HIGHLANDS RANCH | With her multi-dimensional game at its peak, Eaglecrest senior Renee Christopher set about her goal of making it back to the Class 5A girls state tennis tournament.
The Raptors’ No. 1 singles player lost in the 5A Region 7 championship match on Thursday morning at Redstone Park, but still ended earning her second trip to state and first since her sophomore season.
Coming into the tournament as the fifth seed, Christopher knocked off second-seeded Jazmin Gillette 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7-4) in Wednesday’s first round — in her best match of the season to date — and dispatched Horizon’s Abby Wohlford 6-3, 6-1 in the semifinals to set up a title match against undefeated Arapahoe sophomore Tate Schroeder.
Schroeder blanked Christopher 6-0, 6-0 when the two met in Centennial League play on April 15 and the rematch went largely the same way, but ended this time in a 6-1, 6-0 decision for Schroeder.
Christopher received the second berth to the state tournament when Gillette defeated Rocky Mountain’s Kriston Brodeen, who could have challenged Christopher for the state berth if she had won the third-place match.
Eaglecrest’s all-freshmen No. 4 doubles team of DeLaney Brink and Taylor O’Brien also advanced to the regional championship match, winning their first two matches in tight three-setters before losing to Arapahoe’s Natalie Betts and Bria Busta in the final.
Brink and O’Brien came up just short of making state, however, as they played well, but lost to Rocky Mountain’s Rachel Slark and Maddie Titlebaum 6-2, 7-5 in a playback match.
Coach Alex Moore’s Raptors finished with 17 points, good enough for fifth place in a tournament dominated by Arapahoe.
Hinkley finished with one point courtesy of its No. 4 doubles team of juniors Helina Zemede and Keziah Ulanga, who posted a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 win over a team from Standley Lake.
The Thunderbirds’ duo went on to lose to Arapahoe’s Betts and Busta 6-0, 6-0 in the semifinals and dropped a 6-0, 6-2 decision to Rocky Mountain in the consolation bracket.
Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. Facebook: Aurora Prep Sentinel
2014 CLASS 5A REGION 7 GIRLS TENNIS TOURNAMENT
April 30-May 1 at Redstone Park
Team scores: 1. Arapahoe 79; 2. Rocky Mountain 52; 3. Arvada West 31; 4. Standley Lake 27; 5. EAGLECREST 17; 6. Brighton 8; 7. Horizon 7; 8. HINKLEY 1
No. 1 singles: Tate Schroeder (Arapahoe) def. RENEE CHRISTOPHER (EAGLECREST), 6-1, 6-0; No. 2 singles: Mackenzie Jones (Arapahoe) def. Madison Fortunato (Arvada West), 6-4, 6-2; No. 3 singles: Nicole Garza (Rocky Mountain) def. Sarah Cleveland (Standley Lake), 6-0, 6-1; No. 1 doubles: Abby Cruz/Natalie Sloboth (Arapahoe) def. Mary Sava/Joanne Dang (Standley Lake), 6-2, 6-2; No. 2 doubles: Sarah Shortall/Allison Snyder (Arapahoe) def. Jennifer Schnell/Kyra Carney (Rocky Mountain), 6-2, 6-3 ; No. 3 doubles: Bridget O’Brien/Wilms (Arapahoe) def. Kyla Box/Katherine Walter (Rocky Mountain), 6-1, 6-4; No. 4 doubles: Natalie Betts/Bria Busta (Arapahoe) def. DELANEY BRINK/TAYLOR O’BRIEN (EAGLECREST), 6-2, 6-0
No. 1 singles: Jazmin Gillette (Arvada West) def. Kristen Brodeen (Rocky Mountain); No. 2 singles: Hannah Manning (Rocky Mountain) def. Elizabeth Hanson (Standley Lake), 6-1, 7-5; No. 3 singles: Natalie Borchelt (Arapahoe) def. Jordan Crouch (Horizon); No. 1 doubles: Natalie House/Jocelyn Gentry (Rocky Mountain) def. Lopez/Harmon (Brighton), 6-2, 6-2; No. 2 doubles: Katie Guettlein/Emma Eisenbrandt (Arvada West) vs. Sanchez/Schmidt (Brighton); No. 3 doubles: Isabel Glassmeyer/Janelle Hudson (Arvada West) vs. Taryn Walker/Ripely Hanson (Standley Lake); No. 4 doubles: Rachel Slark/Maddie Titelbaum (Rocky Mountain) def. Torres/Richey (Brighton)
Playback for state
No. 4 doubles: Rachel Slark/Maddie Titelbaum (Rocky Mountain) def. DELANEY BRINK/TAYLOR O’BRIEN (EAGLECREST), 6-2, 7-5