Steamboat struggles at tennis meet

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For many of the younger players on the Steamboat Springs boys tennis team, they've watched those Sailors that came before them play a similar schedule with much success.

Now, that they are the ones live on the court, coach John Aragon said his current group of players are getting a firsthand look at how tough that schedule really is.

And learning the words Steamboat Tennis on a T-shirt doesn't guarantee wins.

In Saturday's matches at The Tennis Center, the Sailors, in their final home meets of the 2002 season, failed to win a match in either singles or doubles against Thompson Valley or Kent Denver.

Aragon said it was the first time in 22 years of coaching that one of his teams has lost to Thompson Valley, and he and his team both felt they could have won. It just comes down to match experience, and the Sailors' lack thereof.

"We split sets," Aragon said. "We had opportunities to close things out. It's that match experience. With more experience we have the kids to beat a team like Thompson Valley."

In four of the seven matches against Thompson Valley, including three of the four doubles matches, Steamboat players won one set, while Thompson Valley won the other forcing a deciding third set.

In all four cases, the Sailors came up short.

"The doubles teams need to be a little more aggressive," Aragon said. "The singles players need to be a little more patient. If these things happen we should be a real solid team."

With the home schedule complete, Steamboat will have to put their coach's advice to work on other teams' courts. That's fine with junior Chris Timmerman and sophomore Danny Weiss.

"We like traveling," Timmerman said.

"It's the fun part about tennis," Weiss said.

Timmerman and Weiss, the No. 2 doubles team, fell to Thompson Valley's Eric Dao and Zach Huffsmith, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, in Saturday's early match before losing to Neil Jogizkar and Rich Sabu in the afternoon match, 6-4, 6-3.

Weiss and Timmerman were both disappointed in their play against Dao and Huffsmith, saying everything that could have been off in their games was.

In singles action, Steamboat sophomore Patrick Ayers, who jumped from No. 4 doubles to No. 2 singles this season, dropped both his contests as well but was pleased with how he played in the second match against Kent Denver's Aaron Beaman.

"I played good he was just stronger than me," Ayers said.

In the morning match, Ayers dropped his first game to Sam Turner, 6-0, but rallied in the second game before falling 7-5.

"We have kids willing to work for it," Aragon said. "Everything we do here is geared towards Regionals."

The Sailors return to the courts Sept. 5 against Loveland.

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