Tennis team ready for big test

Sailors' unbeaten streak at stake this weekend

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— With a 5-0 record, the Steamboat Sailors' unbeaten streak will be at stake this weekend against some of their stiffest competition of the year.

"This weekend will be a real good test," said Sailors tennis coach Emily Harris. "We'll have three of our toughest matches in one weekend, which will be different."

The Sailors travel to Glenwood Springs to play the Glenwood Demons at noon Friday before they travel to Aspen to face the Aspen Skiers at 4 p.m.

On Saturday, Steamboat will remain in Aspen for a match against Montrose at 10 a.m. before heading to Carbondale to play Roaring Fork at 2 p.m.

Beccy Brane, who coaches the Sailors along with Harris and Carol Baily, said the four-game stint will be challenging for the players.

"I think it's going to be difficult on the girls," Brane said. "It will be hard to keep them emotionally stable.

"We have to get them psyched to play each match."

Steamboat's Kandra Sharp and Ali Fisher, who are 3-1 in the No. 1 doubles slot, will meet returning state champions Jessica Eide and Gina Davenport of Montrose.

Montrose, which is in the 4A Southwestern League, is the returning regional champion.

"They've been strong across the board," Harris said. "They just have a lot of depth on that team."

Glenwood Springs and Aspen are also strong competitors, Harris said.

Steamboat, which defeated Paonia 7-0 at home Tuesday, has recently seen some shuffling around in its singles lineup.

Meagan Franks, 4-1, was bumped to the No. 2 slot against Paonia while Allison Griffing, 5-0, stepped in at the No. 1 slot.

Franks played the first four matches of the season in the No. 1 singles position, where she went 3-1.

The Sailors' No. 1 player for the weekend matches will be determined today, Harris said.

Griffing, a sophomore, said the Sailors' upcoming opponents will be a good test for them as they prepare for regionals.

The regional tournament will be held May 4 and 5 at Mesa State College in Grand Junction.

"They're all good teams and they'll present some good competition," Griffing said. "It's going to be fun to play."

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