The stretch of inclement weather has shortened Colorado’s Class 4A girls tennis tournament from Thursday-to-Saturday to Friday-to-Saturday.
But the goal remains the same for Mullen as it left for Pueblo’s City Park Courts.
“I’m hopeful we’ll come in at least similar to last year,” Mustangs head coach Jera Sturgell said.
A year ago, the Mustangs rose to third place (tied with Kent Denver) and despite having to replace six of the 11 spots (there are three singles players and four sets of doubles teams) have an opportunity to challenge the likes of defending state champion Niwot, runner-up Cheyenne Mountain and the Sun Devils.
Here’s the lineup for Mullen, which advanced all 11 players: Singles – (1) Lauren Manwiller; (2) Mikayla Phelps; (3) Megan Sandy; Doubles – (1) Jordan Cleary-Bella Wallrath; (2) Abby Gilbert-Rebecca Watts; (3) Chloe Golenzer-Tierney Scanlan; (4) Brooklyn Hanley-Parker Durand.
Manwiller and Hanley-Durand were regional champions.
In 2018, Manwiller made the quarterfinals as a freshman and seems poised to be able to place.
“Pretty good,” was how she described her regionals showing. “State is going to be tougher. Usually, the first round is pretty OK, then you get to the really good girls … our team is so different from last year, but everyone is playing so well. The doubles partners are playing together.
”I think I have a better chance this year, but we’ll see.”
Cleary played in the No. 3 doubles final a year, and Sandy and Watts teamed at No. 4 doubles to take third.
Said Sturgell: “I’m proud of all of the girls and I think they’re capable of big things.”
The adjusted schedule in Pueblo calls for the first and second rounds to be completed on Friday after a 9 a.m. start and semifinals, championships and playbacks to be completed on Saturday, which will begin at 8 a.m.
Mustangs girls lacrosse also will resume postseason play on Friday with a second-round match against Cherry Creek. Originally scheduled for Friday, 5:45 p.m., at the Stutler Bowl in Greenwood Village, it has been switched to Legacy Stadium in Aurora with a 3:30 p.m. start time after a track postponed from Thursday had to be moved.
Mullen, seeded No. 15, is coming off a 15-7 decision of No 18 Steamboat Springs. In advancing to 11-5 on the season, the Mustangs have won eight consecutive matches.
No. 2 Cherry Creek is 14-1, has lost only to Denver East – 13-12 in overtime – and won 13 consecutive matches. The Bruins beat the Mustangs 13-3 on April 4 to open the Centennial League. They won the regular-season championship and the Mustangs were second.
Emerson Johnson (59 goals), Molly Gilbert (41) and Elise Bialecki (31) lead Mullen in scoring and Izzy Cisneros is an all-league goalie.
The winner advances to the quarterfinals on May 15.
As for boys swimming and diving, the Mustangs will participate in the Centennial League ‘A’ Championships Friday-Saturday at Arapahoe in Centennial.
Preliminaries will be at 5:30 p.m. on Friday and finals at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
Will Chavez and Ben Freeman will lead Mullen’s charge.
In another scheduling change because of the weather, Mullen baseball will play two games on Saturday against Overland at Utah Park in Overland. The games at Tony Schenbeck Field will be at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
The Mustangs, 11-8 overall, 5-6 in league, also are scheduled to host Highlands Ranch in nonleague on Monday, 4:15 p.m., and be at Cherokee Trail in Aurora on Tuesday, 4:15 p.m., to complete league and regular-season play.
Regional pairings are to be released on Wednesday.
And girls soccer, fresh from a 9-0 spanking of Montrose in the first round of the 4A playoffs, will host Jefferson County’s Green Mountain on Saturday, 1 p.m.
Mullen is the No. 6 seed and 13-2-1. No. 22 Green Mountain is 11-5 and was fourth in the seven-team Jeffco League.