HIGHLANDS RANCH | On the same courts at Redstone Park, the Cherokee Trail boys tennis team managed to one-up itself from the previous season.
A year after the Cougars’ first crop of state qualifiers set a bar, coach Liz Siegele’s new group jumped over it, as Cherokee Trail brought home a plaque as the runner-up of the Class 5A Region 5 tournament, which wrapped up Thursday.
In addition to the program’s first regional trophy, the Cougars also had a pair of individual champions crowned for the first time when junior No. 3 singles player Cameron Bergan and the No. 3 doubles team of Rahul Verma and Logan Schwanz triumphed in the finals.
Bergan earned his second trip to state and first as a singles player with a victory over Castle View’s Greg Connelly, while Verma and Schwanz qualified for the first time by defeating Ricky Flowers and Will Dixon, the only team from regional champion Mountain Vista to lose in six finals appearances.
The No. 1 doubles teams of Tanner Ford and Vik Sheverda and the No. 4 tandem of Luke Ho and Krish Desai advanced to state as well despite championship match losses.
Two of the three Cherokee Trail positions that didn’t make still earned a place, as sophomore No. 1 singles player Dylan Zumar — who won a consolation match at last season’s state tournament — and the No. 2 doubles team of Colin Richardson and Sidarth Tyagi each won third-place matches.
Three returning Cougars who played at state last year missed a return trip in Zumar, Richardson and No. 2 singles player David Lai, Bergan’s partner last season who lost twice in the No. 2 singles bracket and did not place.
Overland also represented Aurora in the regional and finished sixth with nine points, led by junior Paul Kim’s third-place finish at No. 2 singles.
Traiblazers’ freshman No. 1 singles player David Kijak entered the bracket with the No. 2 overall seed, but suffered only his second loss of the season when Zumar beat him 6-4, 6-3 in the opening round. Zumar’s loss in the semifinals prevented Kijak from getting a playback.
Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports, Facebook: Aurora Prep Sentinel
CLASS 5A REGION 5 BOYS TENNIS REGIONAL
Oct. 2 at Redstone Park, Highlands Ranch
Team scores: 1. Mountain Vista 66 points; 2. CHEROKEE TRAIL 42; 3. Ralston Valley 34; 4. Castle View 33; 5. George Washington 24; 6. OVERLAND 9; 7. Mountain Range 4; 8. Fountain Fort-Carson 0
No. 1 singles: Ben Antonsen (Mountain Vista) def. Cody Carlton (Castle View)
No. 2 singles: Austin Gruszczynski (Mountain Vista) def. Josh Hunt (Castle View)
No. 3 singles: CAMERON BERGAN (CHEROKEE TRAIL) def. Greg Connelly (Castle View)
No. 1 doubles: Kobe Holdren/Ashwin Vaithianathan (Mountain Vista) def. TANNER FORD/VIK SHEVERDA (CHEROKEE TRAIL)
No. 2 doubles: Sean Barich/Hunter Hostelley (Mountain Vista) def. Charlie Eck/Conor McCarthy (Ralston Valley)
No. 3 doubles: RAHUL VERMA/LOGAN SCHWANZ (CHEROKEE TRAIL) def. Ricky Flowers/Will Dixon (Mountain Vista)
No. 4 doubles: Eric Zhao/Ethan Simmons (Mountain Vista) def. LUKE HO/KRISH DESAI (CHEROKEE TRAIL)
No. 1 singles: DYLAN ZUMAR (CHEROKEE TRAIL) def. Marcus Hock (Ralston Valley)
No. 2 singles: PAUL KIM (OVERLAND) def. Logan Flood (Ralston Valley)
No. 3 singles: Oliver Muldow (George Washington) def. Ben Gillespie (Ralston Valley)
No. 1 doubles: Jonathan Hawkinson/Casey Hawkinson (Ralston Valley) def. Louis Hoffenberg/Sebastian McCrimmon (George Washington)
No. 2 doubles: COLIN RICHARDSON/SIDARTH TYAGI (CHEROKEE TRAIL) def. Ben Egan/Andrew Romero (Ralston Valley)
No. 3 doubles: Jacob Kark/David Wollins (George Washington) def. Brayden Porter/Kyle Howe (Castle View)
No. 4 doubles: Thorin Yee/Cormack McCrimmon (George Washington)
No. 3 doubles: Jacob Kark/David Wollins (George Washington) def. Ricky Flowers/Will Dixon (Mountain Vista)