AURORA | Weather created a chaotic finish to the girls tennis regular season, with the final points of Thursday’s matches shaping the regional field.
The makeup of the eight Class 5A regional tournament groups was determined by league standings, which weren’t solidified for many conferences until the last minute.
When the dust settled, Aurora teams ended up in five of the eight regionals when the Colorado High School Activities Association released the pairings on Friday.
Some have more travel to do than others, with Cherokee Trail — the No. 5 team from the Centennial League — and Regis Jesuit, the No. 6 finisher in the Continental League, drawing the furthest trek.
The Cougars and Raiders, who will play in the 5A postseason for the first time and have back No. 2 singles player Haley Chirico, who placed third in 4A last season, ended up in the Region 6 group set to play May 2-3 at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction.
Cherokee Trail — which has two players who made the 5A state tournament last season in seniors Natalia Zaremba and Sydney Reese, a doubles team now playing No. 2 and No. 3 singles, respectively — ended up on the short end of a three-way tie in the middle of the Centennial League standings along with Grandview and Smoky Hill.
All three teams beat each other, but the Buffaloes did themselves a favor with a 5-2 victory over the Wolves on Thursday in the only one of the matches between the teams that didn’t end 4-3.
An epic 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (3) victory by the Smoky Hill No. 2 doubles team of Samantha Morehead and Maggie McCarthy over Grandview’s Holly Evans and Shelby Hackney gave coach Colin Lesyinski’s Buffaloes the final margin that might have lifted them into the third spot.
The seed netted Smoky Hill a spot in the 5A Region 1 tournament April 30-May 1 at Cherry Creek High School along with another Aurora team, Gateway, the No. 9 team from the East Metro Athletic Conference.
Coach Jeff Ryan’s Wolves ended up in the No. 4 spot in the league and are one of three Aurora teams — Rangeview, the East Metro No. 3 team, and Centennial League No. 7 Eaglecrest — in the 5A Region 3 tournament April 30-May 1 at Loveland’s North Shore Park.
Among the three teams, only Alex Moore’s Eaglecrest squad has a player who qualified for last season’s 5A state tournament in junior No. 1 singles player Renee Christopher.
Rangeview finished 6-2 in EMAC player to secure the third slot in the league standings behind No. 1 Brighton and No. 2 Northglenn.
The 5A Region 7 tournament May 1-2 at Redstone Park in Highlands Ranch also has multiple Aurora teams in Aurora Central, the EMAC’s No. 4 team, along with Centennial League No. 6 Overland.
Vista PEAK makes its 4A regional debut at Region 2 hosted by Kent Denver. The 10-team field is set to play at both Kent Denver and Cherry Hills Country Club.
Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at [email protected] or 303-750-7555
2013 CLASS 5A GIRLS TENNIS REGIONALS
REGION 1 (April 30-May 1 at Cherry Creek H.S.)
Aurora teams: Gateway (East Metro No. 9), Smoky Hill (Centennial League No. 3); Other teams: Cherry Creek (host, Centennial League No. 1), Doherty (Colo. Springs Metro No. 2), Loveland (Front Range No. 5), Fountain-Fort Carson (Colo. Springs Metro No. 6), Thornton (East Metro No. 7), Legacy (Front Range No. 10); Schedule: April 30, 8 a.m.; May 1, 8 a.m.
REGION 2 (April 30-May 1 at Fairview H.S.)
Other teams: Fairview (host, Front Range No. 1), Lakewood (Jeffco No. 2), Lincoln (Denver Prep League No. 3), Rock Canyon (Continental No. 4), Bear Creek (Jeffco No. 6), Rocky Mountain (Front Range No. 9), Douglas County (Continental No. 12)
REGION 3 (May 1-2 at Ken Caryl Park)
Other teams: Heritage (host, Continental No. 1), George Washington (Denver Prep League No. 2), Rampart (Colo. Springs Metro No. 3), Arvada West (Jeffco No. 4), Palmer (Colo. Springs Metro No. 5), Legend (Continental No. 7), Adams City (East Metro No. 8)
REGION 4 (April 30-May 1 at North Shore Park, Loveland)
Aurora teams: Rangeview (East Metro No. 3), Grandview (Centennial No. 4), Eaglecrest (Centennial League No. 7); Other teams: Poudre (host, Front Range No. 2), Ralston Valley (Jeffco No. 1), Prairie View (East Metro No. 6), Castle View (Continental No. 10), Greeley West (Front Range No. 11); Schedule: April 30, 9:30 a..m.; May 1, 9 a.m.
REGION 5 (May 1-2 at City Park, Denver)
Other teams: Denver East (host, Denver Prep League No. 1), Northglenn (East Metro No. 2), Highlands Ranch (Continental No. 3), Montbello (Denver Prep League No. 4), Mountain Vista (Continental No. 5), Boulder (Front Range No. 6), Dakota Ridge (Jeffco No. 7), Monarch (Front Range No. 8)
REGION 6 (May 2-3 at Colorado Mesa University, Grand Junction)
Aurora teams: Cherokee Trail (Centennial League No. 5), Regis Jesuit (Continental League No. 6); Other teams: Grand Junction (host), Fruita Monument (Southwest No. 2), Central (G.J.) (Southwest No. 3), Mountain Range (Front Range No. 4), Fort Collins (Front Range No. 7), Littleton (Continental No. 9); Schedule: May 2, 8 a.m.; May 3, 8 a.m.
REGION 7 (May 1-2 at Redstone Park, Highlands Ranch)
Aurora teams: Aurora Central (East Metro No. 4), Overland (Centennial League No. 6); Other teams: Arapahoe (host, Continental League No. 2), Brighton (East Metro No. 1), Fossil Ridge (Front Range No. 3), Columbine (Jeffco No. 5), Standley Lake (Jeffco No. 8), Horizon (Front Range No. 12); Schedule: May 1, 8 a.m.; May 2, 8 a.m.
REGION 8 (May 1-2 at Pine Creek & Liberty H.S.)
Aurora team: Hinkley (East Metro No. 5); Other teams: Pine Creek (host, Colo. Springs Metro No. 1), Ponderosa (Continental No. 2), Chatfield (Jeffco No. 3), Liberty (Colo. Springs Metro No. 4), ThunderRidge (Continental No. 8), Pomona (Jeffco No. 9), Chaparral (Continental League No. 11); Schedule: May 1, 8 a.m.; May 2, 8 a.m.
CLASS 4A GIRLS TENNIS REGIONAL
REGION 2 (May 1-2 at Kent Denver & Cherry Hills Country Club)
Aurora team: Vista PEAK; Other teams: Kent Denver (host), D’Evelyn, Discovery Canyon, Englewood, Green Mountain, Lutheran, Machebeuf, Peak to Peak, Vista Ridge