While several of her teammates had a large crowd watching their matches, Chatfield’s No. 1 singles player Kelsey Brading played in relative obscurity.
Charger fans missed quite a treat.
Behind strong groundstrokes - including a devastating cross-court forehand - Brading toppled Emily Selindh, dropping just one game on the way to a 6-0, 6-1 victory.
The rest of the Chargers followed Brading’s lead, winning five of the next six matches to pick up a 6-1 Class 5A Jefferson County League dual match victory at Clement Park on March 20.
Selindh did her part to stay in the match with Brading, hitting fierce shots of her own, but Brading had the better court coverage and played the angles on her return shots to build her lead.
“It’s all about timing,” Brading said of her forehand winners. “My timing was off a few of those shots and I got mad. But, when it was on, it was feeling pretty good.”
After sweeping the first set, Brading gave up a game in the second set, but rattled off five straight games to take the match.
“I got really pumped up before the match, and that helps me,” said Brading, a junior. “If I’m good mentally, I play better tennis.”
Lindsey and Ashley Sanders won their No. 2 and No. 3 singles matches, respectively, to complete the Chatfield sweep of the singles matches.
In doubles, Chatfield’s No. 1 team of Kelley Pickens and Dani Lutes picked up a 6-0, 6-3 victory.
The Chargers’ No. 2 doubles team of Sarah Layman and Sara Palmer also won in straight sets, taking home a 7-5, 6-2 victory.
Chatfield’s No. 4 doubles team posted a 6-0, 6-2 victory over the Rebels.
Columbine’ s No. 3 doubles team of Katie Gritters and Carly Smith won the lone match for the Rebels, picking up a 7-5, 6-4 straight set victory.
Chatfield, despite battling some early-season injuries that have forced several of the doubles teams to be reshuffled, have loads of experience and are eager to try and improve upon last year’s impressive third-place finish at the 5A state tournament.
“There’s pressure on us every year to do well, but this is my third year and the seniors that are on the team have dealt with it for four years now,” Brading said. “We’re getting used to it. It’s gotten in our heads before, but I think this is going to be our best year because we know what to expect.
“We are all friends and get along off the court. I think that helps when you get into those pressure situations.”
Chatfield 6, Columbine 1
No. 1 singles: Brading, Ch, def. Selindh, 6-0, 6-1; No. 2 singles: L. Sanders, Ch, def. Faustino, 6-3, 6-3; No. 3 singles: A. Sanders, Ch, def. Shively, 6-2, 6-7 (3), 6-2; No. 1 doubles: Pickens/Lutes, Ch, def. Hantelman/Smith, 6-0, 6-3; No. 2 doubles: Layman/Palmer, Ch, def. Pedersen/Redlinger, 7-5, 6-2; No. 3 doubles: Gritters/Smith, Col def. Reynolds/Wiebe, 7-5, 6-4; No. 4 doubles: Arteten/Hay, Ch def. Selindh/Williams, 6-0, 6-2.