DENVER – With two matches still on the court and Cherry Creek needing a win, Mother Nature once again reared her ugly head.

Rain and lightning forced Cherry Creek and Fairview to pack up their things from Denver City Park and navigate to the Denver Tennis Park located near Denver South High School.

The indoor facility only added to the energy as the Bruins topped the Knights 5-2 in the Class 5A championship dual to win its sixth straight team championship.

“I think it’s actually the perfect end to how crazy the weather was for our season,” Cherry Creek coach Chris Jacob said. “Of course this should happen. This just makes sense with the wind and then the rain that we had, to be that close on, on those last two courts and then have to come here.”

Five matches had gone final and Creek held a 3-2 lead. Left on the court was the No. 2 singles clash between Anika Sharma (Cherry Creek) and Stella Laird (Fairview) and the No. 3 singles match between Jisele Boker (Cherry Creek) and Elle Middleton (Fairview).

The players and spectators for both teams had crowded the fence at City Park before the weather forced them to scramble to their car and head south to the indoor courts. But the players weren’t going to let weather or a sudden change in location matter.

After a 10-minute warmup, Sharma needed less than that to get a 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 over Laird and clinch the team crown for the Bruins.

I wasn’t going to let this affect my mindset and I’m gonna keep my head down and back myself up,” Sharma said. “I knew that I was in the lead here and she wasn’t.”

Virginia Gomulka and Elizabeth Roth won the No. 1 doubles match and the first point of the day actually went to the Knights. Lorena Cedeno quickly got the Bruins flowing in the singles positions with a 6-3, 6-3 win at No. 1 over Quinn Bernthal. With this being a new format, there was now an element of long-term thinking that Jacob had to manage. The last thing she needed was to see her team get caught in a deeper hole.

“I liked that I was able to see the scores on all the courts,” Jacob said. “I can just look down and see what was going on from where I was at one and two singles and that just put me at ease too.”

This is the 39th team title in program history for Cherry Creek and the first under the new team dual tournament format. It has provided the girls a different experience in having to focus on their individual accolades and then changing their focus toward a team goal.

“I think it is a good format in the way you play a lot of matches and there’s a lot of energy and a great, like a lot of opportunities for people to come watch,” Sharma said. “I like the format. I think it was something new, but something to be appreciated.”

And the Bruins can certainly appreciate it with the additional hardware they’re brining home with them.

(Dan Mohrmann/