Steamboat hits the court

Sailors tennis team opens season play today

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— The Steamboat Sailors girls tennis team opens its season today when it takes the court against the Longmont Trojans at home.

The game, which will be played at the Tennis Center at 10 a.m., is the first of three home matches for the Sailors during a two-week span.

Steamboat plays Thompson Valley in Loveland March 17, but returns to the Tennis Center for games against Delta and Cedaredge March 24.

Sailors coach Beccy Brane said the competition among the team members was fierce throughout the preseason.

As of Friday, those projected to start in the following singles positions were Meagan Franks (No. 1 singles), Allison Griffing (No. 2 singles) and Kimberly Heckbert (No. 3 singles).

Heckbert, who is a sophomore, says the senior leadership on this year's squad should help guide the team to another successful finish.

Last year, the Sailors placed No. 2 at the regional tournament in Grand Junction.

"There's a lot of competition on the team and everybody's working really great," Heckbert said. "I'm pretty confident a lot of us will make it to states this year."

The projected starters in the doubles positions are Kandra Sharp and Ali Fisher (No. 1 doubles), Tiffany McGinn and Tara Weiss (No. 2 doubles) and Laura Varsafsky and Sarah Davey (No. 3 doubles).

Four Sailors were still fighting for the No. 4 doubles position on Friday, including Lacy Dodge, Stephanie Kammerer, Cristina Klein and Marissa Bucci.

Steamboat, which competes in the 4A Western Slope Conference, will receive a tough challenge from the Longmont team, Brane said.

The Trojans compete in the 5A Northern League.

Also on the sidelines for the Sailors this season will be assistant coaches Emily Harris and Carol Baily.

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