GRAND JUNCTION | Despite the travel, Regis Jesuit and Cherokee Trail found the Class 5A Region 8 girls tennis tournament mostly to their liking Wednesday.
The opening day of the state-qualifying tournament at Colorado Mesa University saw the two Aurora teams earn spots in all seven championship matches — six for Regis Jesuit and two for Cherokee Trail — scheduled to begin at 8 a.m.
The Raiders own a two-point lead over host Fruita Monument in the regional team chase going into the final day, where the two programs square off in six of seven finals.
The No. 1 singles champion and automatic qualifier for the 5A state tournament is guaranteed to be from an Aurora program, as Regis Jesuit junior Grace Neff and Cherokee Trail freshman Alissa Gurkovskiy both won their semifinal matches.
To get there, Gurkovskiy — the No. 1 seed — came off an opening bye and posted a shutout victory in the opening round, while Neff, who won a state championship last season in doubles, needed three sets to outlast Fruita Monument’s Alexa Jo Wimbs for a 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 victory.
No. 2 singles is the only position where Regis Jesuit didn’t make the finals, but Cherokee Trail junior Nicole Ahn represents Aurora. The top seed handled her second round match by dropping just one game.
Senior Elizabeth Dewey put Regis Jesuit in the No. 3 singles championship match, while the Raiders are fully loaded in doubles finals at No. 1 (juniors Sarah Sinelli and Marie Manassee), No. 2 (juniors Emily Smith and Carly Markowski), No. 3 (junior Chloe Martinet and sophomore Tara Connolly) and No. 4 (senior Laura Tschatschula and sophomore Ally Gosser).
Cherokee Trail sits in third place with 25 points, while Gateway earned three points thanks to a first rounds from the No. 2 doubles team of Eh Gay and Alejandra Gutierrez and the No. 3 doubles team of Evelyn Funez and Kathy Sandoval.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports
2019 CLASS 5A REGION 8 GIRLS TENNIS TOURNAMENT
Team scores (through semifinals): 1. REGIS JESUIT 47 points; 2. Fruita Monument 45; 3. CHEROKEE TRAIL 25; 4. GATEWAY 3; 5. Horizon 2; 6. Fountain-Fort Carson 1
Championship matches (8 a.m. May 2 at Colorado Mesa University)
No. 1 singles — ALISSA GURKOVSKIY (CHEROKEE TRAIL) vs. GRACE NEFF (REGIS JESUIT); No. 2 singles — NICOLE AHN (CHEROKEE TRAIL) vs. Erica Skillicorn (Fruita Monument); No. 3 singles — ELIZABETH DEWEY (REGIS JESUIT) vs. Cassidy Lastine (Fruita Monument); No. 1 doubles — SARAH SINELLI/MARIE MANASSEE (REGIS JESUIT) vs. Alyssa Morse/Lauren Vance (Fruita Monument); No. 2 doubles — EMILY SMITH/CARLY MARKOWSKI (REGIS JESUIT) vs. Abby Deeths/Sarah O’Day (Fruita Monument); No. 3 doubles — CHLOE MARTINET/TARA CONNOLLY (REGIS JESUIT) vs. Kyra Rooks/Laynie Collins (Fruita Monument); No. 4 doubles — ALLY GOSSER/LAURA TSCHATSCHULA (REGIS JESUIT) vs. Jaidynn Maynard/Michelle Buffum (Fruita Monument)