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Boys tennis: Fairview comes up short in final matches at state

Knights settle for second, fourth place in three matches

  • Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer

    Fairview High School's Luke Silverman in a No. 1 Singles final match against Regis Jesuit at the Gates Tennis Center in Denver on Oct. 19, 2019.

  • Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer

    Fairview High School's Jake Wicks in a No. 3 Doubles final match against Cherry Creek at the Gates Tennis Center in Denver on Oct. 19, 2019.

  • Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer

    Fairview High School's Maxim Kokoshinsky in a No. 3 Doubles final match against Cherry Creek at the Gates Tennis Center in Denver on Oct. 19, 2019.

  • Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer

    From left: Fairview High School's Owen Hushka and Andrew Yonan in a No. 4 Doubles match for third place against Denver East at the Gates Tennis Center in Denver on Oct. 19, 2019.

  • Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer

    Fairview High School's Maxim Kokoshinsky in a No. 3 Doubles final match against Cherry Creek at the Gates Tennis Center in Denver on Oct. 19, 2019.

  • Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer

    Fairview High School's Maxim Kokoshinsky in a No. 3 Doubles final match against Cherry Creek at the Gates Tennis Center in Denver on Oct. 19, 2019.

  • Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer

    Fairview High School's Owen Hushka in a No. 4 Doubles match for third place against Denver East at the Gates Tennis Center in Denver on Oct. 19, 2019.

  • Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer

    Fairview High School's Luke Silverman in a No. 1 Singles final match against Regis Jesuit at the Gates Tennis Center in Denver on Oct. 19, 2019.

  • Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer

    Fairview High School's Luke Silverman congratulates Regis Jesuit's Morgan Schilling after the No. 1 singles final match at the Gates Tennis Center in Denver on Oct. 19, 2019.

  • Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer

    Fairview High School's Jake Wicks in a No. 3 Doubles final match against Cherry Creek at the Gates Tennis Center in Denver on Oct. 19, 2019.

  • Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer

    Fairview High School's Andrew Yonan celebrates a point in a No. 4 Doubles match for third place against Denver East at the Gates Tennis Center in Denver on Oct. 19, 2019.

  • Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer

    From left: Fairview High School's Jake Wicks celebrates a point with Maxim Kokoshinsky in a No. 3 Doubles final match against Cherry Creek at the Gates Tennis Center in Denver on Oct. 19, 2019.

  • Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer

    Fairview High School's Luke Silverman in a No. 1 Singles final match against Regis Jesuit at the Gates Tennis Center in Denver on Oct. 19, 2019.

  • Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer

    Fairview High School's Luke Silverman in a No. 1 Singles final match against Regis Jesuit at the Gates Tennis Center in Denver on Oct. 19, 2019.

  • Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer

    Fairview High School's Maxim Kokoshinsky celebrates a point in a No. 3 Doubles final match against Cherry Creek at the Gates Tennis Center in Denver on Oct. 19, 2019.

  • Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer

    Fairview High School's Luke Silverman in a No. 1 Singles final match against Regis Jesuit at the Gates Tennis Center in Denver on Oct. 19, 2019.

  • Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer

    From left: Fairview High School's Owen Hushka and Andrew Yonanin celebrate a point a No. 4 Doubles match for third place against Denver East at the Gates Tennis Center in Denver on Oct. 19, 2019.

  • Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer

    Fairview High School's Luke Silverman in a No. 1 Singles final match against Regis Jesuit at the Gates Tennis Center in Denver on Oct. 19, 2019.

  • Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer

    Fairview High School's Owen Hushka celebrates a point in a No. 4 Doubles match for third place against Denver East at the Gates Tennis Center in Denver on Oct. 19, 2019.

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DENVER — The run for the Fairview Knights in the Class 5A state tennis tournament came to a tough ending Saturday when they lost their final three matches of the tournament.

Luke Silverman battled with Morgan Schilling of Regis Jesuit in the championship match in No. 1 singles but ultimately fell in straight sets. Maxim Kokoshinsky and Jake Wicks also fell in straight sets in their championship match in No. 3 doubles to Cherry Creek. In the team’s third-place match they played, Owen Hushka and Andrew Yonan were able to force a third set but ended a few points short in the tiebreaker to close the state tournament.

“I think this was just a great experience for everyone,” Fairview coach Chad Tsuda said. “I think being here on the last day, I told the team what a privilege it is for state. The experience you gain from the Saturday finals is what you play high school tennis for. That’s what this team needs.”

Fairview High School's Luke Silverman in ...
Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer
Fairview’s Luke Silverman in a No. 1 Singles final match against Regis Jesuit at the Gates Tennis Center in Denver on Oct. 19, 2019.

Silverman, who used big shots and quality ball placement to rack up wins in the first three rounds, did some of the same to take an early lead over Schilling. The lead went to Schilling midway through the first set as he hit hard serves and scored free points off of them to get in front. The two would trade point late which saw Schilling take the first set 6-4.

Things were tight again in the second set with Silverman and Schilling both hitting hard shots early. Serves from Schilling late allowed him to pull away at the end to win the set 6-3 for the state title.

“The big difference was his serves,” Tsuda said of Schilling. “He got free points with it. There are not many kids in the state that have that type of weapon. You just have to see that over and over. It’s a tough situation to see that in the finals, but Luke knows what to expect from these top players.”

Tsuda would see his No. 3 doubles pairing settle in at the start of their championship match and take a 4-1 lead in the first set. Kokoshinsky and Wicks were unable to hold the lead, however, as Blake and William Holst rallied late in the set. An overturned call on a serve gave the team from Cherry Creek a critical point to tie the set 5-5 and they would score the next two points for the win.

The confidence for the Fairview team that rode its mental game to the final started to show some cracks when misplayed shots late and a double fault on the final point helped Cherry Creek win 6-3 to claim victory.

Saturday was the final match for Kokoshinsky, the lone senior for the Knights competing in the final round. His leadership helped form a formidable duo with Wicks to get to the state championship final, according to Tsuda.

Fairview High School's Maxim Kokoshinsky in ...
Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer
Fairview’s Maxim Kokoshinsky in a No. 3 Doubles final match against Cherry Creek at the Gates Tennis Center in Denver on Oct. 19, 2019.

“Maxim really took Jake under his wing leadership wise, and the personalities fit really well,” Tsuda said. “Maxim is a more sensitive, big brother kind of role, and Jake really flourished with his encouragement.”

Saturday would end with Hushka and Yonan playing in the match that was the last to be complete in Denver. The two lost a tiebreaker 7-2 in the first set and trailed but managed to hang on late and win the second set 6-4. Another tiebreaker was needed in the third set and the Fairview duo would come up short to Denver East 7-5 to fall in three sets.

Fairview ends its season on a sour note, but it’s one Tsuda feels will benefit the players that will return in 2020.

“You can’t take any matches off,” Tsuda said. “At state, it shows that if you have any lapses of focus, it gives away your chance. This was a good learning lesson. Sometimes you just have to learn it the hard way.”