Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer
The rivalry between Fairview and Boulder tennis has been a good one for a long time and this year’s annual crosstown duel featured an odd wrinkle.
Fairview’s top three singles players – Luke Silverman, Brody Pinto and Clayton Baldwin – were out of town for a USTA sectional tournament.
Despite missing the top half of their ladder, the Knights still proved themselves to be the deeper team in 2020 and left Centennial Middle School with a 6-1 victory on Friday evening. After the match, Fairview head coach Chad Tsuda said he was pleased with how the other players stepped up to fill in the team’s big guns.
“Our three singles guys are in Utah for sectionals,” Tsuda said. “It’s kind of the only tournament running and they all needed to be there to keep up with their tennis. We’ve been fortunate to always have people stepping up. Players from our one through twenty that all could be playing varsity have to be ready to get their shot. Throughout the season, there’s always an injury or something where guys have to step in and step up for the guys that are missing.
“That was my challenge for our team today.”
The Fairview players made the most of the opportunity.
At No. 1 singles, Fairview’s Jake Wicks defeated Jackson Lewis, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2. The Knights’ No. 2 single player for Tuesday, Zak Chehadi, won 6-2, 6-0 over Chase Lewis.
“Everyone was understandably nervous to start but it was good experience for them to face a good team today,” Tsuda said.
Claiming the sole individual victory for Boulder, Nate Spillman won 6-0, 6-1 over Richie Boston at No. 3 singles.
The Fairview doubles pairs swept the doubles matches in straight sets except for a No. 4 doubles match that went three sets and lasted over two and a half hours. In the end, Fairview’s Rafa Volkmar and Jason Cui won 7-5, 3-6, 7-5 over Josh Donahue and Yuri Villavicencio to end the dual.
Though his team may have been on the short end of this fall’s rivalry dual, Boulder head coach Nick Salazar said he was proud of how the Panthers players competed.
“Fairview is a very tough school,” Salazar said. “They’re always good and they always have a deep squad. This is a big rivalry and it means a lot to both teams so whenever Fairview and Boulder play, emotions run high. But we always emphasize sportsmanship and after the match, I reminded my boys that’s always going to be the most important thing and to keep their heads held high.”
Editor’s note: This article and its headline have been updated for clarity.