Grandview senior Eduard Tsaturyan, second from right, unseated Cherry Creek’s Aram Izmirian, right, as Class 5A No. 1 singles state championship for the 2022 boys tennis season to lead the way on the Sentinel Colorado All-Aurora Boys Tennis Team. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

From top to bottom, the 2022 boys tennis season turned out as well as any in recent memory.

Longtime powerhouse Regis Jesuit did what it usually does, but Grandview had its best season ever with nearly its entire team qualified for the Class 5A individual state tournament and Smoky Hill had a state qualifier for the first time in more than a decade.

Between them, the Raiders and Wolves — who both also were part of the state team tournament that debuted this season — earned a top-four place in six of seven positions to fill up the spots on the 2022 Sentinel Colorado All-Aurora Boys Tennis Team, which is based primarily on state play.

Grandview’s transformation from a competitive team to one that was among the tops in the Centennial League and the eighth seed among 16 teams that made it into the state team tournament — which took the place of points accrued from individuals in the past — happened largely because of the arrival of senior Eduard Tsaturyan.

Born in America, but trained on the courts in Russia, Tsaturyan showed up at Grandview to the delight of coach Jeff Ryan, who saw his lineup come together like never before and the level of play elevate from top to bottom.

Tsaturyan dazzled in every match he played in the regular season, which included a straight sets win over Cherry Creek’s Aram Izmirian — the 2021 5A No. 1 singles state champion — in a league dual. He would make it through the regular season, the state team tournament, regionals and the first three rounds of the individual state tournament without losing a single set, which he finally did against Izmirian when the rematch came in the state championship match Oct. 15 at City Park.

Tsaturyan put the frustration of the set behind him and won the next two for a 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 win that gave Grandview its first-ever state champion at any position. He also delivered the only two wins the Wolves have had at any position against Cherry Creek in Ryan’s tenure.

Joining Tsaturyan on the All-Aurora team is the Wolves’ No. 3 doubles team of seniors Caleb Hodges and Mark Yan, who dropped only one of their five state matches and placed third with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Arapahoe’s Thomas Stewart and Ryan Souther, who had defeated them in an early league dual.

Coach Laura Jones’ Regis Jesuit team, which made it to the semifinals of the team state tournament, fills out the rest of the All-Aurora positions.

Junior Brady Jenkins was the only other finalist for local programs at the 5A individual state tournament and he finished second at No. 3 doubles with a 6-3, 7-6 (11-9) loss to Cherry Creek’s Kristian Kostandinov in a match that seemed to be turning in his favor if he could have prevailed in the second set.

Sophomore KC Eckenhausen and senior Liam McDonnell won the 2021 No. 3 doubles state championship and moved up to the No. 1 spot this season, where they ended up third. The duo dropped their semifinal match, but powered past Fossil Ridge’s Grant Samuelson and Jeffrey Yao 6-3, 6-0 in the third place match.

Senior Aidan Sobolevsky and sophomore Carl Siegel at No. 2 doubles and the No. 4 doubles team of senior Devin McCausland and freshman Adam Rydel earned the All-Aurora spots after they both dropped tight third-place matches.

Both played opponents from Fossil Ridge, with Sobolevsky and Siegel coming up a few key points short in both sets in a 6-4, 6-4 loss, while McCausland and Rydel had a set lead slip away to fall 2-6, 6-3, 6-1.

Junior Agustin Azcui was Aurora’s only state qualifier at No. 2 singles and he made it to the semifinals before dropping his final two matches.

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

2022 SENTINEL COLORADO ALL-AURORA BOYS TENNIS TEAM

No. 1 singlesEduard Tsaturyan, sr., Grandview

No. 2 singlesAgustin Azcui, jr., Regis Jesuit

No. 3 singlesBrady Jenkins, jr., Regis Jesuit

No. 1 doublesKC Eckenhausen, soph. and Liam McDonnell, sr., Regis Jesuit

No. 2 doublesAidan Sobolevsky, sr. and Carl Siegel, soph., Regis Jesuit

No. 3 doublesCaleb Hodges, sr. and Mark Yan, sr., Grandview

No. 4 doublesDevin McCausland, sr. and Adam Rydel, fr., Regis Jesuit

Honorable mention: George Robin, soph., Smoky Hill (No. 1 singles); Justin Son, fr., Grandview (No. 3 singles); Matthew Park, sr. and Bruno Denegri Perez, jr., Grandview (No. 1 doubles); Josh Son, sr. and Alex Eckley, sr., Grandview (No. 2 doubles); Joe Dorais, sr. and Tyler Ryan, jr., Regis Jesuit (No. 3 doubles); Mohammed Batthef, jr. and Carter Benton, fr., Grandview (No. 4 doubles)

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