Few players on the state's high school tennis circuit can hammer the ball like Cheyenne Mountain sophomore Morgan Hall can, and maybe even fewer are as hard on themselves.
At least on one account, she's lightening up.
The Indians' No. 1 singles player made a philosophical change to her game midway through the season, straying away from an all-winners, all-the-time approach, to a more strategic and paced effort.
The dramatic flip came after a loss to Valor Christian's Emily Untermeyer in mid-April. It stuck.
Suddenly, the masher was also hitting for more accuracy and extending points. With her new style of play, she won the 4A Region 6 title and made it to her second straight state semifinal.
"That takes a lot of patience to want to do that," Cheyenne Mountain coach Dave Adams said. "You're a young player and you have all these weapons that you want to use all the time. I think she's realizing when is the right time to pull the trigger and also learn how to set a point up."
Hall, The Gazette Girls' Tennis Peak Performer of the Year, was eventually ousted by Kent Denver's Josie Schaffer, who won her second straight No. 1 singles title. Hall, meanwhile, finished fourth for the Indians, who won six of the seven individual titles en route to their ninth straight team title.
While the sophomore, her own worst critic, called her finish to the season "not ideal," Adams was quick to point out how valuable he deemed his No. 1 player.
"She leads by being such a strong player for us, by how she competes and by how much it means to her," Adams said. "She really takes losses pretty hard. And in a way, to see that competitiveness and that it means that much to her, I think it shows the other girls a good role model for them."
Hall has two more years of high school and said she is committed to sticking with her matured brand of play.
This summer, her plan is to improve her endurance after she admitted the added strokes and movement from her adjustment, at times, made her tired during the season.
Part of that plan, she said, is to run the Manitou Incline "three to four times a week."
"You have to be in really, really good shape to be able to sustain keeping the ball in 30 times if you have to," Hall said. "I'm going to get in incredible shape and I think it's going to reflect in my tennis game."