DENVER | Intermittent rain showers forced officials to consolidate the Class 5A girls state tennis tournament into two days.
With the courts at Gates Tennis Center soaked with off and on showers Thursday, Colorado High School Activities Association officials put together a plan to play the tournament — scheduled for three days — Friday and Saturday.
Three venues will be used when play is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Monday: Gates Tennis Center, City Park and Denver South High School.
No. 1-3 singles and No. 1 doubles will be played at Gates Tennis Center, while No. 2 doubles matches are slated for Denver South and Nos. 3 and 4 doubles at City Park. Players could play as many as three matches on Friday.
The schedule for Saturday has been changed, as playback finals are slated for 8 a.m., followed by championship matches at 9:30 a.m. Third- and fourth-place matches will be played afterwards and awards given out when play is complete.
Regis Jesuit senior Shelby Cerkovnik won the first set of her No. 1 singles first round match with Heritage’s Kaitlin Bos by a 6-0 score and led the second set 3-0 before players were called in as the rain picked up in intensity.
Sophomore No. 2 singles player Haley Chirico also had a set lead — over Legend’s Alexandra Sheppard — when play was halted. Chirico placed third at No. 2 singles last season at the 4A state tournament.
Raiders coach Kollman Gearhart, whose team is playing in the 5A state tournament for the first time, liked the chances both of his singles players had of making runs based on where they ended up in the draw.
Gearhart’s two regional championship-winning doubles teams — the No. 1 duo of Anna Finch and Erica Dodson and the No. 2 team of Catherine Nemechek and Jessica Butler — never got on the court. Nemechek and Butler will play their first match at Denver South on Friday.
Cherokee Trail senior Sydney Reese was sent over to City Park in an attempt to play, but never got to begin her No. 3 singles first round match against Ralston Valley’s Megan Wewel.
Cougars coach Paul Whipple said Reese is playing her best tennis of the season at the end and nearly won the Region 6 championship in Grand Junction.
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