Gazette Preps girls' tennis 2018 preview capsules

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Photo - Girls compete at the 2017 3A regional round of girls tennis on Friday, May 5, 2017 at Memorial Park. Photo by Isaiah J. Downing
Girls compete at the 2017 3A regional round of girls tennis on Friday, May 5, 2017 at Memorial Park. Photo by Isaiah J. Downing

CLASS 5A

Doherty

Coach: Cheri Rogers, 27th year

Last year: 6-0 (2-0 5A Colorado Springs Metro)

Returning athletes: Edee Chesire, jr., Maggie Frye, sr., Sun Lee, jr., Amanda Oldervik, sr., Lindsey Smith, jr.

Outlook: “This is going to be an interesting season for us because of the loss of our top five players due to graduation,” Rogers said. “This will be a new experience for our returning players that have all played and competed in doubles only.”

Fountain-Fort Carson

Coach: Mary Heisel, fifth year

Last year: 3-5 (0-2 5A CS Metro)

Returning athletes: Allison Clark, sr., Ashley Davis, sr., Grace Durbin, sr., Rachel Johnson, jr., Abigail Kinnitschtzke, sr., Maricela Montoya, sr., Keeley Richardson, sr., Madison Sabala, sr.

Other top athletes: Eun Koak, fr.

Outlook: “We have a large number of varsity senior players this year who have been with our program since they were freshmen, so we are excited to see that group finish out their fourth year together,” Heisel said. “In addition, we have an incoming freshman player, Eun Koak, who is currently ranked in the Intermountain Division, so it should be exciting to see how she does for our team.”

Liberty

Coach: Brandon Dale, first year

Last year: 7-3 (4-1 5A Region 8)

Returning athletes: None listed

Outlook: “We are working toward a strong, competitive program for the Lady Lancers,” Dale said.

CLASS 4A

Air Academy

Coach: Matt Kiser, second year

Last year: 9-5 (3-2 4A Region 1)

Returning athletes: Cori Campbell, jr., Grace Ensor, sr., Ally Reeder, sr., Mackie Tate, so.

Other top athletes:  Samantha Cordasco, fr., Mia Kardell, fr.

Outlook: “We’re always looking to grow the program and have more depth at each position, so it’s nice to see some incoming freshmen,” Kiser said.

Coronado

Coach: Tyler Philipsen, sixth year

Last year: 5-5 (0-2 4A Region 6)

Returning athletes: Anna Griffin, so., Maya Glaser, sr., Bethany Heitland, sr., Savannah Leifer, sr., Emma Sartain, sr., Connie Sun, jr., Clara Thompson, sr.

Outlook: “I am most excited about having seven returning varsity players, six of whom have state tournament experience,” Philipsen said. “Most have been working in the offseason to improve and try to make it back.”

Note: Sophomore Anna Griffin’s twin sister, Kate, is a singles player for Colorado Springs School. Both are multi-sport standouts for their respective schools.

Cheyenne Mountain

Coach: Dave Adams, 12th year

Last year: 9-2 (3-1 4A Region 6)

Returning athletes: Ariana Arenson, jr., Jensen Enterman, so., Morgan Hall, jr., Taylor Heinicke, jr., Cory Patton Lossner, jr., Tiana Stepleton, sr.

Outlook: “We will have a lot of new players this year and the majority of our doubles teams, if not all of them, will be new combinations of players,” Adams said. “There are many question marks at this point; we will need to grow up quickly as a team during the course of the season.”

Discovery Canyon

Coach: Brian Thirkell, ninth year

Last year: 6-3 (4-1 4A Region 1)

Returning athletes: Lauren Barnes, sr., Hunter Jones, jr., Mattie Kuntzelman, jr., Paddison Lowe, so., Ria Paradkar, sr., Sachi Rohilla, so., Kristina Schneible, sr., Sydney Smith, sr.

Outlook: “Nine Thunder tennis players from the 2017 regional championship team are returning,” coach Brian Thirkell said. “And five of the returning players qualified for state and helped the Thunder tennis team place ninth at the 4A state tournament.”

Note: Discovery Canyon returns Hunter Jones, who won bronze in No. 1 singles at last year’s state tournament.

Mesa Ridge

Coach: Lisa Felice, 15th year

Last year: 4-5 (2-1 4A Region 6)

Returning athletes: Patricia Liwinagen, sr., Alexis Medina, sr.

Other top athletes: Mia Green, jr., Mikayla Griffith, sr., Sarah Machin, so.

Outlook: “My returners are all dual sport athletes and volleyball as well,” Felice said. “I have some young recruits which also came from the volleyball team and we’re excited to see the athleticism come through.”

