DENVER | There were a few tense moments for the Regis Jesuit boys tennis team on Friday at the Gates Tennis Center, but the Raiders continued to show themselves as a force in the doubles ranks.
All four Regis Jesuit doubles teams earned their way into the semifinals on the second day of the Class 5A boys state tennis tournament and three of them — the No. 1 team of senior Steven Bummer and junior Erich Nuss, the No. 2 tandem of junior Luca Abbott and sophomore Patrick Seby and the No. 3 team of freshmen Kosta Garger and Evan Nuss — advanced to state championship matches at 9 a.m. Saturday.
The Raiders’ three finalists will all face off against Cherry Creek, which is hungry to add points as it tries to hold its team lead against a host of pursuers in Fairview, Denver East and Boulder. Regis Jesuit currently sits in fifth place with 38 points, but could move up to as high as second if things fall right on the final day.
Regis Jesuit’s No. 4 doubles team of Will Dennen and Matthew McCarthy will also play a team from Cherry Creek in the placing round, but that will be for third place as Fairview dashed the sophomore duos title hopes with a semifinal victory.
There is championship match experience among the finals group for coach Laura Jones’ Raiders, as Abbott is a returning state champion after winning last year’s No. 4 doubles crown and Bummer played for the No. 3 doubles title last year, falling to Cherry Creek along with graduated partner Truett Davis.
Regis Jesuit No. 1 singles player Tommy Koszowski got a playback opportunity when the player he lost to in the second round, Cherry Creek’s Ryan James, advanced all the way to the finals, and he earned another point for his team with a playback victory. He fell short of making the third place match when Mountain Vista’s Ben Antonsen downed him in the consolation semifinals.
Overland sophomore No. 2 singles player Dawid Kijak received a chance for a playback match after the opponent he lost to in Thursday’s first round, Boulder’s Jackson Hawk, advanced to the state championship match.
Kijak picked up his first state win with a tidy 6-1, 6-4 handling of Arapahoe’s Tyler Landon in the consolation opener and then slugged it out with Cherry Creek’s Robby Hill in the consolation semifinal. With a spot in the third place match on the line, Hill — the 5A runner-up at No. 3 singles in 2014 — prevailed with a 7-5, 6-3 victory.
All three of the losses Kijak suffered for the entire season came in the last two weeks of the season, to Heritage’s Jack Alexander in the Region 7 championship match and to Hawk — who he led by a set and also led in the third set in the opener — and Hill, who will both be top-four placers.
Cherokee Trail’s Tom Parsons and Colin Richardson also got another chance after the Cherry Creek team of Andy Duggan and Andy Hsu that beat them in the opener advanced to the championship match.
Parsons and Richardson took advantage, dispatching Mountain Vista’s Will Dixon and Max Probst with a strong 6-1, 6-3 victory to earn each the first point for the Cougars at the state tournament since Dylan Zumar posted a playback win at No. 1 singles in 2013.
Fairview’s Kevin Ball and Jimmy Kasic claimed the right to play in the third place match, however, as they dealt Parson and Richardson a 6-3, 6-4 defeat.
Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel
2015 CLASS 5A BOYS STATE TENNIS TOURNAMENT
Oct. 17 at Gates Tennis Center
Championship matches, 9 a.m.
No. 1 singles — Ryan James (Cherry Creek) vs. Kap Smith (Boulder); No. 2 singles — Jackson Hawk (Boulder) vs. Charlie Franks (Denver East); No. 3 singles — Mitch Johnson (Cherry Creek) vs. Cutter Esson (Boulder); No. 1 doubles — STEVEN BUMMER/ERICH NUSS (REGIS JESUIT) vs. Jacob Bendalin/Erin Norwood (Cherry Creek); No. 2 doubles — LUCA ABBOTT/PATRICK SEBY (REGIS JESUIT) vs. Andy Duggan/Andy Hsu (Cherry Creek); No. 3 doubles — EVAN NUSS/KOSTA GARGER (REGIS JESUIT) vs. Ben Murray/Spencer Buted (Cherry Creek); No. 4 doubles — David Glazer/Will Barton (Denver East) vs. David Zhao/Aaron Nguyen (Fairview)
Aurora third-place match, 9 a.m.
No. 4 doubles — WILL DENNEN/MATTHEW MCCARTHY (REGIS JESUIT) vs. Sam Angell/Stone Heyman (Cherry Creek)