Vivas, Chandler lead BHS varsity tennis team to fifth-place finish at 5A state tourney

By Chandler Baker, staff writer

Senior Jaron Belcher hits a forehand as he prepares for his match against Cheyenne Mountain earlier this season. Belcher lost 2-0, 2-0 in the No. 1 singles semifinal at the 5A state tourney before retiring due to illness in the second set of a playback against Fairview’s Eli Winegardner. (Photo by Talia Taxman)

Racking up 20 points on the scoreboard, the Boulder High varsity tennis team placed fifth at the 5A state tennis tournament, which was contested at the Gates Tennis Center on Oct. 13-17.

After coming in second at state last year, it was no surprise that Boulder High did as well as they did this season, qualifying all 11 varsity players for the state tourney again.

Sophomore Levi Chandler and senior Harrison Vivas took second in the No. 2 doubles state championship match after defeating Grand Junction’s Max Proietti and Daniel Ness 7-6 (4), 6-1 in the semifinals but ultimately losing to Cherry Creek’s Jonathan Kaufman and Will Ro 6-2, 6-2.

“We didn’t play as well as I thought we should have. Even though  we made it really far, I thought we could go all the way,” Chandler said.

Another standout was No. 1 singles player Jaron Belcher, a senior, who advanced to the semifinals against Grand Junction’s Spencer Weidman, the defending state champion. Belcher lost both sets 2-0 in the semifinal and then retired due to illness in the second set of a playback against Fairview’s Eli Winegardner.

Also advancing to the semis was the No. 4 doubles team of Luke Jirmans and Sig Doulson, who narrowly lost 6-7, 7-6, 7-6.

In addition, Miguel Sanchez won 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 to reach the third-place match while senior Julian Melcer lost in the quarterfinals 6-7, 6-1, 6-4

“Our team did really well.  We learn well from winning and losing. Losing some matches shows us what we need to work on and makes us better players as a whole,” said sophomore Galen Arney, who suffered a back injury at the beginning of the season and wasn’t able to compete.

Other state qualifiers were seniors Bryce Waldman, Dylan Platt and Scott Cleveland and sophomore Ethan Anderson.

“We’ve become a lot stronger team this year and are learning more about how to rely on each other to get better and improve,” Anderson said.

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