Mitchell

Coach: Paul Bernier, 18th year

Last year: 1-7 (0-2 4A Region 6)

Returning athletes: Camryn Asura, jr., Kate-lynn Burch, sr., Kelsey Decker, sr., Brauna Francesconi, sr., Sadi Gagnon, sr., Rosa Henson, jr.,  Allee Lentowich, so., Sakae Malcom, sr., Jordyn Pape, jr., Isabel Parker-Kubicek, sr., Nova Poe, sr., Marlyn Torres, sr.

Outlook: “This year's group is excited to be a team again and are looking forward to a fun and challenging season,” Bernier said.

Note: Mitchell returns all 12 starters from last year, and is considering starting summer programs and invested in training equipment to help grow the program.

Pine Creek

Coach: Dave Lehman, 13th year

Last year: 7-2 (6-1 4A Region 1)

Returning athletes: Alex Heist, jr., Sherry Hu, sr., Lindsey Mase, sr., Livia Matheson, jr., Jodi Reed, so., Shreya Shresta, so., Angel Wang, so.

Outlook: “This is a young team with a number of new players,” Lehman said. “This will be a  challenging year building a new team, but the girls are enthusiastic and can’t wait for the season to begin.”

Rampart

Coach: Molly Gill, fourth year

Last year: 6-5 (1-2 4A Region 1)

Returning athletes: Rebekah Acosta, sr., Zoe Hayward, so., Brittany Head, sr., Mariah Knapp, sr., Grace Qiu, sr., Taylyn Warth, jr.

Other top athletes: Carly Nicholson, jr., Emma Phillips, so.

Outlook: “We have a lot of great players to round out the athletes we lost last year,” Gill said. “I am excited to see incoming players and their potential to fill in the rest of the spots on our team. All of my athletes are dedicated and ready to play.”

Sand Creek

Coach: Pam Rogers, first year

Last year: 6-4 (0-3 4A Region 1)

Returning athletes: Katie Anspach, sr., Isabella Aragon, jr., Morgan Bird, jr., Alyssa Dowdy so., Kaitlyn Fark, sr., Nina Gonzales, so., Kyrsten Goodman, jr., Madison Graveen, so., Lilian Hermosillo, jr., Noelle Hernandez, jr., Amy Hong, sr., Darlene Mancera, sr., Hailey Nesenson, so.,  Lydia Plummer, so., Lauren Whitfield, so.

Other top athletes: Janae Kite, fr.
Outlook: “With many returning varsity players, our skills and experience will increase our performance level,” Rogers said. “Kaitlyn Fark's leadership has great influence on younger players.”

Note: Although it is her first year at Sand Creek, Rogers has 10 years of coaching experience at Denver Public Schools.

Widefield

Coach: Joe Griebel, 11th year

Last year: 7-3 (3-1 4A Region 6)

Returning athletes: Victoria Bowen, sr., Maddison Villars, jr.

Outlook: "We're looking forward to another exciting season," Griebel said. "We will have eight returning letter winners and a solid group of girls anxious to challenge them for their spot on the roster."

CLASS 3A

Colorado Springs Christian

Coach: Randy Stephens, 31st year

Last year: 8-3 (3-1 3A Region 6)

Returning athletes:  Nyah Cate, so.,  Alex Fu, jr., Tyesha Lockyer, jr., Brooke Sweatman, sr., Lauren Thoman, so., Michaella Thoman, sr., Tristen VanDeVeer, sr.

Other top athletes: Christine Ajayi, sr., Ruby Boswell, fr., Kayla Merckx, fr.

Outlook: “We have more depth than in the past,” Stephens said. “Three of our other top athletes (Ajayi, Boswell and Merckx) listed are all volleyball players. They are good athletes that are going to pick up tennis quickly.”

Colorado Springs School

Coach: Colleen Patton Campbell, second year

Last year: 8-4 (2-2 3A Region 6)

Returning athletes: Kate Griffin, so., Sabrina Jackson, jr., Cici Jiang, so., Celeste Norsworthy, sr., Julia Paschal sr., Abrielle Stikeleather, so., Annika Wooten, sr.

Other top athletes:  Hina Suzuki, so., Jules Thompson, fr.

Outlook: “We have a real good chance to win regionals,”  Campbell said. “I don’t think we have ever won regionals in tennis, hopefully we make school history.”

Note: Jules Thompson and Hina Suzuki are singles players who transferred from Ojai, California. Patton said the duo play tournaments year-round and are great singles players.

Harrison

Coach: Joe Rodrigues, first year as coach

Last year: 2-7 (0-0 3A Region 7)

Returning athletes: None listed

Outlook: “We brought home our first ribbon from Regional's in many years,” Rodrigues said. “We hope to improve on those results this coming season.”

Note: Schools not listed did not report to Gazette Preps