PUEBLO – Facing a familiar foe, D’Evelyn’s Aswaanth Karuppasamy came ready to play on a chilly Saturday morning – and it showed.

The senior dominated Denver South’s Raphael Wieland 6-1, 6-1 to capture the Class 4A boys tennis No. 1 singles title at the City Park Tennis Complex.

“My serve and forehand were working well,” Karuppasamy said. “I was able to move him around and attack and come to the net. He obviously wasn’t playing his best, but I will take (the win). My gameplan was to attack his backhand because his forehand, serve and his volleys are all really good. He has everything that is good so I thought I would attack his backhand because that is one of his weaker shots, but he doesn’t really have a weakness.”

This was Karuppasamy’s first prep state tennis crown in what was the last match of his career. As a sophomore he lost in the No. 1 singles state championship to Kent Denver’s Nathan Gold (6-3, 6-1).

“This feels really good,” the 6-foot, 150-pound Karuppasamy said. “It’s a little bittersweet because I won my title in my final match, but it is kind of sad going away from high school tennis because it is one of the most fun times of the year for me even though I play tennis year-round. High school season, the team aspect just makes it so much fun. I have such an awesome coach and a team. High school tennis is the most fun tennis I play during the year. I’m definitely going to miss it a lot.”

Wieland, a fellow senior, was gracious in defeat.

“I think he (Karuppasamy) came out playing really quick and aggressive and I didn’t play as well as I should have and he took advantage of that,” Wieland said. “We have played a lot against each other in high school since we were freshmen. Our freshmen and sophomore years I was able to beat him, but our junior and senior years he has been beating me.

“I’m still pretty happy. I don’t think I was high on too many people’s boards to make it to the finals, so I’m happy to get second.”

Karuppasamy said he is looking at some out-of-state colleges to continue his tennis career, but no decisions have been made yet.

“Right now, in state I’m looking at (Colorado School of) Mines, and unfortunately they don’t have a tennis team,” Karuppasamy said. “I’m also looking at some out-of-state schools, but we will see how it goes. I want to do computer engineering or computer science in college.”

Unlike some star prep players Karuppasamy didn’t grow up with a tennis racquet in his hand. He lived in Southern India for the first five years of his life before the family moved to Golden, Colo., because of a job opportunity for his father.

“My brother and I tried a lot of sports,” Karuppasamy said. “We started off with swimming and believe it or not we tried hockey even though we were so skinny and that obviously didn’t work out. I just picked up tennis through some friends when I was 10 or 11 years old, which is late for tennis. I started playing competitive when I was 11 or 12 and I was fortunate to have some people who really helped out and I got really lucky.”

(Tracy Renck)

In other championship matches Saturday, Vail Christian’s Daniel Blanch defeated Colorado Academy’s Jackson Wells (6-7 (3), 6-3, 6-0) in No. 2 singles and in No. 3 singles Colorado Academy’s Jackson Gilliland outlasted Cheyenne Mountain’s Jake Schultz (6-3, 7-5).

At No. 1 doubles, Colorado Academy’s Clayton Johnson/Michael McKee upended Kent Denver’s Tyler Haymons/Jack Cramer (6-4, 4-6, 7-5). Kent Denver’s Andrew Morgan/Zach Morgan were victorious over Colorado Academy’s Luca Siringo/Jackson Turner (6-4, 7-6 (5)).

Kent Denver’s Colton Maass/Simon Hirsch were able to triumph over Colorado Academy’s Oliver Neely/Charlie Rakowski (6-3, 2-6, 6-4) in No. 3 doubles. In No. 4 doubles, Kent Denver’s Liam O’Drobinak/Cole Fenton rolled past Colorado Academy’s Thomas Rollhaus/Craig Stapleton (6-4, 6-1).

As is tradition at each state tournament, the Vicky Matarazzo Sportsmanship Award was also handed out to acknowledge the team with standout sportsmanship through the course of the event. This year’s recipient was Evergreen.