Steamboat’s No. 3 doubles team, Swiggart in consolation finals today |

Steamboat’s No. 3 doubles team, Swiggart in consolation finals today

Steamboat Springs sophomore Sara Bearrs prepares to return a ball Friday at the regional tennis tournament in Grand Junction. Bearrs and her No. 1 doubles teammate

— If Thursday at the Class 4A state tennis tournament in Pueblo was a day the Steamboat Springs High School girls tennis team was happy to see end, Friday was one it relished.

The team lost three of its six entries in the three-day tournament on opening day, but two of those remaining three survived the consolation bracket and will play today for third place.

Kylee Swiggart lost her championship bracket semifinal match at No. 2 singles but won later in the day to advance to the consolation finals.

The No. 3 doubles team of Rachel Grubbs and Lauren Siegel, meanwhile, cashed in on a playback opportunity, winning twice to earn a chance to play today for third.

All three players will medal at state.

"It feels great," Steamboat coach John Aragon said. "Now we can get some of the hardware we came here for."

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Swiggart had trouble thr­oughout her semifinal match against Regis freshman Shelby Cer­kovnik, who tortured the Steamboat senior with a powerful forehand and superior placement.

Point after point was long, Cerkovnik driving the ball hard to the corners of the court while Swiggart hustled to stay in front. Point after point ended with an exhausted Swiggart finally coming up short, either failing to reach the spot in time or missing with an errant swing.

"She placed the ball really well, and she moved me," Swiggart said. "It was just a tough match. I played well, and she played really well."

Swiggart went quickly in the first set, losing 6-1, but threatened to push the match to three sets with a much improved approach in the second set. She went up 2-0 and, having slid to a 4-3 deficit, rebounded to lead 5-4.

She fell into holes quickly in the next three games, and Cerkovnik took advantage, winning all three to keep the match to two sets. She won, 6-1, 7-5.

It was all better later in the day when Swiggart brushed aside Niwot's Morgan Mul­shine. Swiggart won, 6-4, 6-4. Both sets were tight the entire way, but Swiggart was able to control the tempo in a way that was impossible against Cerkovnik and repeatedly came up with the big point when in a pinch.

She plays today for third place against senior Candice Krammer, of Greeley West.

"I'm feeling pretty good," Swiggart said. "I was upset, obviously, after losing in the semis. In that second match, I came out believing a little more. I knew I could play my own game.

"Now, I just need to keep playing my game and stay calm."

Grubbs and Siegel, meanwhile, cruised through their consolation bracket matches. They beat Jordan Cadman and Lauren Willoughby, of D'Evelyn first, 6-3, 6-4, then Kristen Sigg and Kailey Kaiser of Eaton, 6-2, 6-0.

The streak was powered by improved play from both parts of the Steamboat side. Siegel was big in the return game, fielding the best both teams had to offer. Grubbs, meanwhile, played to her tall frame, hammering down important winners.

Now, the pair finds itself with an opportunity it didn't dare dream about when it left Steamboat on Wednesday.

They will play Alexie New­gord and Emily Erickson, of Thompson Valley, today.

"We had a really good day," Siegel said. "If we can just do (today) what we did (Friday), we will be OK. We need to mix up our lobs and drives and make the other team break.

"We can do really well."

The team's only setback Friday came at No. 4 doubles, but that was only after the pair won its first consolation match and was playing for a chance to stand today alongside Swiggart, Grubbs and Siegel.

Summer Smalley and Katie Ross beat Angela Hernandez and Katie Davis, of La Junta, 6-1, 6-3, but couldn't get past Mullen's Mia Matthews and Kennedi White, falling by the same score.

"I thought they had an opportunity to get there, but it didn't happen," Aragon said. "They played really well. Again, I was really proud of all of our girls."

State Day 2 results

No. 2 singles

Shelby Cerkovnik, Regis, def. Kylee Swiggart, Steamboat, 6-1, 7-5

Swiggart def. Morgan Mulshine, Niwot, 6-4, 6-4

No. 3 doubles

Rachel Grubbs and Lauren Siegel, Steamboat, def. Jordan Cadman and Lauren Willoughby, D’Evelyn, 6-2, 6-0

Grubbs and Siegel def. Kristen Sigg and Kailey Kaiser, Eaton, 6-2, 6-0

No. 4 doubles

Summer Smalley and Katie Ross, Steamboat, def. Angela Hernandez and Katie Davis, La Junta, 6-1, 6-3

Mia Matthews and Kennedi White, Mullen, def. Smalley and Ross, 6-1, 6-3

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