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Friday kicks off the 2021 4A CHSAA girl's state tennis tournament in Pueblo where the Cheyenne Mountain Indians will look to capture their 24th team state title.
Leading the charge is one freshman Indian, who has been preparing for this moment her whole life.
"Halfway through the match, I put my notebook down and just enjoyed watching her because she just has a very pretty game," explained Cheyenne Mountain head girl's tennis coach Dave Adams. "Her strokes are beautiful to watch. Long, graceful, in-balance, athletic. I just said I am going to just spoil myself and enjoy watching this kid hit the ball."
Adams pretty much summed up the way Maya Machalski plays the game of tennis.
This freshman phenom, who has a one-handed backhand like Roger Federer, has burst onto the scene much in thanks to her family linage of great tennis players.
"My dad went to the final of state," said Machalski, who is competing as the No. 1 singles player for CMHS. "My grandpa taught him how to play. My dad taught me when I was 5. It just has been carried on past the family."
And speaking family, the Indians almost lost one of their own before the season.
Adams was diagnosed with throat cancer early this year and thankfully in remission.
"It has been a gift to be with these kids," said Adams.
"It is just good that he did get better and he still stays our coach," added Machalski.
So when Maya chases a 4A state title trophy this weekend in Pueblo, she will be doing it more than a freshman record and a family tradition.
"It would be a great feeling," concluded Machalski. "It would be a great accomplishment, but we will see how it goes. One point, one game at a time."