In its last go-round in Class 4A, Regis Jesuit made a strong exit.

With an almost entirely different cast than 2011 — when they were state runners-up to Cheyenne Mountain for the second straight season — the Raiders prepared for next season’s move up to 5A by taking fifth.

Regis Jesuit’s performance at Pueblo City Park netted the Raiders every spot on the 2012 Aurora Sentinel All-City Girls Tennis Team — which is based primarily on state tournament play — for the second straight season.

Senior Kerbi Brisch fell short of winning a third straight state championship, but she and senior teammate Lilly Iacino took 3rd at No. 1 doubles, giving Brisch a state place in three straight seasons. The duo had cruised along for most of the season in dominating fashion, losing only to the team from Cheyenne Mountain, only to fall in the first round at state. Brisch and Iacino rebounded to finish third by getting past St. Mary’s Academy’s Rachel Haas and Elaina Villanueva, 6-3, 6-4.

Matching the No. 1 doubles team’s place was freshman No. 2 singles player Haley Chirico, who had a smashing debut season that included a somewhat surprising win over Colorado Academy senior Kate Cheney in the 4A Region 1 championship match. Chirico then became the only Regis Jesuit player to make the semifinals at the state tournament, where she was stopped by eventual state champion Payton Field of Cheyenne Mountain.

Chirico bounced back to take third place by outlasting Thompson Valley’s Hannah Gregory 6-1, 6-7, 7-6.

Junior No. 1 singles player Shelby Cerkovnik and the No. 4 doubles team of Erica Dodson and Anna Finch advanced to the quarterfinals before losing. Dodson and Finch got a playback, but lost in their quest for third place.

Senior No. 3 singles player Amanda Lilly and the No. 3 doubles team of seniors Jordan Stemper and Rachel Williams, who took first-round exits at state, plus the No. 2 doubles team of seniors Nicole Nemechek and Abby Hegarty — who failed to make the state tournament, but placed a city-best third in regionals — round out the All-City team.

Aurora’s three 5A state tournament qualifiers — singles players Renee Christopher of Eaglecrest and Cherokee Trail’s Alexandria Linville and the Cougars’ No. 3 doubles team of Sydney Reese and Natalia Zaremba all lost in the first round at Gates Tennis Center.

Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at or 303-750-7555


FIRST TEAM — No. 1 singles: Shelby Cerkovnik, Regis Jesuit, jr.; No. 2 singles: Haley Chirico, Regis Jesuit, fr.; No. 3 singles: Amanda Lilly, Regis Jesuit, sr.; No. 1 doubles: Kerbi Brisch/Lilly Iacino, Regis Jesuit; No. 2 doubles:  Nicole Nemechek/Abby Hegarty, Regis Jesuit; No. 3 doubles: Jordan Stemper/Rachel Williams, Regis Jesuit; No. 4 doubles: Anna Finch/Erica Dodson, Regis Jesuit

HONORABLE MENTION — Renee Christopher, Eaglecrest, soph. (No. 1 singles); Alexandria Linville, Cherokee Trail, soph. (No. 2 singles); Sydney Reese/Natalia Zaremba, Cherokee Trail (No. 3 doubles)

Courtney Oakes is sports Editor and photographer with Sentinel Colorado. A Denver East High School alum. He came to the Sentinel in 2001 and since then has received a number of professional awards from...