Steamboat Springs There are no strangers on the court when Stacy Swiggart, Patrice Lorenzen, Laurie Buelow and Gillian Morris play tennis.
The four play together in a Wednesday league, on a Steamboat team that plays other mountain towns. They also play plenty of matches against one another.
On Sunday, the four found themselves matched up in the women's NTRP 4.5 doubles championship. The match was part of the closing day of the Steamboat NTRP Championships at The Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs.
Although Swiggart and Lorenzen won, 6-3, 3-6, 10-7, Sunday's match wasn't necessarily about winners and losers.
"It's high-quality tennis," Lorenzen said. "When we're all playing well, there's a lot of good exchanges, and that's the best."
All four were on top of their games Sunday.
After battling back and forth, splitting the first two sets, Swiggart and Lorenzen took advantage in the 10-point tiebreaker.
"We all know each others' games pretty well, so it's never a for-sure thing who's going to be victorious," Lorenzen said. "Anybody can win when you get us four out there."
"You know what the other person is going to do a lot, so you can anticipate off of that and really work on different parts of your game," Morris said. "It was fun."
The women's doubles championship highlighted another successful weekend at the Tennis Center. After raising more than $14,000 for the high school and junior programs during last weekend's Steamboat Tennis Association Summer Championships, the NTRP brought in more than 190 players from five states.
"Every year, I think it gets better," Tournament Director Beccy Brane said.
Brane said the tournament gave the Tennis Center a chance to show off its top-of-the-line facility.
A prime example of the facility's versatility happened Friday and Saturday. With the recent thunderstorms, Brane said the two new courts inside allowed for play to stay on schedule and run smoothly throughout the weekend.
"There's an added dimension to having people from all over the country come and appreciate what we do at the facility," she said, noting she encourages more local players to come to the tournament next year. "It's great to have the locals appreciate it, but to have people come from five states and like it is rewarding."
- To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229
or e-mail email@example.com