Several Steamboat Springs tennis players added top tournament finishes to their season records in Loveland at the Northern Colorado Tournament.
But more importantly, the local players were able to pick up some more experience they are hoping will pay off this weekend when the Sailors head to Grand Junction for the regional tournament and a possible state tournament berth.
"It gave us a chance to get in a lot of matches," Steamboat No. 2 player Kandra Sharp said of the Loveland tournament April 29. "We are going to see different people at the regional, but it's nice to play in a tournament right before regionals."
In Loveland, Steamboat's No. 3 singles player, Allison Griffing, continued to lead the way for the Sailors with a third-place finish.
Sharp was fourth and the Sailors No.1 seed, Meagan Franks, was sixth.
"Everyone is looking pretty good at this point of the season. I think we are starting to come together" Sharp said. "But at regionals, everyone is going to have to go for it it's tough to make it to state, so we need to play our best."
Other top finishes at the tournament, which was cut short by thunderstorms, were the No.1 doubles team of Tiffany McGinn and Tori Austin in sixth place (McGinn was filling in for Laura Varsafsky who was not at the tournament); Kelli Leslie and Carly Schmidt who placed second in the No. 2 spot; Ali Fisher and Tara Weiss who placed fourth in the No. 3 spot; and the team of Kristen Bender and Sarah Davey, which placed seventh in the No. 4 slot.
"This tournament had a great format with playoffs for first through seventh place,' Sailors coach Beccy Brane said. "Loveland coach Rick Moeller did an excellent job organizing and informing everyone."
The Sailors will spend this week preparing for the biggest tournament so far this year.
Only the top two singles players and top two teams at the regional will advance to the state tournament. Sharp likes the local players' chances of making the cut, but also realizes how tough it is to make it to state.
Griffing will enter the regional tournament with the best dual mark for the Sailors this season. The Steamboat Springs freshman is 9-0 in dual matches this season. She also placed second at the Mullen tournament and third last weekend in Loveland.
Steamboat's Franks (No.1) and Sharp (No.2) will both head to regionals with 7-3 marks.
The Sailors' top doubles team will be the Heckbert-McGinn duo. That squad finished with a 7-2 mark in regular-season meets.
Steamboat's No. 4 team of Bender-Davey also carries a 7-3 mark into the regional matches.
To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org