PUEBLO — The Class 4A boys tennis championship is essentially coming down to a dual. In six of the seven finals that will be taking place Saturday morning at Pueblo City Park, Kent Denver will square off against Colorado Academy.
Whoever comes away with the 2017 team championship is going to have to earn it the old fashion way, on the court over the course of the final day.
“Tomorrow is going finish on the court,” Kent Denver coach Randy Ross said. “We played them in a dual earlier this season, it was a great high school tennis match. They beat us 5-2 and we had five three-set matches out of the seven.”
The lone exception in the battle will be in the No. 1 singles final. Peak to Peak’s Brett Finan beat Colorado Academy’s Richter Jordaan in the semifinal. It will be the second-straight year that Finan will compete for the No. 1 singles title.
He lost a year ago to Kent’s Casey Ross. This year, he’ll try to beat Jack Moldenhauer to take a title that eluded him in 2016.
“I’ve played him a couple of times before,” Finan said. “He has a big forehand and big serve. I just need to play my game and I’ll be alright.”
Moldenhauer got to the final by beating 2015 No. 1 singles runner-up Nick Lorenz from Discovery Canyon.
The two have often competed against each other in junior tennis, so they were familiar with each other. Friday’s match just belonged to Moldenhauer.
“We know each other’s games very well,” Moldenhauer said. “He’s a great guy, I consider him one of my friends and I knew he was going to be tough and it would be a good match.”
As much as he wants to get the win to keep the No. 1 singles title with Kent Denver, Moldenhauer has no intention on focusing on himself through the rest of the tournament. The priority for him, and for the rest of the Sun Devils, is doing what needs to be done so that regardless of which individuals come away with wins, the team brings home additional hardware.
His worry is on that, more than anything else.
“Definitely what I can do to help the team,” he said. “Our team is great. I love all the guys and we want it really badly.”
Going into Saturday, Kent Denver has a slight edge in score thanks to Finan’s win over Jordaan. The Sun Devils head into Saturday with 77 team points compared to the Mustangs’ 73.
In order for Colorado Academy to clinch the team title, they need four wins in the finals along with a Finan win over Moldenhauer.
Three finals win for Kent Denver will lead to its fifth straight team title. Heading into Friday night and Saturday morning, Ross will be able to send the same message to all 11 kids he has competing on Saturday.
“We just talk about enjoying the moments and taking care of their courts,” he said. “We try not to talk too much about outcomes.”
The 4A boys tennis finals begin Saturday at 9 a.m.