The Fossil Ridge High School boys tennis team was one game away from its first state championship Saturday.
It didn’t quite happen, but the SaberCats still had their best-ever finish at the Class 5A state tournament with Tristan Faust and Dylan Harris taking second at No. 4 doubles.
Faust and Harris won the first set against Regis Jesuit’s Luca Abbott and Max Koszowski 6-1 and had a 5-4 lead in the second set, but Abbott and Koszowski came back to win the second set 7-5 and took the third and decisive set 6-3.
“It kind of sucks to lose, but they definitely earned it,” Faust said. “They deserved every single point of that win.”
While Faust and Harris were disappointed to not come out on top, the juniors were a part of a trio of Fossil Ridge doubles teams to finish top three at Gates Tennis Center in Denver.
At No. 1 doubles, Max Weiner and Nic Hoime dominated Boulder in a 6-2, 6-0 win in the third-place match. At No. 3 doubles, Kevin Schultz and Mike Brown beat Denver East 6-2, 6-3 as Schultz won third place for the second year in a row.
Schultz’s third place in 2013 was Fossil Ridge’s highest finish, so the trajectory is pointing up.
“We’ve had third and we upped it one more this year,” coach Judy Schultz said. “It’s fun. We took all 11 to state. The strength in (the team) was great.”
Not only did the SaberCats make state in every position, they advanced past the first round at all but No. 2 singles. As a team, Fossil Ridge finished sixth, while Cherry Creek won its fourth straight title.
Faust said he’s already looking forward to next season and his last chance at a state title, and is proud of his role in Fossil Ridge’s continued growth.
“It’s nice to be the first finalist at Fossil,” Faust said. “It’s great to see a school that nobody knew us five years ago, know we’re one of the top teams in the state now.”
WINDSOR AT 4A: Although they sent seven players to the 4A tournament at Pueblo City Park, the Windsor boys tennis team was unable to advance any positions out of the first round.
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