Centaurus stays hot in dual win at Longmont

Sep. 12—LONGMONT — When Centaurus boys tennis hit the road to Longmont High School, the Warriors carried with them a sense of pride in the performances they’ve been able to leave out on the court this fall.

On Tuesday afternoon, they showcased just why.

From No. 1 singles all the way down to No. 4 doubles, the Warriors swept the Trojans, 7-0, and didn’t give up a single set in the process. The team, now 7-0 through dual play with two tournament victories at the Mustang Invite and the Centaurus tournament, simply carried on through a season that’s seen no shortage of highlights.

Head coach Julie Daniel said the breakthrough was “a long time coming,” as the boys have bought into the program at every level. Her No. 1 singles man, senior Stephen Zakany, exemplified that at the very top when he took down Longmont junior Wyatt Saunders in a 6-3, 6-2 campaign.

“His forehand was really solid,” Zakany said. “He was getting a lot of shots past me on the forehand side, which was pretty impressive, and then he was coming up to the net quite a bit and that was kind of difficult for me to handle for a bit there.”

Zakany believed that while he was able to put Saunders away in two sets, he ranked that win toward the top of the 13 he’s already been able to put together. Saunders, on the other hand, is still searching for his first win as tries to stay aggressive from the baseline with faster rallies.

“I’ve been trying to just kind of move him outside of his comfort zone,” Saunders said. “I didn’t do super well today, but I was trying my best to kind of work him into my game, kind of play him out of his.”

The Trojans fell to a 4-2 record through dual play.

Zakany, who finished last season with a 7-9 record, credited his success to sharpening his mental game, something he’s tried to instill in his younger counterparts through their own matches. Their collective work, both on and off the courts, seem to be working wonders.

“I think it’s my movement and just my mental ability. I never give up on a point, no matter what the highest probable outcome is of a match. If I’m down a lot, I still have the hope that I can win,” he said. “I’m making sure everyone feels confident in their abilities to play and that they trust themselves to make shots in situations.”

Full results:

1 singles: Stephen Zakany (Centaurus) def. Wyatt Saunders (Longmont) 6-3, 6-2

2 singles: Dexy Payne (Centaurus) def. Lukas Selleck (Longmont) 6-1, 6-0

3 singles: Zach Gablehouse (Centaurus) def. Jesse Arnt (Longmont) 6-0, 6-1

1 doubles: Joey Hultgren/Jack Manning (Centaurus) def. Jack Kujawa/Owen Jones (Longmont) 6-4, 6-2

2 doubles: Julian Piccolini/Cai Jaffe (Centaurus) def. Luke Riddle/March Gephart (Longmont) 6-0, 6-0

3 doubles: Braden Walls/Zander Spradlin (Centaurus) def. Ben Champe/Adam McKell (Longmont) 6-1, 6-4

4 doubles: Dylan Khalish/Finn Moriarty (Centaurus) def. Andrew Swanson/Max Eiseman (Longmont) 6-0, 7-6 (7-3)

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