Steamboat Springs When Steamboat Springs girls tennis coach John Aragon surveys the Class 4A field, he sees four teams that will battle for a state championship.
Playing at the Western Slope Tournament in Grand Junction on Friday confirmed for Aragon that Steamboat will be one of those teams.
With top teams in Class 5A (No. 1 Cherry Creek and No. 3 Chatfield) and Class 4A (No. 3 Greeley West) in attendance, the Sailors finished the day with one player in the finals, another in the third-place match and the remaining players still with a chance to win the consolation bracket.
"It's fun to come down and see some top teams and play with them, beat them or battle neck and neck with them," Aragon said. "I know one thing, when coaches saw Steamboat in the draw, they knew they were facing a tough team."
No. 1 singles player Lisa Floyd highlighted the day, winning all three of her matches and advancing to today's final against the No. 1 player from Cherry Creek.
"Lisa took advantage of her situation and beat some very good players soundly," Aragon said.
All the Steamboat teams won at least two matches on the day except for the No. 3 doubles team of Kerry Enoch and Sara Bearss, who fell victim to a tough draw, having to play 5A Denver East and Fruita Monument. Steamboat still picked up two wins in each of the following categories: No. 2 singles (Breanne Murray), No. 3 singles (Shelby Reed), No. 1 doubles (Molly Weiss and Kristin Toy), No. 2 doubles (Kirsten Brehmer and Kylee Swiggart) and No. 4 doubles (Alexis and Valerie Lezin).
Reed had one of the most impressive wins of the day, defeating the No. 3 singles player from Cherry Creek 3-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Aragon said Reed frustrated the player from Cherry Creek and consistently made shots that scored. Unfortunately, Aragon said the three set match tired Reed out, and in the semifinals, she ran out of gas.
Although the Sailors will have only one player in the finals today, Aragon said the tournament has accomplished something Steamboat's been searching for all year: tough competition.
"Hopefully this gets the girls motivated to work a little harder when it counts at regionals and state," he said. "We hit some goals at this tournament, but they know they need to train a little harder because we can play neck and neck with anybody."
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