Central’s Havens making most of move from doubles to singles

CHEYENNE — Logan Havens was far from perfect in his first set on Wednesday.

Facing Cheyenne South’s Mark Broyles in the No. 2 singles match, Havens battled to a 6-3 win in the first set.

His problem — shot selection.

His solution — make better choices.

“I started swinging at volleys and that’s never good when you’re at the net. So I started punching volleys and my shot selection got a lot better,” Havens said. Continue reading

WyoSports extra: Burns volleyball, East cross-country, South tennis notes

Cheyenne South's Lincoln Trujillo won his match on Saturday against Torrington, 6-3, 6-1. Blaine McCartney/staff

Cheyenne South’s Lincoln Trujillo won his match on Saturday against Torrington, 6-3, 6-1. Blaine McCartney/staff

Some material this weekend did not make the Wyoming Tribune Eagle print edition due to it being past the print deadline. Here’s the material that did not make it to our offices on time:

South tennis battles Torrington

CHEYENNE — The Cheyenne South boys tennis team came close to earning the program’s first team win on Saturday, falling to Torrington 3-2.

Lincoln Trujillo won his No. 1 single match over Tyler Ring, 6-3, 6-1. The doubles team of Jake Freeman and Lencho Beltran won the No. 1 doubles battled Jon Cummings and Liam Nadeau to a 6-1, 6-1 win. Continue reading

Cossitt takes South’s tennis training to another level

CHEYENNE — Josh Cossitt has binders full of material he was given this summer.

When you attend workshops and camps hosted by the U.S. Tennis Association, you don’t leave empty-handed.

A whirlwind summer of camps, training and hosting tournaments ended with the High Performance Coaching Program in Carson, Calif. The camp featured coaches from around the country, many of which were collegiate veterans or teaching professionals.

Cossitt, a teaching pro in Cheyenne and the head coach at Cheyenne South, soaked up all the information he could.

Now he’s putting it to use. Continue reading

East’s Rich better prepared for life as No. 1 player

Abby Rich

Abby Rich

CHEYENNE — Last year, Abby Rich jumped into the fire for the Cheyenne East girls tennis team.

With a small, young set of players on the court, Rich elevated herself to the No. 1 singles position for the Lady Thunderbirds as a sophomore. She got a few wins over lesser competition but struggled at the state tournament, going 0-2.

That made this summer very important.

In an effort to get better, Rich began playing more tennis at a high lever. She took part in the Wyoming Governor’s Cup, reaching the consolation finals in the women’s open division and winning the open mixed doubles consolation title with Cheyenne Central’s Logan Havens.

“Since it was an adult tournament, I just figured it would be good match experience and just go out there and do my best,” Rich said. Continue reading

East youngster Hatanelas thrilled to be at No. 1 spot

Dylan Hatanelas

CHEYENNE – Dylan Hatanelas has not shied away from the opportunity to be Cheyenne East’s No. 1 boys singles tennis player.

In fact, he’s done quite the contrary.

“I’m actually looking forward to it,” Hatanelas says.

Strong words from a young man who is just beginning his sophomore season. Continue reading

Lapkin chasing history

Cheyenne East senior Aaron Lapkin is the hands down favorite to win his fourth consecutive No. 1 singles tennis title. I firmly believe it’s his title to lose and know I have a great deal of company in that opinion.

Winning Saturday would make Lapkin the first four-time singles champion in state history according to Wyoming High School Activities Association records, which date back to 1973.

Casper Natrona County’s Jennifer Killmer won three No. 1 singles titles from 2003-05 until Cheyenne Central senior Kate Lowder halted that string with a 7-5, 6-4 win.

Sheridan’s Sara Hart won the No. 2 singles crown in 1990 (the first year the state had brackets for anything other than No. 1 singles and doubles), and took the No. 1 singles title in 1992 and ’93.

State tennis

Rain is in the forecast for Cheyenne today. That’s not good news for the Wyoming State Tennis Championships which are scheduled to run through Saturday at various locations around the Capital City.

 

Going into a Wednesday night coaches’ meeting, there was no concrete plan to keep the tournament moving in the event of inclement weather. The main strategy is to wait out any wetness.

 

Plan B is playing matches into the wee hours of the night at the two sites with lighted courts (Holliday Park and the Cheyenne Country Club), and, if they have to, playing eight-game pro sets. In those matches, the first player to win eight games wins the match, provided they win by at least two games.

 

“You don’t want to get off to a slow start (in the pro sets),” Central coach Brad Emmons said. “When you’re playing two out of three (sets), you can start off slow and still come back, but if you’re down four games in a pro set, it’s kind of hard to come back.

 

“You don’t have that chance to start over. You have to be ready to play right away. The pressure builds a lot faster in a pro set.”

 

Handicapping the tournament

Emmons said Gillette and Central should duke it out for the boys title. The Camels topped Central 3-2 in a dual, but the Indians won the Scottsbluff (Neb.) Invitational with Gillette in the field. Both teams nearly lapped the field en route to winning their regional tournaments.

 

“There were different winners in Scottsbluff than there were in the dual here,” Emmons said. “It was pretty interesting. There are three divisions where it could be Central-Gillette finals and the other two could feature Central-Gillette semifinals.

 

“If everyone holds their seeds, they’ll be playing in all five divisions. It should be really close there. It’s going to come down to somebody stumbling. If anyone has a bad match, it could knock a team out because the race is that even.”

 

On the girls side, defending champion Jackson could run away with the title.

 

“Jackson has to be the favorite because it has six returning players from its state championship team,” Emmons said. “We lost a dual to Jackson and had a lot of close matches. We might be in the hunt if we can get a few of those turned in our direction.

 

“Laramie beat us by a few points in the regional tournament, and they have to be in the mix as well. It might be a three-team race, but Jackson is clearly the favorite.”

 

Jackson won four of five divisions at the north regional. The lone loss came at No. 1 singles where Maddy Gerard fell to two-time state champ Emily Holst.

Is this the Indians’ year?

Prior to the prep tennis season, Cheyenne Central coach Brad Emmons told me he had a good feeling about both of his teams.

I know the season is still young, but he was right. Not that I didn’t believe Emmons when he told me that, it’s just when you talk to coaches before the season, at any level of competition, they all say that. So after a while, you start to shake it off.

But numbers never lie, and both of his boys and girls teams have yet to lose.

When I asked Emmons last week if either team will lose this season, he just smiled and said, “We’ll see.”

While I don’t think both teams will remain unbeaten, I do think when the state tourney starts in a few weeks, both teams are heavy favorites to win the team title. A state tourney you can watch in the Capital City.

Emmons says the biggest threat for both teams lies in Jackson.

Still, with the depth the Indians and Lady Indians possess, I don’t see anyone beating them.

There is still a lot of tennis yet to play, but it appears like this prep tennis season belongs to Central.

An inadvertent omission

In the Oct. 3 story about doubles teams, I neglected to mention that the No. 1 boys pairing of Austin Fermelia and Patrick Schum isn’t the lone returning team for Cheyenne Central. The No. 3 girls team of Emily Lindly and Valerie Boone also played together last fall.

 

I had the duo in my list of names, titles and spellings at the beginning of the story I turned into my editors, but neglected to include the ladies in the body of my actual story.