Tennis squad set to play at Grand Junction tournament

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— Three undefeated players will lead the Steamboat Springs tennis team in the first major challenge of the season this weekend in Grand Junction.

"This is going to be a real test," Sailors coach John Aragon said.

"This is a good-sized tournament with a lot of top 5A teams."

Among the Sailors players looking to remain undefeated are doubles teammates Jeff Aragon and David Upbin who are 6-0 this season and looking for their first tournament title this season.

"This tournament will prepare us for state," Jeff Aragon said. "It will show us where we are at and let us play a lot of tennis in a short period of time."

The Sailors have been playing in the Grand Junction tournament for a number of years and have always used the event as a way to gauge where they are during this critical part of the season.

"We are about halfway through the season," coach Aragon said. "We will walk away from this event with a pretty good idea of where we stand."

The Sailors will head into the event with a 5-1 mark. But the younger Aragon said the focus will shift a bit this week to top singles and doubles finishes.

"Tournaments are more about individual finishes since they don't keep team points," Jeff Aragon said.

However, he added that he thinks playing in Grand Junction will make the Sailors better as a team and improve the squad's chances of a top finish at the regional and state tournaments which are coming up later this fall.

This weekend's tournament in Grand Junction will be played at Mesa State College and Grand Junction High School.

Cherry Creek, Grand Junction, Grand Junction Central and Fruita Monument will be among the 13 teams expected to compete for a title.

Steamboat's undefeated players include singles player Rich Tifft as well as the doubles teams of Jeff Aragon and Upbin and Jonathan Soloman and Patrick Ayres.

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