Fairview girls tennis coach Susan Stensrud always attempts to make her team’s schedule a demanding one, believing her Knights will be properly battle-tested once the pressure of the postseason arrives.
In their first test before the bright lights of the state tournament, the Knights came through on Thursday, winning six of the seven championship matches to claim the Class 5A Region 2 tournament.
“We like to play the toughest schedule we can so when we get to state we’re used to it,” Stensrud said. “We’re excited that we’ve got everyone going to state, and with six of the seven winning regional titles they’ll get to play a No. 2 team in the first round.”
Fairview recorded a clean sweep of all three singles championships and received a pair of determined efforts from its top two doubles teams to pull away from runner-up Chatfield.
The Knights’ top doubles team of Jacqueline Schmiedeler and Anastasiya Nicol won their first set somewhat handily at 6-3 against Chatfield’s Gabbie Jones and Jenna Alvarez, but they were forced to win a lengthy second-set tiebreaker at 9-7 to complete the straight-set win.
Fairview’s No. 2 duo of Carolyn Roberts and Ellie Savage immediately were put on their heels with a first-set loss, but the pair rallied to earn a regional championship with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 win against Regis Jesuit’s Catherine Nemechek and Claire Quinn.
“Those (teams) really fought through it,” Stensrud said. “I liked how they were not concerned with having a slow start and they were very resilient.”
Fairview’s top two singles players remained undefeated, with freshman No. 1 Amber Shen (18-0) posting a 6-1, 6-1 win against Chatfield’s Grace Koza in the championship match while No. 2 Natalie Munson (15-0) earned a regional title with a 6-2, 6-3 win against Chatfield’s Jade Moore.
The Knights’ No. 3 singles player, Angela Cai, improved to 17-1 by topping Chatfield’s Catherine Day in the final. The No. 3 doubles team of Sarah Sharpe and Skylar Caledonia claimed the Knights’ final regional crown with a 6-2, 6-3 win against Chatfield’s Lauren Froning and Olivia Boyd.
Regis Jesuit’s No. 4 doubles team of Pedrie Mackenzie and Anna Kaminsky prevented the Knights from completing a sweep of the regional titles, defeating Fairview’s Caralynn Jamison and Lily Siegert 6-3, 3-6, 6-1.
The Knights are expected to challenge Cherry Creek for the team state championship when the Class 5A finals begin May 7 at the Gates Tennis Center in Denver.
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Class 5A Region 2 tournament
At Fairview HS
Team score — Fairview 80, Chatfield 55, Regis Jesuit 49, Rocky Mountain 24, Arvada West 0, Montbello 0.
Singles championship matches — 1. Amber Shen, Fairview, def. Grace Koza, Chatfield 6-1, 6-1; 2. Natalie Munson, Fairview, def. Jade Moore, Chatfield, 6-2, 6-3; 3. Angela Cai, Fairview, def. Catherine Day, Chatfield, 6-0, 6-2.
Doubles championship matches — 1. Jacqueline Schmiedeler/Anastasiya Nicol, Fairview, def. Gabbie Jones/Jenna Alvarez, Chatfield, 6-3, 7-6 (9-7); 2. Carolyn Roberts/Ellie Savage, Fairview, def. Catherine Nemechek/Claire Quinn, Regis Jesuit, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3; 3. Sarah Sharpe/Skylar Caledonia, Fairview, def. Lauren Froning/Olivia Boyd, Chatfield, 6-2, 6-3; 4. Pedrie Mackenzie/Anna Kaminsky, Regis Jesuit, def. Caralynn Jamison/Lily Siegert, Fairview, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1.
Class 5A Region 7 tournament
At Lebsack Tennis Center
Team scores — Arapahoe 76, Poudre 62, Brighton 31, Monarch 23, Dakota Ridge 13, Pomona 10, Eaglecrest 7, Prairie View 2.