Girls tennis: Peak to Peak, Dawson clash in regional tournament

13 of 14 state bids secured from two schools


FREDERICK — They’ve met multiple times during the season and knew it would come down to how they fared against each other to qualify for state.

The Peak to Peak Pumas and Dawson School Mustangs have familiarity against each other from tournaments they met in during the regular season. Their paths crossed yet again in the 3A Region 5 tournament at Frederick, this time with a trip to the state tournament on the line.

Dawson edged Peak to Peak with seven state qualifications, but it was the Pumas who won the majority of the head-to-head matches and the regional title in the team standings in their latest encounter.

“We played I think three times this season, at least me and Bridget (Bell) have,” Peak to Peak’s Trisha Somasundaram said. “We played a lot of times with the tournaments and the matchup at home. We basically know each other’s weaknesses and that’s why it was so tough playing against her again.”

Six of the seven championship matches pitted Peak to Peak against Dawson. The other match between the two teams in No. 3 doubles was played in the first round.

Things went back and forth between Somasundaram and Bell as the two played to a 7-5 score in the first set. From there, Somasundaram got in control, moving her opponent side-to-side and capitalizing on some mistakes to win the second set 6-0 for the regional title.

“I had to really push myself,” Somasundaram said. “I was exhausted, but I told myself that I’m not doing this next year, so I had to go out there and get it done.”

The winning trend continued for the Pumas with Trini Somasundaram taking care of business over Dawson’s Aria Barbour 6-1, 6-2 in the No. 2 singles final. Tiffany Tran completed the sweep in singles play as she defeated Alexis Gilio 6-3, 6-4 in the championship match despite a sore back and feeling under the weather.

“We’re all really super close and try really hard,” Tran said. “We want to be there to help each other out. I think we’re really good at supporting each other. We’re really there for each other.”

Two more regional championships were added in No. 1 and 4 doubles for the Pumas. Isabella Brackhage used her hard serve to keep their opponents from Dawson in check and Paige McSavaney used smart ball placement to score in No. 1 doubles. The two would overcome dropping the first set 6-2 by winning 6-1 and 6-4 in the final two sets. In No. 4 doubles, Paige Burns and Millie Keogh held off a rally in the first set with Dawson to win 6-4 and took control in the second set for a 6-0 sweep to claim the title.

Dawson came away with a nice consolation prize in the regional tournament by finishing in second place and qualifying in all seven brackets for state. Their lone regional championship came in No. 2 doubles with Sarah Devereux and Julia Garfinkel defeating Peak to Peak’s Kendyl Fanger and Renesa Khanna in three sets. No. 3 and 4 doubles qualified after falling in their championship matches, as well as Bell and Gilio in singles play.

Things were not as easy for Barbour in No. 2 singles and the No. 1 doubles pairing of Eloise Shehan and Victoria Joris. Both lost to Peak to Peak in the championship match and would have to play a playback match with opponents from Berthoud in order to qualify for state.

“I couldn’t allow myself to stay down after the loss,” Barbour said. “I had to stay pumped up.”

Barbour won the first set over Berthoud’s Gretchen Marty 6-1 and looked like she was on her way to an easy win. Instead, Marty bounced back to win the second set 6-3 and forced a decisive third set that would determine the state bid.

It was the wakeup call Barbour used to get back on track as she completed the sweep 6-0 to secure the final state bid on the line Thursday.

“I had this mental thing, but then I just bounced back up,” Barbour said. “I wanted to play my game.”

The No. 1 doubles pair also won its playback match for Dawson over Berthoud 6-0, 6-2.

Both teams could see each other’s paths cross yet again at the state meet, and both are ready to face the challenges that will come with it following their run at regionals.

“We’re all doing this for each other (at state),” Trisha Somasundaram said.

Frederick sends doubles team to state

The Frederick Warriors will be represented at the Class 3A state tournament by the No. 3 doubles pair of Michaela Saldi and Juliane Jenks after they won the regional championship in their bracket.

“It feels great,” Saldi said. “I’ve never felt this before.”

Coming in as the top seed in their bracket, the Frederick duo delivered a pair of 6-3 set wins that put them in the championship final with Dawson. Both teams traded points early in the first set before Frederick prevailed 6-4 to take the early lead.

Frederick looked to be on their way to winning the second set with a 5-4 lead, but Dawson’s Anna Wittenberg and Sofia Veraza were able to score the next point as they were trying to force a third set. It was Frederick who handled the pressure late with a couple of big shots to take the next two points to win 7-5 to win the regional title.

“We just had to take it one point at a time,” Jenks said. “I tried not to think that it was the last point. I just pushed that out of my head and played.”

The two will now look to represent their school in Greeley next week and build off their run to the regional championship in the process.

“We’re honored to represent Frederick,” Saldi said.

3A Region 5 tournament

At Frederick High School

Team scores — Peak to Peak 66, Dawson 53, Frederick 13, Berthoud 8

Championship matches

Singles — 1. Trisha Somasundaram, Peak to Peak, def. Bridget Bell, Dawson 7-5, 6-0; 2. Trini Somasundaram, Peak to Peak, def. Aria Barbour, Dawson, 6-1, 6-2; 3. Tiffany Tran, Peak to Peak, def. Alexis Gilio, Dawson, 6-3, 6-4.

Doubles — 1. Isabella Brackhage/Paige McSavaney, Peak to Peak def. Eloise Shehan/Victoria Joris, Dawson, 2-6, 6-1, 6-4; 2. Sarah Devereux/Julia Garfinkel, Dawson, def. Kendyl Fanger/Renesa Khanna, Peak to Peak, 7-6 (7-1), 3-6, 6-3; 3. Michaela Saldi/Juliane Jenks, Frederick, def. Anna Wittenberg/Sofia Veraza, Dawson, 6-4, 7-5; 4. Paige Burns/Millie Keogh, Peak to Peak, def. Alayna Cash/Diana Grigore, Dawson, 6-4, 6-0.

Third place matches

Singles — 1. Chasen Marinoff, Frederick, def. Erina Rennaker, Berthoud, 6-3, 6-1; 2. Gretchen Mary, Berthoud, def. Jessica Kelley, Frederick, 6-3, 6-0; 3. Emma Lundgreen, Berthoud, def. Nicole Lees, Frederick, 7-6 (7-4), 7-5.

Doubles — 1. Delaney Lord/Kali Thoren, Berthoud, def. Lily Chesler/Rachel Entrekin, Frederick, 5-7, 6-2, 6-4; 2. Maria Bello/Amanda Schmidt, Frederick, def. Alana Hymel/Lily Lind, Berthoud, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3; 3. Madison Lin/Naomi Burns, Peak to Peak, def. Ellie Yuska/Sydney Hocker, Berthoud, 6-1, 6-3; 4. Hannah Miller/Piper O’Meara, Berthoud, def. Leah Metzler/Ella Berrend, Frederick, 6-3, 6-1.

Playback matches

Singles — 2. Aria Barbour, Dawson, def. Gretchen Marty, Berthoud, 6-1, 3-6, 6-0.

Doubles — 1. Eloise Shehan/Victoria Joris, Dawson, def. Delaney Lord/Kali Thoren, Berthoud, 6-0, 6-2.