PUEBLO - Cheyenne Mountain girls' tennis knows what it takes to come away from the state tournament with a trophy riding shotgun. And with the talent, depth and winning culture, sometimes it doesn’t even need a champion.
Cheyenne Mountain placed second behind Mullen, bringing home the silver trophy without an individual champion thanks in part to three positions making it to the state championship matches.
“I was surprised, I didn’t think we were going to end up in second,” said Cheyenne Mountain coach Dave Adams. “For this group, we have eight girls where this was their first year on varsity, so we are pretty excited for that finish.”
Cheyenne Mountain entered Day 2 of the state tournament one point behind Mullen with four positions in the semifinals Saturday morning. Three would ultimately move on to the championship.
At No. 4 doubles Raina Land and Jessica Fahrney took their championship match into sudden death, rebounding to win the second set 7-6 before Renee Hoyt and Clara Dailey eventually clinched the title with a 7-6 win in Set 3.
“We saw (Mullen) play yesterday afternoon and I thought they were a No. 2 doubles team,” Adams said. “And to be in it at the end, that was exciting for our girls, and to think about where those two have come from the beginning of the season to now, we are very proud of them, they did a great job.”
Freshman Taylor Stadjuhar battled for more than three hours in her No. 3 singles semifinal against Dasha Mulholland of Thompson Valley ultimately winning in three sets 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 to qualify for the state championship.
“(Mulholland) changed her game a lot and that kind of shifted the direction of the match,” Stadjuhar said. “And coming into the third set, I just told myself, I know how to beat her, I can do this. So I just started coming up and playing my game trying to get my points against her and using what I knew to beat her.”
Stadjuhar put up a fight against Niwot’s Emily Creek, but fell 7-5, 6-3 to take second.
“She is just a grinder,” Adams said. “Her heart, I don’t know how it fits in her chest. She is such a good competitor and a ton of grit, which I love about her.”
Adams said Stadjuhar hasn’t come close to hitting her ceiling, and partnered with her competitiveness and her strong mental game, he’s excited to see what her future holds.
"This motivates me a lot and lets me know that I can hang with everyone at state,” Stadjuhar said. “And as a freshman, going forward my next three years it lets me know that I have a chance to get the state title.”
Cheyenne’s No. 1 doubles team of Kate Twede and Ruby Muhl won its semifinal 6-1, 6-3 before facing a tough Kent Denver squad for the title, losing 6-4, 6-0.
Vanguard finished fifth in team scores at the 3A state championship, and senior Jaden Fuqua walked away with a second-place medal at No. 2 singles.
Fuqua battled into three sets in the quarterfinals, and again in the semis Saturday morning, defeating Colorado Academy's Katherine Pulido 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 to punch her ticket to the state championship. Fuqua fell to Alexis Gilio of the Dawson School 6-3, 6-3.