Sailors tennis advances six of seven to finals

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— The Steamboat Springs High School girls tennis team advanced six of its seven spots to today's final round at the regional tournament and sits tied atop the leaderboard with Vail Mountain.

Singles players Shelby Reed and Molly Weiss will play in today's finals, as will the No. 1 doubles team of Kylee Swiggart and Sara Bearss, the No. 2 doubles team of Mandy Thielemann and Hayley Richman, the No. 3 doubles team of Alexis and Valerie Lezin and the No. 4 doubles team of Kaitie Breisch and Claire Parsons.

Steamboat's No. 1 singles player, Lisa Floyd, lost in the semifinals. Floyd still has an outside chance of making the state tournament if she can win her third-place match today and the girl she lost to in the semis wins the tournament. Floyd would then be in a playback situation for the last spot in the state tournament.

Assistant coach "Don (Toy) and I are extremely proud of the effort put forth in this tournament," Steamboat coach John Aragon said. "If they can keep believing in themselves and keep that belief on the court, we should be successful" today.

Third-place matches begin at 8:30 a.m., with championship matches to follow.

Despite a snowstorm in the morning, the tournament endured only minor delays.

Aragon said despite the cold weather and overcast skies, the Sailors immediately took it to their opponents.

Breisch and Parsons were particularly dominant, he said, not dropping a single set all day.

"They were playing some worthy opponents," Aragon said. "But they've been doing this all season."

Steamboat will match up with Vail Mountain in five of the team's six finals matches. Swiggart and Bearss will play the No. 1 doubles team from Montrose.

"It's alive, and the thing I like is it's still in our hands," said Aragon, whose team is looking for its fourth consecutive regional title. "If we want it and work for it, it's there for our taking."

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