DENVER | The Cherry Creek and Regis Jesuit boys tennis teams played the last matches of the 2023 season Tuesday afternoon at the Denver Tennis Park when they met in the final of the Class 5A dual championship tournament.
In a race to be the first team to win four matches (out of seven), a good-sized gathering of observers of the two powerhouse programs saw the Bruins take a good lead in doubles play, but then three matches went to a third set to determine the balance of the result.
Cherry Creek’s No. 1 doubles team of Kris Kostanidov and Matthew Hu rallied from a set deficit to Regis Jesuit seniors Agustin Azcui and Brady Jenkins to claim a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory that ended the match with the Nos. 1 and 3 singles matches still on court.
Coach Laura Jones’ Raiders — who defeated the Bruins 5-2 in a dual match in the regular season — got a victory at No. 2 singles from freshman Alec Rodriguez-Fields, but dropped the Nos. 2, 3 and 4 doubles matches consecutively from there.
Regis Jesuit dophomore Clay Dickey (No. 1) and freshman Vlad Sukhovetskyy (No. 3) both rallied from set deficits to force third sets and keep their teams potentially alive.
Dickey and Cherry Creek’s Charlie Stern were tied at three games apiece in the third set — after Dickey won a tiebreak in the second set after a 7-5 loss in the first — while Sukhovetskyy had taken a 2-0 lead on the Bruins’ Trevor Robinson, who needed to be worked on by a trainer.
Sukhovetskky, the 5A individual No. 3 singles state champion, lost the first set 6-3, but broke Robinson in a lengthy final game to take the second set 7-5 and took the first two games of the third set.
Neither match played to conclusion due to a change to the format this season in which the match ends automatically when four wins are earned by one team.
To get to the championship match, Regis Jesuit — which went undefeated in dual matches up until the final — had dropped just two total matches in wins over No. 16 Fruita Monument (7-0) in the opening round, No. 8 Chaparral (6-1) in the quarterfinals and No. 4 Fossil Ridge (6-1) in the semifinals.
Cherry Creek topped No. 15 Centaurus 7-0 in the opening round, defeated No. 7 Arapahoe 6-1 in the quarterfinals and prevailed in the semifinals over No. 3 Valor Christian 4-3 in a match that was a rematch of last season’s dual championship match.
Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter/X: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports
Class 5A team state championship (final)
Oct. 17 at Denver Tennis Park
Cherry Creek 4, Regis Jesuit 1
No. 2 singles — Alec Rodriguez-Fields (Regis Jesuit) def. Jack Loehr (Cherry Creek), 6-1, 6-3; No. 1 doubles — Kris Kostadinov/Matthew Hu (Cherry Creek) def. Agustin Azcui/Brady Jenkins (Regis Jesuit), 4-6, 6-4, 6-3; No. 2 doubles — Trey Zurcher/Luke Norford (Cherry Creek) def. KC Eckenhausen/Carl Siegel (Regis Jesuit); No. 3 doubles — Colin Brown/Tyson Hardy (Cherry Creek) def. Adam Rydel/Kevin Solichien (Regis Jesuit), 6-3, 6-2; No. 4 doubles — Wills Possehl/Adam Eikelberner (Cherry Creek) def. Tyler Ryan/Bennett Cherveny (Regis Jesuit), 6-1, 6-3
Not completed: No. 1 singles — Clay Dickey (Regis Jesuit) vs. Charlie Stern (Cherry Creek); No. 3 singles — Vlad Sukhovetskyy (Regis Jesuit) vs. Trevor Robinson (Cherry Creek)