DENVER – With three matches heading to split sets, Cherry Creek decided to double down on its doubles teams.

Needing four wins to claim the Class 5A boys tennis team title, Kris Kostadinov and Matthew Hu battled to a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 to complete the sweep of all the doubles positions and claim the team title for the fourth year in a row, beating Regis Jesuit 4-1 in the championship dual.

“It’s usually the doubles teams that have to come up clutch,” Kostadinov said. “I’m just glad it was us. This is probably one of the happiest moments of my life.”

A slight modification was made to this year’s tournament as play would cease after either team claimed the fourth point needed to secure the championship.

Raiders freshman Alec Rodriguez-Fields got the first point of the day at No. 2 singles, but then Cherry Creek rallied as Wills Possehl and Adam Eikelberner took No. 4 doubles, Colin Brown and Tyson Hardy quickly followed up with a win in No. 3 doubles then Trey Zurccher and Luke Norford took No. 2 doubles.

In a flash, the Bruins took a 3-1 lead with three matches still left on the court.

If that wasn’t enough, all three of those final matches went into a third set. The attitudes between the two teams were vastly different. The Raiders needed a clean sweep of the three while Creek needed just one win.

At No. 1 singles, Creek’s Charlie Stern won the first set before dropping the second and was in a heated battle with Clay Dickey. It was the same story in No. 3 singles as Trevor Robinson had taken the first set from Vlad Sukhovetskyy before the Raiders freshman won the second and even took the lead in the third before Kostadinov and Hu ended the match.

It made for a thrilling battle that every player on the court had awareness of as they tried to do their jobs for their teams.

“I saw everyone going into the third set but I was just trying to focus on my game and take some pressure off my teammates,” Stern said. “I was trying to keep it close so they didn’t have to worry about me as well.”

From Court 1, Stern knew the instant that the title had been claimed and immediately rushed down to celebrate with his friends. It was this unique format that makes him appreciate the team aspect that high school tennis offers.

“It’s so fun,” he said. “I’m close with everyone on my team.”

This is the 46th boys tennis team title in Cherry Creek history, 27 more than any other school in the state. This is also the fourth title for the Bruins in a row which is coming off the heels of a three-year stretch in which they finished as a runner-up to either Regis Jesuit or Fairview.

With the win, the program looks to be as dominant as ever.

“Let’s keep grinding and get another one next year,” Kostadinov said.

If history is any indication, they’ll have a great shot of doing just that.