Steamboat tennis sails past Roaring Fork

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— The Steamboat Springs High School girls tennis team had to endure some serious adjustment just to compete Saturday in a dual against Roaring Fork.

With four athletes still out of town as the school entered the final weekend of its Spring Break, the Sailors took a forfeit at No. 2 doubles, played a team of inexperienced freshmen at No. 4 doubles and matched a pair of players together at No. 1 doubles who hadn't played together this season.

That did little to slow the squad.

Steamboat wrapped up its regular season with a 5-2 win against Roaring Fork. The Sailors finished the regular season with an 8-1 record.

"Everybody played really well," Steamboat coach John Aragon said. "They started a little slow, but once the event got going, they came back pretty quick."

Steamboat got wins from Shelby Reed and Molly Weiss on the singles side. Doubles teams consisting of Sara Bearss and Mandy Thickman and Alexis and Valerie Lezin also won. Lisa Floyd, the team's No. 1 singles player, won via forfeit.

While Aragon said there were strong performances all around, he pointed to the No. 1 doubles team as putting forth one of the best matches of the day.

Bearss typically plays on the No. 1 doubles team and Thickman on the No. 2 squad, but with their partners absent Saturday, they combined forces to win the match against Celeste Comings and Maria Flores of Roaring Fork. Steamboat won, 6-3, 6-3.

"That No. 1 doubles team, they had to play well," Aragon said. "Those (Roaring Fork) girls were both seniors and were very athletic. It was fun to watch with a lot of great rallies."

The No. 3 doubles squad, with the Lezin sisters, won, 6-0, 6-2, while Eva Grant and Kaitlin Rudolf, both Steamboat freshmen, lost, 6-1, 6-0.

Reed won her singles match against Rianna Rollyson, 6-0, 6-0. Molly Weiss also cleaned up, winning like Reed without surrendering a game.

The team returns to action Saturday for the regional tennis tournament. By then, Aragon said, he not only hopes to have a full complement of athletes healthy and ready to go, but also to have them playing their best tennis when it matters the most.

"I feel good about our players. We only had our three singles players and two doubles teams that were what we normally go with this time," he said. "I know they had Spring Break on their minds, but hopefully they got all that out and are ready to buckle down and give us a solid two weeks of performances."

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