LITTLETON -- Even though no one from Brighton High School qualified for the state 5A tennis tournament, the Bulldogs can still crow about their fourth-place in the two day regional tournament at Redstone Park.
"I'm pretty proud of our team," Brighton's coach Chelsea Laursen said. "Last year, we had didn't have anybody in the top-four, and this year, we have four."
The second day of the tourney started with six members of the Brighton boys tennis team in contention for a state seed. But one by one, those six were eliminated.
The No. 1 doubles tandem of James Evangelista and Luis Saenz lost in straight sets to their counterparts from Rock Canyon. Evangelista and Saenz beat a team from Fort Carson in straight sets before losing Monday afternoon to Arapahoe.
The No. 2 doubles team of Tyler Harrison and Dylan Gagon lost its match Tuesdsay morning as well. They got into the chance for a challenge match by cruising to a straight-set victory in their opening match before losing to Arapahoe.
Jonas Lach lost his Tuesday morning match at No. 2 singles in straight sets. Lach split his two matches Monday. At No. 1 singles, Ben Randall lost in his first match Tuesday morning and is out of the tournament. He beat Smoky Hill's top singles player but lost to top-seeded John Koza of Chatfield 6-2, 6-0 Monday.
No. 2 singles Kaden Swarr, No. 3 doubles John-Michael Nannie and Ethan Abel and No. 4 doubles Hiroto Hiyashi and Austin Ackerman were knocked out of the tournament after losing their opening matches.
The sum total for the Bulldogs at the regional tournament is three, fourth-place finishes and one third-place effort.
"I feel like we have made a step in the right direction," Laursen said. "Even the guys that got knocked out on the first day came back and watched Tuesday. I feel like we are starting to get respect, and people are starting realize that we have talent on our team."
The Bulldogs won the East Metro League and finished the regular season with a 7-1 overall record.
The state tournament is scheduled for Oct. 10-12 at the Gates Tennis Center in Denver.
Contact Jonathan Maness at firstname.lastname@example.org