BOULDER — Down went Cherry Creek — a pair of varsity newbies casted the final blow in knocking out the tennis goliath.
Fairview call-ups Maxim Kokoshinskiy and Clayton Baldwin won their No. 4 doubles match to break a 3-3 tie as the Knights handed the Bruins a rare dual loss on Wednesday evening.
Surrounded by teammates and serenaded with the distant sounds of the school's marching band practice, Kokoshinskiy and Baldwin, who won an inner-squad challenge match to move into the No. 4 doubles spot just 24 hours earlier, rallied from a game away from defeat in their first-ever varsity match to win 4-6, 7-5, 6-1.
As they walked off the court celebrating a first for their careers, they learned about the bigger implications of the victory.
"We had no idea," they both said as they looked at each other.
"And we're glad we didn't know," Kokoshinskiy said. "That would have put even more pressure on us."
The victory comes 11 months since the Knights ended a six-year run of finishing second to Bruins at the state tournament when they upended the state stalwart for the program's first title in history.
In the latest win over Creek, Fairview dropped each of its singles matches but won all four doubles matches. The Knights rallied from first-set losses in three of the four, including the No. 2 doubles team of seniors Reid Shaffer and Hall Humphrey who then came back from a 5-2 deficit in the third set to win 4-6, 6-4, 7-5.
Then with three wins for Creek and three wins for Fairview, the last match on the court was 4-doubles as Kokoshinskiy and Baldwin came back from 5-4 down in the second set to win nine of the next 10 games. It handed Cherry Creek a loss so rare it was viewed on a historical level.
"I don't know Cherry Creek's dual match record, but I think they've only lost in the single digits in all their history of tennis," Fairview coach Chad Tsuda said.
Better yet, he said, "Our team won't give up. Knowing that we're playing one of the powerhouses in the state, and just knowing our guys won't back down and they were here to compete is nice."
This win over Creek didn't garner much of a celebration, though.
After a few pats on the back, the team's three seniors — Beck Chrisbens, Shaffer and Humphrey — turned the team's attention to Thursday's dual against Broomfield. This kind of win can be savored after the season concludes, the Knights acknowledged.
"It feels good, but it doesn't really mean anything," Humphrey said. "They beat us last year (in a dual) and we won state. It's all about what happens at state, not what happens here."
Brent W. New: email@example.com and @brentwnew
Fairview 4, Cherry Creek 3
At Fairview HS
Singles — 1. George Cavo, Cherry Creek def. Luke Silverman, Fairview, 6-2, 6-3; 2. Nick Svichar, Cherry Creek def. Kian Grimison, Fairview, 6-4, 6-3; 3. Drew Hill, Cherry Creek def. Rodrigo Lopez-Abadia, Fairview 6-1, 6-1.
Doubles — 1. Beck Chrisbens/Brody Pinto, Fairview def. Devin Brownstein/Will Holst, Cherry Creek 1-6, 6-1, 6-1; 2. Hall Humphrey/Reid Shaffer, Fairview def. Matt Batmukh/Andrew Morocchi, Cherry Creek, 4-6, 6-4, 7-5; 3. Ryan Grayson/Adam Heilbronner, Fairview def. Braden Mayer/Ryan Flora, Cherry Creek, 6-0, 6-3 (4); Clayton Baldwin/Maxim Kokoshinskiy, Fairview def. Cedric Loehr/Ian Bartels, Cherry Creek, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1.