3 singles) and Reed Vaughn/Ruby Muhl (No. 2 doubles) rebounded from setbacks earlier in the tournament to each earn third-place finishes by the time play wrapped up.
Now, work can begin on that next metal championship ball and possibly the start of another cluster of titles.
Adams will let his team’s play do the talking.
“Those are big fences; we have plenty of room for more,” Adams said. “I know the girls can look up at those with pride and know they had a part in it, and hopefully can inspire them to put the time and effort in to keep those coming.”