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By Jocelyn Rowley

Tennis: Niwot remains unbeaten in league play


September 13, 2017

Photo by Ed Navarro Niwot’s Patrcik Xiao serves against Silver Creek.

The Niwot boys tennis team continued its romp through the Northern League last week with consecutive 7-0 victories over Northridge and Silver Creek.

On Sept. 5, Niwot hosted Northridge at Affolter Park in Longmont, one of the Cougars’ temporary homes while the Niwot High courts are being resurfaced. Niwot won all seven matches in straight sets, dropping just 13 of the 84 games. Freshman Neil Wilcox remained unbeaten on the year, after his 6-0, 6-0 victory over Northridge senior Bryan Decker at No. 1 Singles.

“I thought we played okay,” said Niwot head coach Miikka Keronen after the Cougars’ second straight shut out of a league opponent. “We are not results oriented at this stage of the season, we are performance oriented, so even though 7-0 sounds great, we can play better.”

Two days later the Cougars hosted Silver Creek at the Quail Campus Tennis Courts, again winning each match in straight sets for their third consecutive 7-0 conference win. At No. 2 singles, Niwot junior Riley Black extended his winning streak to five with a straight sets victory over sophomore Ben Bicknell (6-2, 6-1). Niwot’s top doubles pair of junior Riley Mulshine and freshman Sam Keronen were also victorious in straight sets, winning 6-0, 6-2.

“Today, I feel we played better,” said Keronen following the meet against a relatively young Raptors team. “Silver Creek is super talented, but we had really good practices this week.”

Keronen is happy with the team’s overall direction, even the third and fourth doubles teams, which have struggled in the early going. Last week, he moved freshman Xavier Moy to No. 3 doubles with Anton Levrouk, and paired junior Jon Lee with senior Peter Lee (no relation) in the No. 4 spot, because they “gel better,” according to Keronen.

The Cougars will be tested next week on the road against Class 5A Broomfield, whose only loss on the season was to Boulder on Aug. 29. They are back on the road against Mountain View on Sep. 12 and Longmont on Sep. 14.

Niwot 7, Northridge 0 (Sep. 5)

Singles — 1. Neil Wilcox def. Bryan Decker 6-0, 6-3; 2. Riley Black def. Joe Lombardelli 6-1, 6-3; 3. Manas Saini def. Trey Vasquez 6-1, 7-5.

Doubles — 1. Sam Keronen & Riley Mulshine def. Chris Decker & Esai Crespin 6-1, 6-0; 2. Patrick Xiao & Sam Bickham def. Ben Schoenthaler & Irvin Ornelas 6-0, 6-0; 3. Anton Lavrouk & Xavier Moy def. Caston Reid & Zack Heindselman 6-0, 6-0; 4. Jon Lee & Peter Lee def. Michael Decker & Jackson Leafgren 6-0, 6-2.

Niwot 7, Silver Creek 0 (Sep. 7)

Singles — 1. Neil Wilcox def. Brandon Nelsen 6-3, 6-2; 2. Riley Black def. Ben Bicknell 6-2, 6-1; 3. Manas Saini def. Jared Nielsen 7-5, 6-4.

Doubles — 1. Sam Keronen & Riley Mulshine def. Zach Shepherd & Justin Thompson 6-o, 6-2; 2. Patrick Xiao & Sam Bickham def. Caden Kerr & Christian Hirano 6-3, 6-2; 3. Anton Lavrouk & Xavier Moy def. William Van Vuuren & Michael Van Vuuren 6-3, 6-2; 4. Jon Lee & Peter Lee def. Roberto Esteban Vera & Kyle Williams 6-1, 6-4.


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