BROOMFIELD — Jackson Hawk is starting to settle into this whole No. 1 singles thing.
The Boulder sophomore is rolling right along, getting better with every match, and on Wednesday he continued his winning ways, dispatching of Broomfield’s Josh Eafanti 6-2, 6-3 at the Broomfield Swim and Tennis Club.
“It seems like everyone is just a little bit better,” said Hawk, who is coming off a fourth place finish at state last season at No. 2 singles. “The best of the No. 1’s are a lot better than the best of the No. 2’s.”
Hawk and the rest of the Panthers swept Broomfield 7-0 and are gearing up for Saturday’s trip Greenwood Village to play some of the state’s best competition at the Cherry Creek Invitational.
“The players are going to be really good and I know a lot of the guys that are going to be there,” Hawk said. “I feel like I can hold my own.”
In Eafanti, Hawk faced a player unlike any he had seen all season. The tall lefty possesses a big serve, although erratic at times, and it gave Hawk trouble at times. But once he was able to figure out his footwork, Hawk managed to return efficiently against the serve-and-volley style of Eafanti.
“I just tried to make him hit one more shot every time and that seemed to work out,” Hawk said.
Eafanti, who has taken a bit off his first serve while recovering from the affects of a little tendinitis, stayed in the match with his serve, but also lost some crucial points when the serve let him down. He had seven double faults in the first set, including three in the fourth game that gave Hawk his first break at 3-1.
“Every loss is a learning experience and I learned there to hit a better serve,” said Eafanti, who qualified for state last season. “I’m not worried. In the second set, my coach (Doug Kazarosian) told me to change the grip on my serve and they started to fall.”
Said Kazarosian of Eafanti’s serving: “We are working to philosophically sculpt how he approaches his weapon.”
The match of the night was at No. 2 singles. Boulder’s Cutter Esson dropped the first set to the Eagles’ Adam Clarke (4-6), but bounced back to win the next two sets 6-2, 6-2.
“I started out a little slow, but got better as the match went on,” Esson said. “He started off strong, but he started to taper off and I took advantage of it.”
Connor Dawson completed the Panthers sweep of the singles positions with a 6-0, 6-3 victory over Spencer Wolfe.
Despite the loss, Kazarosian is upbeat about his team and where they stand with four weeks to play before regionals.
“If we just learn to play well, the winning will take care of itself, and all the guys are playing better and better against super high quality opponents,” Kazarosian said. “We are working on just being a little more consistent and I kind of like what I’m seeing. The guys are getting better and better each match, whether the results show it or not, really doesn’t concern me.”
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Boulder 7, Broomfield 0
At Broomfield Swim and Tennis Club
Singles — 1. Jackson Hawk, Boulder, def. Josh Eafanti, 6-2, 6-3; 2. Cutter Esson, Boulder, def. Adam Clarke, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2; 3. Connor Dawson, Boulder, def. Spencer Wolfe, 6-0, 6-3.
Doubles — 1. Ethan Anderson/Arie van Vuuren, Boulder def. Ben Stevens/Grant Wood, 6-1, 6-0; 2. Scott Neville/Cole Smith, Boulder def. Ryan Jennett/Christian Lewis, 6-1, 6-1; 3. Kelby Woodard/Aiden Mulligan, Boulder def. Peter Hristoff/Caleb Penner, 6-2, 6-2; 4. Dan Cleveland/Jonathan Tari, Boulder def. Cody Babcock/Keaton Manwaring, 6-4, 6-3.