Grandview junior Alex Eckley pumps his fist after hitting a winner during a No. 2 doubles playback final match at the Class 5A Region 8 boys tennis tournament on Oct. 7, 2021, at the Denver Tennis Center. Eckley and partner Caleb Hodges won in three sets to advance to the 5A state tournament. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

DENVER | The Grandview boys tennis team will be represented at the upcoming Class 5A state tournament by the No. 2 doubles team of Alex Eckley and Caleb Hodges after they made it through the Region 8 tournament that concluded Thursday.

The two juniors bounced back from a loss to Denver East in the regional championship match that would have yielded an automatic trip to the Oct. 14-16 5A state tournament at Gates Tennis Center and prevailed in a playback match on an indoor court at the Denver Tennis Center to move on.

Eckley and Hodges dropped the first set to Chaparral’s Chris Miles and Jake Paris — who were coming off a win in the third-place match to force the playback — but surged back for a 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 win that earned both their first trips to the state tournament.

Grandview junior Caleb Hodges serves during the Wolves’ three-set No. 2 doubles playback win Oct. 7, 2021, at Denver Tennis Center. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

The Wolves’ duo received a first round bye before winning 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 against Rock Canyon to reach the final, where they fell to Denver East’s Cole Protass and Trevor Hajek 6-2, 6-2.

Eckley and Hodges represent the only state representation for coach Jeff Ryan’s Grandview team, which finished with 14 points to come in fifth in the sixth-team regional that also included Hinkley, which did not record a point.

Grandview another playback chance with the No. 4 doubles team of seniors Krish Karekar and Dylan Johnston, who won the third-place match with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Rock Canyon to earn a chance to challenge Rocky Mountain’s Luke Winger and Levi Harris after they were defeated by Denver East in the final.

Karekar and Johnston fell to Winger and Harris 6-3, 7-5.

Sophomore No. 1 singles player Bruno Denegri Perez needed a win in the third-place match against Rock Canyon’s Carter Olson to earn a playback opportunity, but came up just short in a 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 win over Olson.

Grandview Nos. 2 and 3 singles players Josh Son and Mark Yan each placed fourth in their respective brackets as well.

The addition of Eckley and Hodges grows the ranks of Aurora schools at the state tournament, which includes the full team from Regis Jesuit, which swept through the Region 3 tournament it hosted (story, results here).

Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports

2021 CLASS 5A REGION 8 BOYS TENNIS TOURNAMENT

At Denver Tennis Center

Team scores: Denver East 76 points; Rocky Mountain 44; Rock Canyon 36; Chaparral 23; GRANDVIEW 14; HINKLEY 0

Championship matches (winner advances to state)

No. 1 singles — Diego Garcia-Gallo 
(Denver East) def. Bridger Galyardt (Rocky Mountain), 4-6, 6-4, 6-2; No. 2 singles — Mason Heimel 
(Denver East) def. Will Strabel (Rock Canyon), 6-4, 6-4; No. 3 singles — Ryan Pool 
(Denver East) def. Chase Cranston (Rock Canyon), 6-1, 6-2; No. 1 doubles — Duke Mooney/Spencer McQueen 
(Chaparral) def. Robert Grawemeyer/Gavin Wehrle (Denver East), 2-6, 6-3, 6-4; No. 2 doubles — 
Cole Protass/Trevor Hajek (Denver East) def. ALEX ECKLEY/CALEB HODGES (GRANDVIEW), 6-2, 6-2; No. 3 doubles — 
Bailey Livengood/Eli Schuler (Rocky Mountain) def. John Abbott/William Golinvaux (Denver East), 5-7, 6-1, 6-1; No. 4 doubles — Max Johnson/Laird Whitelaw (Denver East) def. Luke Winger/Levi Harris (Rocky Mountain), 6-3, 6-3

Third-place matches

No. 1 singles — 
Carter Olson (Rock Canyon) def. BRUNO DENEGRI PEREZ (GRANDVIEW), 5-7, 7-5, 6-2; No. 2 singles — 
Nate Welton (Rocky Mountain) def. JOSH SON (GRANDVIEW), 6-1, 6-4; No. 3 singles — 
Braden Peterson (Rocky Mountain) def. MARK YAN (GRANDVIEW), 7-6, 7-6; No. 1 doubles — 
Jordan Pan/Justin Edell (Rock Canyon) def. Lukas VanderWoude/Levi Teck (Rocky Mountain), 6-2, 6-3; No. 2 doubles — 
Chris Miles/Jake Paris (Chaparral) def. Thatcher White/Preston Stevens (Rock Canyon), 5-7, 7-6, 6-2; No. 3 doubles — Tyler Hossfeld/Rishith Jujare 
(Chaparral) def. Dax Hayward/Diego Llado Stuyck (Rock Canyon), 7-5, 6-4; No. 4 doublesKRISH KAREKAR/DYLAN JOHNSTON (GRANDVIEW) def. Maurer/New (Rock Canyon), 6-2, 6-3

Playback matches (winner advances to state)

No. 2 doublesALEX ECKLEY/CALEB HODGES (GRANDVIEW) def. Chris Miles/Jake Paris (Chaparral), 4-6, 6-2, 7-6; No. 3 doubles — John Abbott/William Golinvaux (Denver East) def. Tyler Hossfeld/Rishith Jujare (Chaparral), 7-5, 4-6, 6-3; No. 4 doubles — Luke Winger/Levi Harris (Rocky Mountain) def. KRISH KAREKAR/DYLAN JOHNSTON (GRANDVIEW), 6-3, 7-5

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