Cherry Creek takes regional title
Daniel P. Johnson
Morgan Cohen is no stranger to playing in the state tennis tournament, having been there twice before as a doubles player. She’s also not unaccustomed to winning it all at state, either, as she was part of last year’s No. 2 doubles championship-winning team.
This year, she’ll be flying solo.
Cohen defeated Littleton’s Katie Pearson 6-1, 6-0 in the No. 3 singles final of the Class 5A, Region 1 tournament on April 4 at Cherry Creek High School.
“It’s really exciting to be going as a singles player,” said Cohen, a junior. “Having gone twice in doubles I think will help me as I know what to expect when you get to state.”
Cohen said she’s been working hard on her service game this year, and it was evident in her match against Pearson, as she landed a high-percentage of first serves.
“Those are key for me,” Cohen said.
The Bruins, who have won 18 straight state titles, will be sending their entire team to state this year. All four doubles teams, as well as the No. 1 and No. 2 singles players, took home regional titles.
At No. 1 singles, Kelli Woddman had to play through the noise of students changing classes, headed to lunch and a UPS truck unloading a few packages, but the distractions did little to hamper her play as she won the regional title with a straight-set victory over Eaglecrest, 6-1, 6-2.
“I’m used to the distractions,” Woddman said. “Usually when we play after school, the lacrosse team will be on their way to practice. There’s always something going on (at Cherry Creek).
“I love playing in front of big crowds.”
Last year, Woddman finished second at state. As she gets ready to start play at Gates Tennis Center, she’s eager to take that one final step.
“I’m feeling really good about my game,” Woddman said. “I feel like everything’s come together. The field is really stacked. I just have to take things match-by-match.”
Lindsey Pond won the No. 2 singles title with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Cherokee Trail in the final. Rachel Scheper and Maddie Bernstein won at No. 1 doubles with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Littleton’s Quin Bowman and Lucia Martinez Zamora.
Speaking of the Lions, they played solid tennis over the two-day tournament and finished second at the regional tournament.
Pearson punched her ticket to state by winning a playback match against Cherokee Trail. The No. 3 doubles team of Briana Hosby and Sydney Harris qualified for state, as they finished second to Cherry Creek’s Mariah Smith and Mia Hoover.
The No. 4 doubles team of Rachel Pearson and Destini Marshall fell to Cherry Creek’s Chloe Theobald and Julia Mannino in the regional final, but will also be headed to state.
Sarah Leovic finished third at No. 2 singles, as did the No. 2 doubles team of Terrell Blei and Lauren Bredar. Blei and Bredar lost a playback match to Chaparral in their bid to qualify for state.
The 5A state tournament begins May 10 and concludes May 12 at Gates Tennis Center.