BOULDER — The Fairview boys tennis team was looking for a challenge when it invited defending Class 4A state champion Cheyenne Mountain to town for a dual.
The Knights ended up getting more than they could handle.
Shuffling their lineup to account for the absence of No. 1 singles player Eli Winegardner — who sat out the contest for disciplinary reasons — the 2011 5A runner-up Knights fell 6-1 on their home courts.
Playing up in Winegardner’s place, Knights sophomore Ignatius Castelino put up a fight but lost 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 to Cheyenne Mountain’s Stephen Moore.
“He’s a good player, one of the best in 4A, and they’re probably the best team in the state right now,” said Castelino, who normally plays No. 2 singles. “I think I played well. I felt like maybe I could have closed out a few more games but it was a good practice opportunity.”
Standing in at No. 2 singles, Alex Feddon fell to Cheyenne Mountain’s Billy Fielding, 7-5, 6-0. Boone Whiteside, the Knights’ junior 12th man, lost 6-1, 6-2 to Andrew Venner after picking up a two-set varsity singles win last week against Kent Denver.
“I was happy to jump up and take on the challenge for my team,” Whiteside said. “Last week, things went well. This week, not so well. They were both really tough teams but I knew I was going to be able to compete with them and felt like I wasn’t gonna be outplayed.”
Though he mixed up his singles lineup, Knights head coach Chad Tsuda said he wanted to keep his doubles pairs together against the Indians. Known for their dominant doubles play, Tsuda figured the matches would be good experience, and possibly a confidence boost, for his own pairs.
At No. 3 doubles, senior Connor Corrigan and sophomore Andrew Pollack earned the Knights’ only win of the dual. The victory had the effect Tsuda desired.
“Knowing that they’re really good and defending state champs it shows us that we can compete with them,” Corrigan said. “In the second set, we got into some trouble. But we kind of zoned back in and got our focus back.”
The pair, now 3-0 at No. 3 doubles, was on top of its game against Session and Lux, both of whom Pollack said possess great service ability.
“I was closing the net, Connor was closing the net really well,” said Pollack, who fractured his pelvis during a track workout prior to the season. “I think we only lost one or two service games.”
Fairview’s Kevin Chen and Tommy Mason faltered late against Cole Benson and Austin Hampton, losing 5-7, 6-3, 6-3. Cheyenne Mountain’s Matt Clancy and Nathaniel Rocks beat Ben Krahenbuhl and Nick Blanco, 6-3, 7-5.
In the final match of the evening, Fairview’s Kamran Shahbaz and Max Petrak lost a prolonged 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 match to Will Geise and Robbie Boe.
Winegardner, who finished fourth at state at No. 1 singles last fall, will be back with the Knights for this weekend’s Western Slope Invite in Grand Junction.
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Cheyenne Mountain 6, Fairview 1
At Fairview H.S.
Singles — 1. Stephen Moore, Cheyenne Mountain, def. Ignatius Castelino, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3; 2. Billy Fielding, Cheyenne Mountain, def. Alex Leddon, 7-5, 6-0; 3. Andrew Venner, Cheyenne Mountain, def. Boone Whiteside, 6-1, 6-2.
Doubles — 1. Cole Benson/Austin Hampton, Cheyenne Mountain, def. Kevin Chen/Tommy Mason, 5-7, 6-3, 6-3; 2. Matt Clancy/Nathaniel Rocks, Cheyenne Mountain, def. Ben Krahenbuhl/Nick Blanco, 6-4, 6-3; 3. Connor Corrigan/Andrew Pollack, Fairview, def. Colt Sessions/Carsten Lux, 6-3, 7-5; 4. Will Geise/Robbie Boe, Cheyenne Mountain, def. Kamran Shahbaz/Max Petrak, 3-6, 7-5, 6-1.