BOULDER — The Fairview Knights turned the Class 5A Region 2 tennis tournament into the most peaceful demolition derby ever on Wednesday morning.
On a beautiful and quiet day at the Fairview courts, the Knights made the biggest noise in winning championships at all seven positions to qualify the entire team for next week’s state tournament. In other words, they might need a full-size bus for the trip to the Gates Tennis Center in Denver after the showing they posted on Wednesday.
“We’re very happy this year to get everyone through, and to win at every position … we really just tried to keep it simple and focus on each match at a time,” head coach Chad Tsuda said. “Everyone did a great job. ”
From Ignatius Castelino at No. 1 singles all the way through to No. 4 doubles with Jake Kearney and Charlie Strand, the two-day tournament was even more impressive than the Knights’ Front Range League Championship last week. All seven positions won in straight sets and only 24 games were given up, a remarkable achievement with such high-caliber teams making up the field.
“I think that’s what the team has improved a lot on is keeping our focus on just one match,” Tsuda said. “Not taking any points off, and treating every match as if it was our last. Especially this time of year, it could be.”
Tommy Mason was the first to walk off the court with a win, cruising past Pine Creek’s Coulten Davis, 6-1, 6-0 at No. 3 singles. For Mason, the win gives him a chance to get back to state — this time as a singles competitor.
Of course, Mason has the experience of going all the way and gaining a state championship, as he and partner Kevin Chen worked their way to a title at No. 1 doubles in 2012. To get that chance again is something Mason is not taking for granted.
“I played well throughout the whole tournament, hitting well and serving well. Not top of the game, but getting close and I’m hoping to by state,” Mason said. “I have high expectations for myself, because we did win state last year, but it’s completely different. It’s been a lot of fun the whole way through the season, and now getting to go to state as a singles player.
“I felt if I played the way I knew how, I’d get (to state). This was good preparation for state.”
Castelino appeared ready for the big time, too. After consecutive runner-up efforts and No. 3 and No. 2 singles the past two years, the senior took his game to No. 1 singles this year and quickly dismantled Eric Kwiatkowski of Chaparral, 6-2, 6-1 to earn the regional title.
“I started off well, but I thought I moved well and stayed focused even when he hit a good shot,” Castelino said. “I just did not let off the throttle until I finished. I’ve played him before, but it’s been awhile. He has improved a lot, so it was a good match.”
If the Knights are to win a state title as a team, Castelino said they should not be awarding themselves anything just yet.
“We probably should not (assume) anything, but the goal was to get everyone to state. I’m glad that everyone played well today,” he said.
However, the Knights will be among the contenders.
While Fairview defended its home courts, Legacy also managed to send two positions through to state. With a second-place finish, the No. 3 doubles team of Sam Karlson and Austin Cole will play on this season, and Dave Rosencrans earned his way at No. 2 singles by beating Ryan Beckstrom (Chaparral) in the winner-goes-to-state playback, 6-0, 6-2. Given Beckstrom hung in more against Fairview’s Alec Leddon — last year’s state runner-up at No. 3 singles — Rosencrans was pleasantly surprised with his effort.
“I thought my consistency was very strong today. Getting into these big power rallies, usually I’ll be the first one to miss it.” Rosencrans said after also defeating Pine Creek’s Cameron Edsell in a third-place match. “This time, I was pretty consistent, just hit it back and took some of the pace off. Pretty happy to be able to do that.”
Mike Rosencrans also had a chance to advance at No. 1 singles through playbacks, but Kwiatkowski was too strong in a 6-3, 6-4 decision.
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CLASS 5A REGION 2
At Fairview H.S.
Team Scores — Fairview 70, Chaparral 41, Legacy 37, Pine Creek 35, Eaglecrest 6, Ponderosa 1, Abraham Lincoln 0.
Singles 1. Ignatius Castelino, Fairview, def. Eric Kwiatkowski, Chaparral, 6-2, 6-1; 2. Alec Leddon, Fairview, def. Ryan Beckstrom, Chaparral, 6-4, 7-5; 3. Tommy Mason, Fairview, def. Coulten Davis, Pine Creek, 6-1, 6-0.
Doubles — 1. Brock DeHaven/Max Petrak, Fairview, def. Josh Haddad/Tanner Swanson, Pine Creek, 6-0, 7-5; 2. Randall Ball/Andrew Pollack, Fairview, def. Rylan Haag/Ryan Coyle, Pine Creek, 6-1, 6-0; 3. Devin Harper/Roger Nichols, Fairview, def. Sam Karlson/Austin Cole, Legacy, 6-2, 6-0; 4. Jake Kearney/Charlie Strand, Fairview, def. Nick Jackson/Jonny Holm, Chaparral, 6-1, 6-2.
Third place matches
Singles — 1. Mike Rosencrans, Legacy, def. Zach Inman, Pine Creek, 6-2, 7-5; 2. Dave Rosencrans, Legacy, def. Cameron Edsell, Pine Creek, 6-2, 6-1; 3. Hayden Daulton, Chaparral, def. Shad Karlson, Legacy, 6-1, 6-1.
Doubles — 1. Jake Lane/Andrew Hartman, Chaparral, def. Alec Jensen/Jordan Boucher, Legacy, 6-3, 6-0; 2. Cooper Tedstrom/Christian Sunblade, Eaglecrest, def. Greg Nixon/Parker Steen, Legacy, 6-4, 7-6 (8-6); 3. Jake Vendl/Alex Urbanski, Pine Creek, def. Al Chapman/Grant Zimmerman, Ponderosa, 6-3, 6-4; 4. Justin Inman/Scott Leavitt, Pine Creek, def. Kevin Rivera/Adrik Kling, Legacy, 6-3, 6-4.
Singles — 1. Eric Kwiatkowski, Chaparral, def. Mike Rosencrans, Legacy, 6-3, 6-4; 2. Dave Rosencrans, Legacy, def. Ryan Beckstrom, Chaparral, 6-0, 6-2.