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Cherry Creek girls capture tennis crown

Twin sisters win titles for the Bruins

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Tennis is in the blood of Cherry Creek's freshman twin sisters Eliza and Nicole Hill.

It's something natural for them because the family has played and watched a lot of tennis.

The sisters helped the Bruins win the Class 5A state championship May 11 at the Gates Tennis Center.

Eliza won the No. 2 singles state title when she defeated Alexis Bernthal of Fairview, 6-1, 6-3. Nicole captured the No. 3 singles crown with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Jenesse Johnson of Denver East.

The Bruins easily won their second straight state title and 34th overall with 85 points compared to 38 for runner-up Poudre.

ThunderRidge, Regis Jesuit, Rock Canyon and Mountain Vista finished in a four-way tie for sixth place with 15 points each.

Eliza and Nicole are the latest in the Hill family to enjoy state tournament success, and neither sister lost a set all season. Their father, Rob, was a state singles champion at Manual. Mother Julie was a double champ at Cherry Creek. Robby, now a freshman at Villanova, was a No. 2 singles champion for Creek in 2016 and brother Drew, a junior, was second at No. 1 doubles last fall.

“I've been coming here for so long watching my brothers, cheering them on and now I finally got to play on these courts,” said Eliza. “It's amazing. I don't have words to describe how great this is, coming in as a freshman and taking the state championship.”

Eliza played at No. 2 singles after beating her sister in two early season challenge matches.

“I got lucky,” said Eliza. “I'm not better than her. We usually split wins depending on who has the better day. I just happened to have two better days.”

Nicole echoed her sister's thoughts about winning a state title after watching her brothers and then emphasized there was no pressure about playing in a Cherry Creek program that has had so much success in tennis.

Besides the Hills, the Bruins won three doubles titles as Micha Handler and Miranda Kawula were first in No. 1 doubles, Anna Fusaris and Halley Mackiernan at No. 2 doubles, and Emily Wilkins and Dahlia Rappaport captured the No. 4 doubles crown.

The tournament was condensed to two days from three because of the threat of rainy weather on May 12, but the change didn't stop Rock Canyon sophomore Meghna Chowdhury from making school history.

She became the first Rock Canyon player to advance to the state finals. She lost 6-4, 6-4 in the No. 1 singles finale to Poudre's Ky Eaton, who won her second straight championship.

"When I first got on the court, it was nerve-racking, with so many people with cameras,” said Chowdhury, who didn't qualify for the state tournament last season. “But this was the first time anybody from Rock Canyon has made the finals. “

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