Aspen’s Alex Ilic makes semifinals at No. 2 singles in 4A state tennis tournament
Junior Alex Ilic led the way for the Aspen High School boys tennis team on the first day of the Class 4A state tournament on Thursday in Pueblo.
Playing at No. 2 singles, Ilic went 2-0 to become the only Skier to advance to Friday’s semifinal round. He beat Nick Hawk of Pueblo West 6-0, 6-0 in the first round before edging Tanner Jones of Discovery Canyon 7-6, 6-4 in the quarterfinals.
Ilic will play Colorado Academy’s Quinn Bermingham in today’s semis. Bermingham won 6-0, 6-0 in the first round and 6-4, 6-4 in the second.
Ilic finished fourth at state at No. 3 singles the past two years.
Aspen’s No. 1 singles player, senior Dillon Leasure, lost in the first round, a 7-5, 6-3 defeat to George Washington’s Dan Guiot. Guiot lost 6-1, 6-1 to Colorado Academy’s Richter Jordaan in the quarterfinals.
At No. 3 singles, Aspen senior Gabriel Suarez won 6-2, 6-1 over Pueblo Centennial’s Nate Finegold in the first round before falling 6-2, 6-2 to Kent Denver’s Sam Nassif in the quarterfinals. Suarez will get to compete in the playback rounds for a shot at third place.
The Skiers had two of its four doubles teams advance out of the first round before falling in the quarterfinals. The No. 2 doubles team of George Ghali and Christian Kelly won 7-6, 3-6, 7-5 in the first round, but lost 6-2, 3-6, 3-6 in the second. The No. 4 doubles team of Bryce Cordts-Pearce and Lukee Tralins won 7-6, 6-0 before a 6-3, 6-1 loss. Both teams will compete in the playback rounds.
Aspen’s No. 1 doubles team of Jonah Kelley and David Zalinksi lost 6-1, 3-6, 3-6 to a team from Evergreen in the first round for a quick exit. The No. 3 doubles team of Dylan DeGraff and Liam Sunkel lost 6-4, 6-3 in the first round.
Play continues Friday at Pueblo City Park, with championship rounds scheduled for Saturday. For complete results, click here.
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Strange is a word that will likely define the winter high school sports season. But, after numerous delays and endless doubts, that season is finally here. It will include fewer games, more masks and a lot of empty seats, but adapting to that strangeness is better than the alternative.