Girls’ Tennis Wins Class 5A State Championship After Three Days of Competition


Quinn Rudnick

Senior girls varsity 1 tennis player Lorena Cedeno plays during a match against Pine Creek on April 17. Creek won the match 7-0.

Meron Banjaw, Staff Writer

On Tuesday, May 16th, Cherry Creek High School’s girls tennis team won the Class 5A State Championship, securing their place as the top team in Colorado’s 5A league. 

“It feels really good to be state champions. It is great coming back to school the next day and having everyone congratulate you, even people you don’t know,” sophomore varsity player Anika Laxminarayan said. 

However, this success was not achieved overnight, as the players put in countless hours of hard work and dedication to get to this point. The State championship competition stretched over three days, and playoffs also took multiple days.

“Obviously we have a lot of practice. I think that one of the secrets to our success is that we just always work really hard during practice. And we’re just really committed and focused on tennis,” Laxminarayan said.

In preparation for the championship games, the tennis team took on a grueling schedule, balancing their rigorous training regimen with both their social and academic lives.

“Working [on] academics is hard, especially since our season is close to the end of the year when everything’s ramping up,” Laxminarayan said. “It’s definitely a challenge. But we’re a really closely bonded team so we’re all really good friends. So even if we don’t have time to socialize with other friends, like on weekends when we have tournaments or matches, we still have each other.”

But for some, tennis itself motivated them to work harder academically. “Tennis season actually helps me because I have a set schedule,” junior Jiselle Boker said. 

In addition to working through their schoolwork, the players also practiced tirelessly to hone their skills and strategize their game plans in the midst of harsh weather and last-minute changes.  

“Prep this year was different because of our weather and the change to our format, but we handled it well,” head coach Christin Jacob said. “We were prepared to support [the challenges,] so these last-minute adjustments were not a big deal. We were ready.”

During their practice time, the team also worked to perfect their serves, footwork, and overall technique, ensuring that they were maintaining their basic skills as well as specific training.

“Our secret recipe is our work ethic at practice, which translates to our match play. We work hard at practice, each day has a different focus [and] that includes our conditioning, drills, and practice play,” Jacob said. 

While the players worked to hone their skills and strategize their game plans, according to sophomore Zoey Hoh, team spirit was one of the main factors in their success. 

“Our team dynamic, just the way that we support each other, really helped us. We always believe in our teammates, even though our teammates may not believe in themselves” Hoh said. “We all love each other so much and support each other, even if we lose we still have people behind us that still love us and that still support us.”

They displayed sportsmanship and support for one another, even when faced with tough opponents. Despite going up against challenging rivals, the team only lost one match, placing 4th out of a four-team invitational on April 15.

Even when dealing with hard competition, the players remained positive and encouraging, cheering each other on and lifting each other up when needed.

“I feel really proud of my team. I know that we’ve had some tough [individual] losses this season, but I feel like those don’t even matter,” Hoh said. 

As this season ends, the team will begin to get ready for their next season by planning, practicing, and growing a new team community. “I definitely want to win state again and go undefeated,” Jiselle Boker said.