AURORA | The Grandview boys tennis team made its way past an unfamiliar opponent Wednesday to earn a chance to play one that is very familiar.
Seeded eighth in the inaugural Class 5A boys tennis team state tournament, the host Wolves outlasted ninth-seeded Monarch — in a match that was decided by the three-set win of the No. 2 doubles team of seniors Josh Son and Alex Eckley — in a 4-3 dual victory that moved it into a quarterfinal match with Centennial League powerhouse Cherry Creek.
Coach Jeff Ryan’s Grandview team picked up half of its wins in singles play, as senior Eduard Tsaturyan at No. 1 and freshman Justin Son at No. 3 both prevailed in straight sets over Monarch’s Luke Jensen and Clay Hafner, respectively. Sophomore Blake Hardin forced a third set with Callum Congahan at No. 2 singles, but couldn’t complete the sweep as Congahan prevailed 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.
The Wolves’ No. 3 doubles team of Mark Yon and Caleb Hodges won a tiebreaker in the opening set and went on to a 7-6 (1), 6-3 win over the Coyotes’ duo of Jackson Andrea and Troy Gomez to give Grandview its third victory.
The decider came from Son and Eckley, who rebounded from a tight loss in the opening set to win 7-5 in the second set and force a third set with Monarch’s Kevin Vorlage and Tate Middleton. The Grandview seniors rode the momentum to a 6-1 victory in the deciding set to clinch the dual win for their team.
The No. 1 doubles team of senior Matthew Park and Bruno Denegri Perez lost an epic 19-17 tiebreaker to Monarch’s Brodik Howe and Garrett Winklebauer in the opening set, but pushed the match to a third set with a 6-3 victory in the second set. The Coyotes prevailed in the third set to take the match.
Grandview’s No. 4 doubles teams of Mohammed Bathhef and freshman Carter Benton dropped a straight set match with Monarch’s Ben Willcutt and Aidan Swett, who prevailed 6-4, 6-1.
The Wolves improved to 8-2 in dual matches on the season and earned a rematch with a Cherry Creek team they lost to 6-1 — with a win coming from Tsaturyan and Park and Perez losing in a third set tiebreaker — in league play Sept. 15. The Bruins swept 16th-seeded Heritage 7-0 in the opening round.
Both of Aurora’s qualifiers moved in the quarterfinals as third-seeded Regis Jesuit swept No. 14 Boulder 7-0 at Colorado Athletic Club-Inverness.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at email@example.com. Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports
2022 CLASS 5A BOYS TENNIS TEAM STATE TOURNAMENT
First round: Grandview 4, Monarch 3
No. 1 singles — Eduard Tsaturyan (Grandview) def. Luke Jensen (Monarch), 6-4, 6-2; No. 2 singles — Callum Congahan (Monarch) def. Blake Hardin (Grandview), 6-4, 4-6, 6-4; No. 3 singles — Justin Son (Grandview) def. Clay Hafner (Monarch), 6-2, 6-2; No. 1 doubles — Brodik Howe/Garrett Winklebauer (Monarch) def. Matthew Park/Bruno Perez (Grandview), 7-6 (19-17), 3-6, 6-2; No. 2 doubles — Josh Son/Alex Eckley (Grandview) def. Kevin Vorlage/Tate Middleton (Monarch), 5-7, 7-5, 6-1; No. 3 doubles — Mark Yan/Caleb Hodges (Grandview) def. Jackson DeAndrea/Troy Gomez (Grandview), 7-6 (2), 6-3; No. 4 doubles — Ben Willcutt/Aidan Swett (Monarch) def. Mohammad Bathef/Carter Benton (Grandview), 6-4, 6-1