DENVER — Senior Harrison Vivas will be playing in his third state title match on Saturday. For sophomore Levi Chandler, it will be his first.
Together they’ve been a dynamic pair for Boulder High this fall at No. 2 doubles.
The duo will square off against Cherry Creek’s Jonathan Kaufman and Will Ro at 9 a.m. at Gates Tennis Center in the Class 5A state tourney finals. The two BHS Panthers beat Grand Junction’s Max Proietti and Daniel Ness 7-6(4), 6-1 in Friday’s semifinals to get there.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Vivas said. “It should be a pretty fun match.”
After finishing second at No. 3 singles as a sophomore, Vivas won a title with Ian Ron at No. 1 doubles last season.
Vivas likely would have been at a higher position this fall. But after a midseason two-week family trip to Italy he had some catching up to do on the court and in school.
He settled in at No. 2 with Chandler, and is happy where he landed.
“He’s a really good player,” Vivas said. “He knows what to do and I’m sure he’ll play really well next year, too.”
After a pair of wins Thursday, BHS No. 1 singles player Jaron Belcher saw his run end Friday. First came a loss in the semis to defending state champion Spencer Weidman of Grand Junction. After battling illness all week, Belcher then retired in the second set of a playback against Fairview’s Eli Winegardner.
“He didn’t want to quit,” said BHS coach Gale Howard, who finally urged his senior to shut it down to avoid injury.
Boulder will have two positions playing for third place today. Spanish foreign exchange student Miguel Sanchez won a pair of playback matches to stay alive, while No. 4 doubles team Luke Jirmans and Sig Poulsen rebounded from a semifinal loss to keep playing.
The Panthers sit fourth in the team race with 19 points, behind Creek (65), FHS (64) and Grand Junction (40).
MoHi’s Shanahan splits
Monarch’s Jack Shanahan didn’t expect to be playing for third place today at No. 3 singles when the tournament started. But that’s where he’ll be after splitting a pair of matches Friday.
After coming out flat in a semifinal loss, Shanahan beat George Washington’s Eric Freud 6-1, 6-0 in a playback. He’ll face Boulder’s Sanchez for third.
“I was going to be happy with just winning one match,” Shanahan said. “It’s a surprise, but I’ve been playing well.”