Steamboat Springs High School sophomore Sara Hoing returns the ball Saturday during her doubles match against Aspen. Hoing and her partner, Julia Cooper, left, lost the match, 6-2, 6-4.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Steamboat Springs High School sophomore Sara Hoing returns the ball Saturday during her doubles match against Aspen. Hoing and her partner, Julia Cooper, left, lost the match, 6-2, 6-4.

Steamboat girls tennis downs Aspen, 6-1

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Steamboat girls tennis results

Steamboat 6, Aspen 1

No. 1 singles:

Steamboat's Hayley Richman def. Grace Lodge, 6-2, 7-5 (7-5)

No. 2 singles:

Steamboat's Valerie Lezin def. Whitney Hubbell, 6-2, 6-1

No. 3 singles:

Steamboat's Claire Parsons def. Jordan Meyer, 6-1, 6-0

No. 1 doubles:

Steamboat's Kylee Swiggart and Sara Bearss def. Casey Altman and Nelly Weiser, 6-1, 6-0

No. 2 doubles:

Steamboat's Mandy Thielemann and Christi Valicenti def. Georgia Lipkin and Hana Maclean, 6-1, 6-1

No. 3 doubles:

Aspen's Elissa Walter and Rio Crandall def. Julia Cooper and Sara Hoing, 6-2, 6-4

No. 4 doubles:

Steamboat's Lauren Siegel and Ali Diehl def. Mimi Rogers and Sydney Mandry, 6-3, 6-1

— Playing its first Western Slope opponent of the year, the Steamboat Springs High School girls tennis team finished the same place it's left off the past four years.

The four-time defending regional champions - still with a juggled lineup - beat Aspen, 6-1, on Saturday at The Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs.

The Sailors got wins from all of their singles players - Hayley Richman, Valerie Lezin and Claire Parsons.

Steamboat also picked up wins from the No. 1 doubles team of Kylee Swiggart and Sara Bearss, No. 2 doubles team of Mandy Thielemann and Christi Valicenti and No. 4 doubles team of Lauren Siegel and Ali Diehl.

The only loss for the Sailors came at No. 3 doubles, where Julia Cooper and Sara Hoing - playing together for the first time this year - lost in two sets.

"Our girls actually thought Aspen was a little stronger than Boulder in its doubles teams," said coach John Aragon, whose team beat Boulder, 5-2, on Friday. "They were taken by surprise early. But for our young kids that have not been there, at least they know what to expect now."

Aragon specifically mentioned the singles play of Richman and Lezin. Richman went to a tiebreaker in her second set, trailing 4-1, but rebounded for a 7-5 win. For Lezin, fresh off an emotional win Friday, the win showed more of her budding composure.

On the doubles side, Aragon noted the No. 2 doubles team play well together, despite it being the first time the team had played together all year. He also said the No. 1 doubles team was equally impressive.

Now Steamboat prepares for a tough stretch of tournaments where the team will see some of the top competition in the state. Steamboat plays at 4 p.m. Thursday at Grand Junction Central. The team then competes in the Western Slope Open Tournament in Grand Junction on Friday and Saturday. The tournament usually draws the top teams from Class 4A and 5A.

Although Aragon said he's happy with the 4-0 start, he said the team has to continue to work on its service game and being more aggressive at the net.

"We have to stay tough on them and do a lot of point play with their games," he said. "We have to practice with a purpose. We have to start making our practices a little more intense."

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