Sailors too tough on courts

Steamboat Springs tennis team plays well Saturday against Fruita-Monument


Senior seasons are supposed to be fun and memorable, but Kelli Parnell found herself creating all the wrong memories.

The Steamboat Springs tennis player wasn't performing to her expectations. She was frustrated to the point of having a one-on-one conversation with coach John Aragon after a rare loss Friday night.

"It's been embarrassing," Parnell said. "I felt like I was letting the team down. I felt like I was putting a lot of pressure on myself."

On Saturday, for the first time all season, Parnell didn't dwell on mistakes and, consequently, she didn't make many, cruising to a 6-2, 6-2 win against Fruita-Monument's Kate Leadbetter.

"I was loose," Parnell said. "I was really relaxed. The pressure wasn't there (Saturday)."

Steamboat won its fourth dual match of the season in as many attempts, defeating Fruita-Monument, 6-1, on Saturday at The Tennis Center.

Fruita-Monument is a Class 5A school. Steamboat is a 4A school.

"I was pleased with the full team performance," Aragon said. "All 11 players came out and played and battled. We'll see Fruita-Monument again at the Western Slope League Tournament, and this should be a confidence builder."

For the most part, all seven matches were entertaining. With Fruita-Monument being a larger school, it could match Steamboat's depth at doubles and singles, creating a four-hour day on the courts.

Parnell and No. 2 singles player Breanne Murray had little trouble defeating their opponents in straight sets. The same held true for the No. 3 doubles team of Brittany DeGroff and Rebecca Timmerman, who picked up Saturday where they left off Friday against Eaton.

After losing the first set Friday, DeGroff and Timmerman played quality tennis to win the second two and the match. On Saturday, from the first serve, DeGroff and Timmerman were ready to play and easily defeated Fruita-Monument's Sara Stapf and Lindsay Bleil, 6-0, 6-1.

No. 3 singles player Lisa Floyd, who had lost just two games in her three previous matches, found herself in a much closer contest Saturday against Kim Faber.

Floyd prevailed, 6-3, 6-4, breaking Faber's serve when possible and dominating in her service games.

The No. 1 doubles team of Stacy Cavanagh and Molly Weiss picked up their fourth win of the season, 6-4, 6-0, against Amanda Adams and Katie Adams. Partners for the first time this year, Cavanagh and Weiss have created a formidable tandem for the Sailors.

The closest an opponent has gotten to upending the Steamboat doubles team was in Saturday's first set. Cavanagh and Weiss responded by winning the next set at love.

"We balance each other out," Cavanagh said. "This team was better than the one we played Friday. If we hadn't played well, we would have struggled."

Steamboat's No. 4 doubles team of Anya Salzgeber and Kerry Enochs struggled at times Saturday and dropped the first set, 7-5, but they came back to win the second and third sets, and subsequently, the match.

Aragon estimated that Salz-geber and Enochs and the No. 2 doubles team of Adele Dombrowski and Kristin Toy were on the court for more than two hours Saturday. Dombrowski and Toy lost the first set, came back to win the second set, and lost the final one, ending the match.

Steamboat's next matches are at 2 p.m. Tuesday against Boulder at The Tennis Center.


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