D'Evelyn Sweeps Singles Titles

3A Girls Individual Tennis: D'Evelyn Sweeps Singles Titles
Posted on 05/11/2024
This is the image for the news article titled 3A Girls Individual Tennis: D'Evelyn Sweeps Singles TitlesWritten by: Alan Versaw/CHSAANow.com

COLORADO SPRINGS - Only a small handful of schools around the state can rival the tradition of tennis excellence at D’Evelyn High School. That tradition of excellence was on full display in Colorado Springs this morning, and a bit unexpectedly into the afternoon, as well.

After an hour of rain stoppage, followed by more than another hour of waiting for the courts to dry, the sun broke through and the Jaguars left Memorial Park having made a statement for the ages. Nicole Celechovsky, Evelyn Oltmans, and Sofia Cieslewicz made a clean sweep of today’s 3A girls tennis individual titles. Somebody called it singles by show of force.

For seniors Oltmans and Cieslewicz, today’s triumphs fit a well-rehearsed script. Oltmans finished second in state at #1 singles last year, while Cieslewicz came into today’s action with two #3 singles state titles already under her belt. It’s tough to come to state tennis with more high-end experience than these two brought to the table today.

For Celechovsky, however, today was a case of turning over some new ground. Only a freshman, Celechovsky had a lot to prove this season, starting with unseating Oltmans for the #1 singles position at D’Evelyn. One of the most important things Celechovsky learned along the way was “being on a team is really fun, and they’ve definitely helped me.”

If you paid close enough attention, one part of that help was on display in today’s championship matches. Playing on a court adjacent to Celechovsky, Oltmans lobbed reassurance and encouraging words in Celechovsky’s direction at every opportunity. In some respects, it was like having a coach inside the fence.

Celechovsky later remarked of Oltmans, “She’s always such a great leader and very hopeful. Having her on the team is an amazing experience, for sure.”

But Celechovsky played her own decisive role in making an amazing experience of the day. Displaying an understanding of the game that belies her years, Celechovsky excelled at her baseline game with only occasional forays to the net. Throughout the match, she kept Colorado Academy’s Mira Leon mostly handcuffed with targeted hard volleys, forcing the standout Mustang freshman to spend too much time on her heels to ever successfully take the battle to Celechovsky.

Celechovsky’s 6-2, 6-2 victory accurately reflects the dominance she exerted on the court throughout the match.

“I’m more of a baseline player,” Celechovsky conceded. “But I’ve been working on my net skills lately, so I was happy to hit some volleys and come to the net some during the match.”

When she did come to the net, it was typically with enormous success.

Oltmans made her own short work of #2 singles. Facing Holy Family junior Annabelle Kenny, Oltmans prevailed 6-1, 6-2. As might be expected of someone who finished second at #1 singles last spring, Oltmans dominated in every aspect of the contest.  

Were it not for the D’Evelyn show of force at #1, #2, and #3 singles, Oltmans might have been tempted to reflect on what might have been.

“It felt like my state match when I played Nicole in tryouts,” Oltmans admitted.

But, Oltmans found that the joy of competing for - and with - a team more than made up for whatever was lost in what might-have-been.

“I knew it was coming up. I’ve been playing with her [Celechovsky] for about six years now. It was tight in tryouts, and I wouldn’t want anyone else to be #1 singles for our team.” Oltmans smiled and added, “Fighting for a team is my favorite thing. Making the sport a little more individual is a lot harder for me.”

Today, for one final time in D’Evelyn green-and-black, Oltmans fought for her team. Her delight in her teammate’s success, and her own, revealed it was well worth the journey.

Today was supposed to be a celebration of individual tennis. Somehow, though, the girls at D’Evelyn found a way to make it all about team. Any there is not a chance in the world anyone is going to be able to take that from them.

In other championship matches on the day, the Colorado Academy pair of Anna Johnson and Violet Tetzeli claimed the #1 doubles crown, the Peak to Peak tandem of Josie Adams and Molly Kolachov prevailed at #2 doubles, Holy Family’s Kenna Dietz and Raelynn Pickup won at #3 doubles, and Colorado Academy's Emily Archie and Bea Wadsworth came out on top in #4 doubles.
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