Two Niwot High boys tennis lines reach individual state tournament semifinals
October 18, 2023
While the Niwot High boys tennis team didn't bring home any hardware, two of its lines did come close at the Class 4A boys tennis individual tournament.
No. 3 singles player Charlie Kirtland, a sophomore, and the Cougars' No. 1 doubles team of senior Kyle Davidson and junior Sebastian Moy both reached the semifinals on Oct. 13. before bowing out. Following their losses, each line won in the playback tournament semifinals but fell in the third-place match.
Three of Niwot's other five lines also managed at least one win at the 4A state tournament, which was held at Pueblo City Park. No. 2 singles sophomore Oskar Hansen, the No. 3 doubles duo of seniors Lauritz Stranzenbach and Manan Gangwar, and the No. 4 doubles team of juniors Tyler Chivukula and Gabriel Bandera all lost in the quarterfinals. Chivukula and Bandera rebounded from a first-set loss to win the second set, 7-5, but ultimately fell in the third, 6-3.
No. 1 singles player LiChen Liao, who had been battling an ankle injury that he suffered in regionals, lost his first-round match to Aspen's Chase Kelly in three sets. At No. 2 doubles, juniors Ollie Jones and Rex Wallington were also unable to escape the first round, losing to Coronado.
In the 4A team state tournament, Niwot beat George Washington in the first round before losing to Colorado Academy in the quarterfinals, 6-1. Colorado Academy is scheduled to face Kent Denver in the state championship match on Oct. 17.
The Cougars, led by head coach Aimee Irwin, are now looking ahead to next season. Despite losing Liao, Stranzenbach, Gangwar, Pavi Soni and other seniors to graduation, they should have a strong core in 2024 with two of their singles players set to return.