By Neil H. Devlin, Mullen Sports Information Director
No season, no experience, but Mustangs senior Lauren Manwiller a legitimate contender at 4A No. 1 singles.
(Third in a series of previews for the new Season D.)
Unfortunately, the 2020 girls tennis season had no net worth.
The large void left by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic canceling the season at its outset will be felt by Mullen and every other traditional spring-sports team. It poked a hole in state annals, the first interruption since sanctioning.
And it was a year, Mustangs head coach Jera Sturgell said, “when we had girls who were on varsity the majority of time … too bad they didn’t get a final showing. We’ll definitely miss those from last season who didn’t get a chance to play.”
As a result, Class 4A Mullen has a fair amount of the unknown entering 2021.
But there should be few questions about Mustangs senior Lauren Manwiller, No. 1 singles player headed to Loyola-Maryland. A semifinalist in 2019 who finished fourth, Manwiller remains a threat.
“Lauren has a great shot,” Sturgell said. “She could potentially be No. 1 or 2 in state.”
Lexi Yost also should pile up some victories and points for Mullen as the race is on to land a spot in singles and doubles.
Sturgell said she is “guessing potentially between 80 and 100” hopefuls will try out for the team, but she is forced to cut it down to about half. She will have 11 on varsity, 16 on Varsity Ii and 24 on junior varsity.
“We do have some talented girls coming in, so I know there are girls who are strong and I feel like the team will still be strong,” the coach said. “As far as the rest on varsity, we know nothing from what some of the freshmen and sophomores may be able to do. That’s why tryouts are going to be crazy and very important.”
Concerning the 4A field, Sturgell said, regular powers Niwot and Cheyenne Mountain usually are in the mix, but “but it’s hard to know how strong they are,” Sturgell said, because “there’s just nothing to go on.”