Regis Jesuit’s performance in its first season of Class 5A girls tennis bodes well for the program’s future.
A team made up entirely of just three seniors and eight sophomores helped the Raiders — contenders for several seasons at the 4A level — make a strong debut in 5A.
Regis Jesuit secured two singles positions and two doubles spots on the 2013 Aurora Sentinel All-City Girls Tennis Team, which is based on state and regional tournament results. The group is highlighted by the Raiders’ two state placers, sophomore No. 2 singles player Haley Chirico and the No. 2 doubles team of sophomores Jessica Butler and Catherine Nemechek, who each captured third place.
Cherokee Trail senior Sydney Reese at No. 3 singles and the Grandview doubles teams of seniors Lisa Hoong and Annabelle Lee (No. 3) and senior Polina Borukhova and sophomore Sonya Livitz (No. 4) round out the team.
Chirico captured third place in the 4A state tournament as a freshman and secured the same medal at 5A state at the same position. She wrapped up a 3-1 showing at state — the lone loss coming in the quarterfinals to eventual state runner-up Natalie Munson of Fairview — with a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Ralston Valley’s Isabella Melena in the third-place match.
Butler and Nemechek took the same path as Chirico, suffering their only loss at No. 2 doubles in the quarterfinals before bouncing back with two straight wins in the consolation bracket. The Raiders duo finished off Poudre’s Koy Ecton and Raven Dick 6-3, 7-6 in the third-place match.
Senior Shelby Cerkovnik won the Region 6 championship at No. 1 singles and posted a first-round victory in a match continued on the second day of the tournament after rain halted it on the first.
The Montana State signee — who manned the No. 1 singles position for Regis Jesuit for the third straight season — then lost to talented Arapahoe freshman Tate Schroeder in the quarterfinals.
With so much youth on the team, seniors Anna Finch and Erica Dodson had to move up to No. 1 doubles from the No. 4 spot, which they’d held the past two seasons playing together.
They won a regional championship and took a high seed into state, but with Dodson ailing, they saw their season come to an end with just one match at state.
Finch and Dodson fell in straight sets to Lakewood’s Sasha Harrison and Schafer Kowalchik, who then lost in the quarterfinals.
Cherokee Trail’s Reese was the lone No. 3 singles player from an Aurora school to qualify for the state tournament.
Though her season ended with a 6-3, 6-2 loss to Ralston Valley’s Megan Wewel in the first round at state, Reese played her best tennis at the end of the season.
At the regional tournament a week earlier in Grand Junction, Reese very nearly won the No. 3 singles title, going up a set before falling 5-7, 7-6 (1), 6-1 to Grand Junction’s Sierra Filutze.
Reese is Cherokee Trail’s first member of the All-City team since Jacqueline Palmucci — who moved in from Virginia and placed third at No. 1 singles twice — in 2010.
Grandview didn’t have any state qualifiers, but the Wolves did have the city’s two highest-placing teams in regional play.
The No. 3 doubles teams of seniors Hoong and Lee, who also played together last season, placed third in the 5A Region 4 group that included three Aurora teams, while the No. 4 tandem of Borukhova and Livitz secured fourth place at the same regional.
Smoky Hill’s Melody Su and Annie Grech also placed fourth in Region 1, but the Wolves duo of Borukhova and Livitz beat them head-to-head in a dual meet the week before regionals.
Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-750-7555
2013 AURORA SENTINEL ALL-CITY GIRLS TENNIS TEAM
No. 1 singles: Shelby Cerkovnik, sr., Regis Jesuit; No. 2 singles: Haley Chirico, soph., Regis Jesuit; No. 3 singles: Sydney Reese, sr., Cherokee Trail; No. 1 doubles: Anna Finch, sr. & Erica Dodson, sr., Regis Jesuit; No. 2 doubles: Catherine Nemechek, soph. & Jessica Butler, soph., Regis Jesuit; No. 3 doubles: Lisa Hoong, sr. & Annabelle Lee, sr., Grandview; No. 4 doubles: Polina Borukhova, sr. & Sonya Livitz, soph., Grandview
HONORABLE MENTION — Singles: Ryann Folk, fr., Grandview (No. 3 singles); Angela Hudson, sr., Smoky Hill (No. 1 singles); Sarah Nguyen, soph., Grandview (No. 1 singles); Karyna Zaberezhna, fr., Smoky Hill (No. 3 singles); Doubles: Ashleigh Larson, sr. & Catherine McGowan, sr., Rangeview (No. 1 doubles); Salina Trahan, sr. & Destinie Hudson, fr., Smoky Hill (No. 1 doubles); Melody Su, sr. & Annie Grech, soph., Smoky Hill (No. 4 doubles)