BOULDER — He’s seen it done by the likes of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. He’s even nailed it in practice. But Boulder High tennis player Jackson Hawk has never hit a between-the-legs winner.
Against Monarch on Monday, Hawk finally accomplished the acrobatic scoring shot. That’s how well things were going for the Panthers junior during a 6-3, 6-0 win over Coyotes No. 2 singles sophomore Jack Ferry that helped pace a 7-0 Panthers sweep.
Still, it was five-hole winner Hawk will remember.
“That was a momentum shifter,” said Hawk, who couldn’t help but do a quick shuffle and fist pump when he saw the ball land in. “That was a good one. I’ve never hit one like that and it was pretty sweet. I’ve practiced it so I knew I could do it but when I hit it for a winner, I couldn’t believe it. That was sweet.”
With the win, Hawk improved to 6-1 on the weather-marred season. After playing No. 1 singles last season, Hawk said he is more comfortable playing his junior campaign at the No. 2 spot behind freshman Kap Smith.
The only losses for Hawk and Smith on the season came against perennial champions Cherry Creek. On Monday, Smith (5-1) defeated Coyotes No. 1 singles junior Derek Wright 6-2, 6-4.
“I lost focus a little in the second set but he was a good player,” Smith said. “It’s been fun and I like our team. I feel like I’m playing fine.”
At No. 3 singles, Boulder’s Cutter Esson defeated Monarch’s Keegan McNamara 6-2, 6-3. In doubles play, Boulder’s No. 1 pair Arie van Vuuren and Nathan Lazarus won 6-0, 6-2 over Monarch’s Jack Lacy and Christian Glass.
The Panthers’ two doubles players Henry Hawk and Cole Smith defeated Reed Harrington and Nico Robero 6-0, 6-0. At No. 3 doubles, Panthers duo Connor Dawson and Scott Neville beat Matt Bolak and Tom Abrams 6-4, 6-1. At No. 4 doubles, Boulder’s Aidan Mulligan and Kelby Woodard topped Austin Cracraft and Itai Boneh 6-2, 6-2.
While he welcomed the seven straight-set victories, Panthers head coach Adrian Games said he was particularly happy to finally play the Front Range League dual that had already been rescheduled twice because of rain.
“Third time’s a charm,” Games said. “Being a league match, we needed to get this one in. This one was important, particularly for seeding purposes going into the league tournament and regionals. If you don’t have the head-to-heads, it can become a messy guessing game at that point.”
For the Coyotes, Monday’ dual was a tough loss. But head coach Christopher Turner said Ferry and McNamara put up particularly good fights.
“We were obviously up against a tough team today, which is hard,” Turner said. “This was the first real tough match we’ve played all season and we’ve been dealing with the rain like everyone else has.
Both teams will spend the rest of the week trying to squeeze in as many makeup matches as possible before the Front Range League Tournament next Tuesday. The Panthers will reprise their cross-town rivalry with the Fairview Knights on Thursday.
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Boulder 7, Monarch 0
At Centennial M.S.
Singles — 1. Kap Smith, Boulder, def. Derek Wright, 6-2, 6-4; 2. Jackson Hawk, Boulder, def. Jack Ferry, 6-3, 6-0; 3. Cutter Esson, Boulder, def. Keegan McNamara, 6-2, 6-3.
Doubles — 1. Arie van Vuuren/Nathan Lazarus, Boulder, def. Jack Lacy/Christian Glass, 6-0, 6-2; 2. Henry Hawk/Cole Smith, Boulder, def. Reed Harrington/Nico Robero, 6-0, 6-0; 3. Connor Dawson/Scott Neville, Boulder, def. Matt Bolak/Tom Abrams, 6-4, 6-1; 4. Aidan Mulligan/Kelby Woodard, Boulder, def. Austin Cracraft/Itai Boneh, 6-2, 6-2.