Leah Rogers and Carley Maloney didn’t start out the 2014 season as partners, but they found out quickly that they were a perfect fit for each other.
Columbine’s No. 3 doubles partners are aggressive players by nature. They communicate well on the court and they share a similar sense of humor. All of those ingredients proved to be a recipe for success.
“It turned out to be a really good partnership. I think it worked out really well for both of us,” Rogers said.
“The first match we played together, it was great. We had like really good teamwork; we pumped up each other; we relaxed,” Maloney said.
They proved as much at the 5A Region 3 tournament at the Ken-Caryl Ranch House. Rogers, a senior, and Maloney, a junior, topped Mountain Vista’s Maddie Eccher and Mari Dudek 6-4, 6-4 to capture the regional title May 1.
“It’s definitely my biggest accomplishment. It’s the happiest I’ve been in high school playing tennis,” Rogers said. “This was my last chance. To be able to pull through and come out with it, I can cross off the one last barrier before I graduate. I couldn’t have asked for a better end to the season.”
Rogers and Maloney reached the finals with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 win over Highlands Ranch’s Elizabeth Diamond and Anna Sharp on the first day of the two-day tournament. With three wins at regionals, they improved to 8-2 on the season as a tandem.
They’ll be joined at state by Columbine’s No. 2 doubles team of Alexandra Sturgell and Christina Boyle, who placed second. They reached the finals before dropping a thrilling 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 match to George Washington’s Keara Reilly and Lilly Kaneko.
Columbine placed fourth out of seven teams with 29 points. Mountain Vista won the regional tournament with 72 points, followed by Highlands Ranch and GW.
Rogers and Maloney’s former partners, Gabi Hewitt and Gillian Lloyd, placed third at No. 4 doubles, which included a 6-4, 6-4 win over George Washington’s Alexis Banbury and Catherine Chorney. They, however, were denied a berth at state with a playback loss to Rampart’s Carmen Carrero Rosano and Pajsoua Lo.
Contact Michael Hicks at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-933-2233, ext. 15.