As Niwot and Mullen both try to get their level up play up to a state championship level, they put their talents on display against each other in a key regular season dual.
Niwot came away with the 4-3 win and had to earn every bit of it on a warm Wednesday afternoon.
The Cougars and Mustangs split the doubles matches as Mullen's No. 1 team of Dante Dino and Greg McMullan took down Ivan Calderon and Lichen Liao 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 in the day's only three-set match. Mullen as won No. 4 doubles with Sean Phelps and Blake Zaragoza beating Ryan Gray and Raaghav 6-0, 6-2.
The Cougars got doubles wins from upperclassmen tandem as Alan Wilcox and Xavier Moy beat Luc Caldwell and Alex Evans 6-2, 6-4 in No. 2 doubles while Maia Heather and Reeves Moor beat Patrick Duke and Colin Mackenzie 6-3, 6-3 in No. 3 doubles.
The singles matches ended somewhat decisively in all three positions with the Cougars getting two wins to Mullen's one.
In No. 2 singles, George Henry Hanzel held off Sam Keronen 6-4, 6-0 to give the Mustangs their only singles win on the day.
Niwot controlled the rest of the match as Luke Weber beat Jack Barker 7-5, 6-0 and defending 4A No. 1 singles champ Neil Wilcox beat Mac Caldwell 6-2, 6-3.
Wilcox is seeking his second state title but is also determined to help his team claim a championship. The Cougars finished third in the team standings last year behind champion Cheyenne Mountain and the very Mullen they beat on Wednesday.
"I always have to be there for my team," he told CHSAANow.com last week. "It's important for to win it just for me, but it's just as important for our whole team to go out and win a state championship."
Getting a with over last year's state runner-up has to be a huge mental boost in that regard. Boys tennis regionals are just over two weeks away with the state tournament slated to begin in three weeks.