By Neil H. Devlin, Mullen Sports Information Director
6-of-7 spots advance; Dino missing after inuring other calf.
It was another strong performance by Mullen boys tennis, but it came with a double fault of sorts.
Hosting a Class 4A regional at Pinehurst Country Club on Tuesday, the Mustangs advanced two-of-three singles players as well as all four sets of doubles to also win the team chase. However, No. 3 singles Dante Dino, who was attempting to work his way back from a torn calf muscle on his left leg, advanced to the semifinals and may have torn his right calf, head coach Jacob Ohrman said.
“It’s a pretty big bummer not to have Dante there with us,” Ohrman said. “You can’t do anything about an injury, but I’m psyched for the rest of the guys.”
Indeed, No. 1 singles Mac Caldwell, No. 2 singles George Henry Hanzel and the doubles teams of J.P. Starkey-Tanner Amman (No. 1), Coleman Guthrie-Jack Barker (No. 2), Greg McMullen-Charlie Manta (No. 3) and Luc Caldwell-Kevin McGuire won titles and are headed to the 4A tournament Oct. 17-19 at Pueblo City Park. And all won regional titles in straight sets.
“We’re not surprised,” Ohrman said. “The guys have played well.”
Ohrman also said that while “any time there’s a position that you can’t get any points from, it can be tough, but there’s not an overly dominant team (in the state field). We just have to go and get it.”
There will be a few playback matches Wednesday and another one involving a player on Friday who had been observing a religious holiday, so final official scoring will be delayed, possibly longer with the first expected snowstorm of the season.
However, Mullen players will move on and begin preparations for a state tournament in which they are convinced they can challenge for the team and multiple individual titles.