Girls gear up for weekend tourney in Junction

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— Sailors tennis coach Emily Harris is putting a positive spin on her team's upcoming match against Hotchkiss.

"It's good to play these teams because we get to work on different things that we normally wouldn't get to," Harris said. "They can work on slicing, their topspin, or whatever they're not used to."

The Sailors, who are 3-0 this season, are gearing up for a match against the Bulldogs at 6 p.m. Thursday at Mesa State College in Grand Junction.

Harris believes the match will be a good warmup for the Sailors before they take part in a more competitive event in Grand Junction Friday and Saturday.

Sixteen teams are traveling to a tourney in Grand Junction, including 10 teams from 5A schools.

Hotchkiss, which is in the 3A Western Slope League, enters the match against Steamboat at 4-4.

Hotchkiss lost to Durango, Aspen, Glenwood Springs and Cedaredge.

Nearly two weeks ago, Steamboat defeated Cedaredge, 7-0.

Mike Price, who coaches the Bulldogs, said the match will be a good learning experience for his players.

"We're going to have to play against them at regionals, so it's good for our girls to see how they're going to have to play to go to state," Price said.

Steamboat's strength this season has been in its singles positions, where all three competitors are 3-0.

Meagan Franks, the Sailors' No. 1 singles player, comes off a victory over Delta's Lauren Melgoza in two sets.

Allison Griffing (No. 2 singles) and Kim Heckbert (No. 3 singles) also won in two sets against their opponents from Delta Saturday at the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs.

Kandra Sharp, who pairs with Ali Fisher to form the Sailors' No. 1 doubles team, was unable to compete Saturday because she was out of town.

Sharp will start against Hotchkiss, Harris said.

Shannon Clow filled in for Sharp Saturday, teaming up with Fisher to defeat Chaunu Hutchinson and Carrianne Shaw 6-0, 6-0.

The Hotchkiss team, Harris said, will be comparable to Steamboat's last two opponents, which were Delta and Cedaredge.

"They may not be the best warmup for this tournament, but we'll just go out there and play our hardest and hopefully do real well," Harris said.

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