3A girls tennis: D'Evelyn wins team title

3A girls tennis: D'Evelyn wins team title
Posted on 05/16/2023
This is the image for the news article titled 3A girls tennis: D'Evelyn wins team titleGirls Tennis  Jon E. Yunt/CHSAANow.com

DENVER - It was supposed to be a "rebuilding season" for coach Woody Oliver and his D'Evelyn Jaguars.

Let's just call a reload.

The Jags claimed their third straight Class 3A title -- this one in the new dual tournament format -- by beating top-seeded Holy Family 4-3 on Tuesday afternoon at City Park.

"This one was all about the team," said No. 1 singles standout Evelyn Oltmans, who was looking forward to Tuesday after walking off the court as an individual runner-up on Saturday in Colorado Springs. "It was a rebuilding year because we lost seven seniors and I never really had a doubt, but we didn't have preseason practices this year, so coming in we were a little unsure.

"But these girls fought through and they just wanted it more. They want to go out there and compete."

It was sweet redemption for Oliver and his team that just over a month ago lost 4-3 on their home courts to the Tigers.

"I wouldn't say there were any massive differences and the match we played last month was extremely tight too," Oliver said. "But if I had to point to one thing individually, it would be the fact that I've never had a team that ever wanted to work as hard in practice and be as focused as they were.

"I think in years past we were reliant on just being able to show up and play well, and there was a great group of leaders this year that held people accountable and that's why they got better this year."

Last month, the Jags won all three singles spots and that didn't change on Tuesday. Oltmans, Sofia Cieslewicz (No. 2) and state champion Maisy Schoeman (No. 3) all took care of business in straight sets, leaving their chances at winning a state title in the hands of one of their four doubles teams.

The No. 1 team of Kate Davis and Sarah Cook stepped up. After suffering their lone loss of the season to Sarah Stonehocker and Clara Meisner 6-1, 6-4 in the dual, Davis and Cook found the magic. After trailing 4-1 in the first set, Cook and Davis rallied before the rain came and took the first set 7-5. And then continued it into the second second and were up 3-2 before the rain halted things for 30 minutes.

They were able to stay on serve the rest of the set and get the one break they needed at the end to win 7-5, 6-4.

"This is 100 percent more special just because I didn't really know if they were there at the beginning of the season," Oliver said. "They wanted to get there the whole time and they put in the work to get there and that always feels a little more rewarding when you have to fight a little extra hard to find your way."

The top-seeded Tigers won the final three doubles lines, but not without having to work a little extra for them. The only straight set victory came at No. 2 doubles from Avery Alderman and Lauren Stonehocker. Both the Nos. 3 and 4 teams won in three sets.

"Bummer is exactly right. We just didn't finish and hats off to D'Evelyn. They are always tough and they are well coached," Holy Family coach John Alderman said. "We just didn't get it done."


At City Park (Denver)
No. 1 singles -- Evelyn Oltmans, D'Evelyn def. Annabelle Kenny, 6-1, 6-2; No. 2 -- Sofia Cieslewicz, D'Evelyn def. Laura Baker, 6-3, 6-2; No. 3 -- Maisy Schoeman, D'Evelyn def. Raelynn Pickup, 6-3, 6-3.
No. 1 doubles -- Kate Davis/Sarah Cook, D'Evelyn def. Sarah Stonehocker/Clara Meisner, 7-5, 6-4; No. 2 -- Avery Alderman/Lauren Stonehocker, Holy Family def. Sabrea Schulta/Sky Young, 6-1, 6-4; No. 3 -- Ava Silverstein/Kylie Horning, Holy Family def. Kennedy Hartman/Bethany Cook, 7-5, 5-7, 6-1; No. 4 -- Katelyn Morris/Alesandra Wise, Holy Family def. Addie BaanHofman/Nicole Reeb, 6-1, 3-6, 6-2.
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