BOULDER — No one has ever accused Fairview's Tom Melville of not having any fun on the court.
The Fairview senior has the full arsenal of shots, from a huge first serve to a crippling forehand that will leave opponents guessing. Another aspect of his game that has his opponents shaking their head — whether in disbelief or simply confusion — is his ability to make those "wow" shots.
On Thursday in the Class 5A Region 2 title match at No. 1 singles against Rock Canyon's Chris Swanson, Melville didn't shy away from the spectacular. On multiple occasions, he hit shots between his legs and even went behind the back for another.
"I like to mix it up and keep the other person guessing," said Melville, who won the regional title 6-0, 6-2 against the Jaguars sophomore.
The key for Melville when he digs into his bag of tricks ... "Make sure Chad's not watching."
Fairview coach Chad Tsuda might have enjoyed it — had he seen it — on Thursday when everything went well for the Knights. His team swept all seven positions and will head to state with a full arsenal to take on the likes of Cherry Creek and Regis Jesuit in what should be an exciting team chase at Gates Tennis Center in Denver.
"I think the guys are coming together at the right time. All year we have been trying to keep things simple and nothing is going to change for us now," Tsuda said. "It's just maintaining what we have gained this season and keep it going next week."
Melville, who placed fourth at state last season and will be among the title contenders next week, took nothing for granted over the two day tournament and knew the importance of punching his ticket to Denver next week.
"The main goal is always state and this is the first step to getting there," he said. "If you don't win here, it affects state in the long term."
At No. 2 singles, senior Ethan Schacht had to work hard against Ralston Valley's Jackson Johnstone, who is what those in the tennis world call "a pusher" — or a player that doesn't hit the ball as hard, gets to almost every ball and uses a lot of spin to stay in points.
It's just the type of player that gives Schacht fits, but he persevered and fought for a straight set victory, 6-4, 7-6 (1).
"I tend to not play well against those type of players because I am also a bit of a grinder, so sometimes it is difficult to play someone with my style that can grind and get me to be impatient," said Schacht, who will also look to improve on a fourth place state finish.
"I was glad to get that one out of the way and go into state playing really well."
Andy Wu rounded out the singles dominance from the Knights with a thorough 6-1, 6-1 victory over Ralston's Carson Green at No. 3's.
Fairview swept through the doubles as well, only dropping one set the entire two days at No. 2 doubles.
Monarch was also on hand at Region 2 and showed well in what proved to be a very tough regional. The Coyotes got third place finishes from Michael Conde (No. 1 singles), Quinn McNamara (No. 2) and Noah Messman (No. 3). McNamara had a chance to play his way to state, but lost his playback to Johnstone 6-2, 6-4.
In other 5A action, Boulder hosted the Region 8 tournament and the Panthers will be sending their entire squad to state as well.
CLASS 5A REGION 2
Team scores — Fairview 84, Ralston Valley 44, Rock Canyon 38, Monarch 30, Smoky Hill 7, Palmer 2, Douglas County 0.
Singles — 1. Tom Melville, Fairview def. Chris Swanson, Rock Canyon, 6-0, 6-2; 2. Ethan Schacht, Fairview def. Jackson Johnstone, Ralston Valley, 6-4, 7-6 (1); 3. Andy Wu, Fairview def. Carson Green, Ralston Valley, 6-1, 6-1.
Doubles — 1. Beck Chrisbens/Luke Silverman, Fairview def. Charlie Eck/Turner Gordon, Ralston Valley, 6-3, 6-0; 2. Aaron Nguyen/Hall Humphrey, Fairview def. Matthew Gresh/Chris Du, Rock Canyon, 2-6, 6-4, 6-1; 3. Ryan Grayson/Kian Grimson, Fairview def. Danny McCarty/Dax Grossman, Ralston Valley, 6-1, 6-2; 4. Reid Shaffer/Adam Heilbronner, Fairview def. Hunter Monson/Anshu Mohan, Smoky Hill, 6-3, 6-2.
Singles — 1. Michael Conde, Monarch def. Alfayad Khan, Palmer, 6-3, 6-4; 2. Quinn McNamara, Monarch def. Luke Smith, Rock Canyon, 6-3, 6-4; 3. Noah Messman, Monarch def. Patrick Wood, Rock Canyon, 6-2, 7-6 (4).
Doubles — 1. Harry Pearson/William Kong, Rock Canyon def. Connor Reuter/Cyrus Evans, Monarch, 6-3, 6-2; 2. Ben Gallagher/Alex Kim, Ralston Valley def. Eric Williams/Dennis Domashevih, Smoky Hill, 6-4, 6-2; 3. Josh Roberts/Tyler Quirk, Rock Canyon def. Will Spong/Jack Reuter, Monarch, 6-4, 6-4; 4. Aiden Muldener/Connor McKenzie, Ralston Valley def. Simon Miller/Ryan Wahlenmaier, Rock Canyon, 6-3, 5-7, 6-2.
Singles — 2. Johnstone, Ralston Valley def. McNamara, Monarch, 6-2, 6-4.
Doubles — 3. Roberts/Quirk, Rock Canyon def. McCarthy/Grossman, Ralston Valley, 6-2, 7-5; 4. Muldener/Mckenzie, Ralston Valley def. Monson/Mohan, Smoky Hill, 6-3, 6-4.