By Jocelyn Rowley 

Niwot tennis sweeps regionals; qualifies as a team for State


October 17, 2016

It’s not unusual for the Niwot boys tennis team to qualify as a team for state—they do that most years. What is unusual is how dominant the Cougars were.

“Winning all seven finals was a surprise,” Cougars Head Coach Miikka Kernonen admitted. “But all season, I felt like we were prepared for it.”

But a finals sweep wasn’t even the biggest news of the day for the Cougars. That honor went to Niwot’s No.1 singles player Matthew Chavez, who finally bested arch-rival Brett Finan of Peak to Peak Charter. Before Friday’s match, Chavez was 0-5 against Finan, and had never won so much as a single set.

Chavez dropped the first set to Finan, 4-6, but battled back to take the next two, 6-2, 6-1.

“Matt had more patience out there,” Keronen said. “He was just more willing to wait for Brett to make mistakes.”

Freshman Caden Kammerer was back on the court at No. 2 singles for the Cougars, after taking three weeks off to heal a rolled ankle.

“We’re just happy he’s 100% healthy,” Keronen said.

In his finals match, Kammerer defeated Peak to Peak freshman Theo Cariov in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3.

Looking ahead to the state tournament, Keronen says the team will have practice on Monday and Tuesday, but won’t otherwise do anything special to prepare before leaving on Wednesday. Keronen feels that this approach will keep his team relaxed and focused on their final goal: a state championship.

“The real season starts on the first day of regionals,” Keronen said. “Now we just have to finish the job.”

The Class 4A tournament will be played Oct. 13-15 in Pueblo’s City Park.

Class 4A Region 5 Tournament (10/7)

Singles —Matthew Chavez (Sr.) def. Brett Finan, Peak to Peak, (4-6, 6-2, 6-1); Caden Kammerer def. Theo Cario, Peak to Peak (6-3, 6-3); Riley Black def . Peter Nieuwlandt, Skyline, 6-0, 6-0

Doubles — Peter Graham/Manas Saini def. Kaden Randolp/Conner Fryberger, Longmont, 6-0, 6-0; Riley Mulshine/Cruz Culpepper def. Austin Dereksen/Dallas Dye, Longmont, 6-0, 6-3; Sam Bickam/Andrew Thomas def. Bryce Stewart/Declan Morrow, Skyline, 6-3, 6-2; Patrick Xiao/Adin Heinritz def. Dimitri Gourgouris/Grant Lancaster, Peak to Peak, 6-4, 6-1.


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