Evergreen girls tennis coach Radka Lacjak had a good feeling about her three singles players heading into last weekend’s regional tournament.
When the dust settled, all three had punched a ticket to the Class 4A state tournament in Pueblo and the Cougars had a second-place finish in the team standings.
The aftermath of the regional tournament also uncovered a couple of surprises for Lacjak and the Cougars - most notably the No. 2 doubles team of Roz Amirfazli and Megan McKenna.
With a 3-8 record heading into the state-qualifying tourney, not much was expected from the pair. It appeared as though the duo’s bid for an unlikely state tournament slot would come up short, as they trailed 5-4, 40-0 in the third set.
Somehow, they rallied back and won the consolation match, earning a spot in a playback match. In the playback, they closed things out in grand style, winning the third set 6-0.
“They played so well in that third set,” Lacjak said. “I’m so proud of them for battling the entire tournament. They definitely deserve to go to state after that performance.”
Evergreen’s No. 1 doubles team of Jaclyn Gongorek and Emmy Quinn will also be appearing at state, pushing the number of qualifiers from Evergreen to seven.
“The whole atmosphere at regionals was unbelievable,” Lacjak said. “Everyone came out and supported the team. The most important thing for me is that we have five seniors on the team and I wanted to see all of them make it to state.
“They did and it’s so exciting.”
One of those seniors, No. 1 singles player Catherine Reynolds, continued her solid play on the season at regionals. Reynolds had an 8-3 record on the year.
Allison Crider has worked with Lacjak - who’s a teaching professional at the Evergreen Tennis Center - for a long time. Lacjak said that she’s never seen Crider play better tennis than she did at Pinehurst County Club.
“She’s had a great season,” Lacjak said of her pupil, who carried a 9-2 record into regionals. “I was really proud of her.”
Kirsten Brehmer plays No. 3 singles. Brehmer, who last year played No. 2 doubles for Steamboat Springs, was 8-3 on the season.
For the state tournament, Lacjak said she isn’t overly concerned with wins and losses.
“At this point I just want them to go there and have fun,” Lacjak said. “I know that they will all leave their hearts out there on the court and they’ll try their best.”
Class 4A state tennis tournament
opening round matches
No. 1 singles: Catherine Reynolds, Evergreen, Sr., vs. Sarah Housman, Pueblo South, Jr.
No. 2 singles: Allison Crider, Evergreen, Sr., vs. Kristina Barber, Cheyenne Mountain, So.
No. 3 singles: Kirsten Brehmer, Evergreen, So. vs. Amanda Lee, Niwot, Jr.
No. 1 doubles: Jaclyn Gongorek/Emmy Quinn, Evergreen vs. Alessandre DeWitt/Angela Carvalho, Holy Family
No. 2 doubles: Roz Amirfazli/Megan McKenna, Evergreen vs. Linsey Barta/Kelsi Ouelette, Northridge.