LITTLETON | With just over a handful of players with even so much as previous experience at the Class 5A state tournament, Regis Jesuit boys tennis coach Laura Jones didn’t know exactly what to expect in a dual match with powerhouse Cherry Creek Wednesday.

To her delight, she saw her team largely come through in the key moments of most every match — including the long-running No. 1 singles and No. 3 doubles matches that loomed large — as the Raiders secured a 5-2 victory over the Bruins on a blistering hot day at the Colorado Athletic Club Inverness.

Jones believes it was the program’s first dual win over Cherry Creek in her 15 seasons at the helm, though Regis Jesuit had defeated the Bruins a few times in their tournament as well as a few times at the 5A state tournament.

“If anybody looks at 5-2 and thinks we crushed them, it was not a crushing by any means,” said Jones, whose team improved to 6-0 in dual matches. “It was persevering and winning key points against a team with a lot of players that already have state championships under their belts. It was great to see.”

Indeed, the Bruins’ lineup had four seniors who had won 5A state championships last season in Kris Kostadinov (No. 3 singles), Charlie Stern (No. 1 doubles), Trey Zurcher (No. 3 doubles) and Ryder Landry (No. 3 doubles), plus another senior who played in a final in Matthew Hu (No. 2 doubles). Stern also won a state championship in No. 4 doubles in 2021, while Kostadinov (No. 1 doubles) and Hu (No. 4 doubles) won titles in 2020.

On Regis Jesuit’s side were junior KC Eckenhausen — who won a state championship in 2021 — plus senior Brady Jenkins, a finalist at No. 3 singles last season who is playing at No. 1 doubles this season.

Sophomore Clay Dickey (No. 1 singles), senior Agustin Azcui (Jenkins’ partner at No. 1 doubles), junior Carl Siegel (Eckenhausen’s partner at No. 2 doubles), sophomore Adam Rydel (No. 3 doubles) and senior Tyler Ryan (No. 4 doubles) also played in the individual state tournament a year ago.

Freshmen singles players Alec Rodriguez-Fields (No. 2) and Vlad Sukhovetskyy (No. 3) handled the pressure of the situation with straight set victories over Jack Loehr and Tyson Hardy, respectively.

Jenkins and Azcui — both singles players last season — gutted their way to a 7-6 (7-4 in the tiebreak), 7-5 win at No. 1 doubles over Kostadinov and Hu. Kostadinov got the better of Jenkins in the No. 3 singles final last season.

The Bruins captured victories at No. 2 doubles as Zurcher and Landry topped Eckenhausen and Siegel 6-4, 7-5, while Aidan Washer and Wills Possehl downed Ryan and Bennett Cherveny to make it 3-2 in favor of Regis Jesuit with two matches remaining.

The Raiders’ No. 3 doubles team of Rydel and fellow sophomore Kevin Solichien staved off a number of match points against Cherry Creek’s Colin Brown and Hudson Harris before finishing off a 6-7 (2-7), 6-4, 7-5 victory that essentially sealed the dual win.

Following that, Dickey — in his second season at No. 1 singles — finally outlasted Stern for a 7-5, 7-6 (7-5) victory that was perilously close to going to a third set. It was another outstanding victory for Dickey, who is 6-0 with wins over two players who defeated him last season, including a 6-4, 6-4 defeat of Ponderosa’s Matthew Hossack, who beat him twice in 2022.

“We had three under our belt, but the other two could have easily gone Creek’s way,” Jones said. “Both were highly-contested matches and we found a way to come out on top. To believe you can persevere and outlast a formidable opponent is a great lesson.”

Jones was pleased to see Solichien serve out the No. 3 doubles victory after he had struggled earlier in the set with his serve and she also reveled in Dickey putting his more well-rounded game to use to overcome a player with two state titles to his credit.

It was the last home match Regis Jesuit will play at CAC Inverness, which closes its doors permanently Aug. 31. The Raiders will play out the season at other venues as they await the construction of a new set of tennis courts on the school campus.

Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at Twitter/X: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports


Aug. 30 at Colorado Athletic Club Inverness

No. 1 singles — Clay Dickey (Regis Jesuit) def. Charlie Stern (Cherry Creek), 7-5, 7-6 (5); No. 2 singles — Alec Rodriguez-Fields (Regis Jesuit) def. Jack Loehr (Cherry Creek), 6-3, 6-1; No. 3 singles — Vlad Sukhovetskyy (Regis Jesuit) def. Tyson Hardy (Cherry Creek), 6-2, 7-5; No. 1 doubles — Agustin Azcui/Brady Jenkins (Regis Jesuit) def. Kris Kostadinov/Matthew Hu (Cherry Creek), 7-6 (4), 7-5; No. 2 doubles — Trey Zurcher/Ryder Landry (Cherry Creek) def. KC Eckenhausen/Carl Siegel (Regis Jesuit), 6-4, 7-5; No. 3 doubles — Adam Rydel/Kevin Solichien (Regis Jesuit) def. Colin Brown/Hudson Harris (Cherry Creek), 6-7 (2), 6-4, 7-5; No. 4 doubles — Aidan Washer/Wills Possehl (Cherry Creek) def. Tyler Ryan/Bennett Cherveny (Regis Jesuit), 6-1, 6-2

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...

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