Photos by Mikayla DeCarlo
Hornets Road to State
By Mikayla DeCarlo
The Pueblo County Hornets girl’s tennis team made its name known and a force to be reckon with here in Pueblo. After their historic victory at the City Park Regional Championship this last weekend, teams around the state will soon know who the Pueblo County Hornets are.There are seven positions on a high school varsity tennis team; one singles, two singles, three singles, one doubles, two doubles, three doubles, and four doubles. County walked into the regional competition with all seven and walked out with all seven being named regional champions and the team taking first with a record breaking score of 84 points. The Central Wildcats took the second-place spot with 48 points.
This has never been done in the school’s history which made it a very emotional day for the whole team, especially Ken Osborne the head coach for PCHS, “Perfection is something many people strive for. No one ever can get there, but for this moment, we were perfect. And no matter what else happens, we all have that one bond where we were perfect together.” Osborne said with pure delight on his face. However, this wasn’t an easy task by any means. Seniors Lauren Oliver and Lauryn Holt, who play three doubles, battled a hard-fought two-hour final match up against South’s Bell Arriaga and McKenna Hurley. They finished the match with a victory of 4-6, 7-5, 6-4. “We always make each other laugh on the court with our inside jokes, so we never get caught up in the match,” Holt said. “It helps keep us calm and collected,” joked Oliver in addition to her partner. The rest of the team ended their regionals with a two-set sweep. Junior, Erin Mauro at one singles wrapped up the championship spot with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Pueblo Central, senior, Stephanie Manzanares at two singles won in 6-4, 6-1 against Pueblo Central, sophomore, Kinley Gomez at three singles won in 6-1, 6-1 against Pueblo Central, seniors Sophia Valentine and Emily Bell at one doubles won 6-3, 6-4 against Salida, seniors Mikayla DeCarlo and Atley Kelven at two doubles won 6-3, 6-3 against Salida, and sophomores Delany Stout and Avery Soto took home the win at four doubles with 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 against Salida.
The Hornets have high hopes on their road to state and getting ready for the fierce competition about to come. For most of the team’s seniors, this will be their last state competition, and all agree on making it be their best. “I’m excited to hang out with the team one last time and to buy a new state shirt of course,” Senior Stephanie Manzanares said after the awards. The 2019 class 3A State Competition will be held in Greeley, May 9 to May 11.