Photo by John F. Russell
Sophomore Kylee Swiggart is expected to fill the Steamboat Springs High School girls tennis team's No. 1 doubles slot along with partner Sara Bearss when the team takes the court for the start of the 2008 season.
2008 tennis schedule
Friday at Evergreen, 4 p.m.
March 14 at Roaring Fork, 2 p.m.
March 14 at Aspen, 5:30 p.m.
March 18 vs. Vail Mountain, 4 p.m.
March 22 vs. Glenwood Springs, 11 a.m.
March 22 at Fruita Monument, 5 p.m.
March 28 and 29 at Grand Junction (Western Slope Tournament), TBA
April 5 vs. Boulder, 9 a.m.
April 10 at Ralston Valley, 3:30 p.m.
April 11 and 12 at Mullen, TBA
May 2 and 3 at Grand Junction (Regionals), TBA
May 9 and 10 at Pueblo (State), TBA
Steamboat Springs Lisa Floyd is taking a different approach to tennis this season.
Floyd, a senior and the No. 1 player on the Steamboat Springs High School girls tennis team, spent the summer and fall before her junior season playing tennis at the Grand Junction Tennis Academy. She played every day, missed volleyball and was dead set on a state title.
She was all business. The only thing that mattered to Floyd was winning. But the game started to become not fun anymore. Floyd actually had thoughts of not playing tennis this year. But after playing volleyball last fall, Floyd decided to return to the court this spring.
This time with a different state of mind.
"Last year was really serious," Floyd said. "This year, it's starting out really fun. I've always learned when I'm not doing very well on the court to just smile. It relaxes me and makes me a better player."
Floyd leads an experienced group of Sailors into the season. Steamboat lost only four players from last year's team that qualified all 11 varsity girls for the state meet. This year, Steamboat will look to capture its fourth consecutive regional title and has a legitimate shot at finishing in the top three at state.
"It's going to take 11 girls believing in themselves and working hard," Steamboat coach John Aragon said. "If they do that, they should put a lot of pressure on the league. The girls best finish has been fourth at state. I think if these girls decide that they want to better that, they definitely have the potential."
Junior Shelby Reed will play No. 2 singles and senior Molly Weiss will line up at No. 3.
All three singles players return from the state competition last year.
"I want the whole team to win regionals again and in state, I at least want to get third," said Weiss, who played No. 1 doubles last year. "Personally, I'd really like to go all the way at state."
Although the top three singles spots are pretty well determined, Aragon said the team will go only as far as the doubles teams take them. Sara Bearss and Kylee Swiggart are expected to be the No. 1 doubles team with Valerie Lezin and Mandy Thielemann at No. 2 doubles, Alexis Lezin and Claire Parsons at No. 3 doubles and Lauren Siegel, Hayley Richman, Katie Birch and Elise Krueger among those battling it out for the No. 4 doubles team.
"I really want to medal at state," Alexis Lezin said. "Especially since I've only been to state once. It's a great experience."
Aragon said he expects tough competition in the region from Vail Mountain and Aspen. Statewide, Aragon said Cheyenne Mountain is again the team to beat.
Steamboat opens the season Friday at Evergreen.