Steamboat’s Keegan Burger tracks down a ball Saturday as he improves his No. 1 singles record to 4-0 on the season, winning in a team dual against Kent Denver.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Steamboat’s Keegan Burger tracks down a ball Saturday as he improves his No. 1 singles record to 4-0 on the season, winning in a team dual against Kent Denver.

Kent Denver presents challenge for Steamboat tennis

Burger brothers provide highlights in home competition

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Kyle Rogers swings for a serve Saturday as the Steamboat Springs High School boys tennis team played Kent Denver.

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Colin Green catches a return on Saturday as the Steamboat Springs High School tennis team played against Kent Denver.

Steamboat vs. Kent Denver tennis

No. 1 singles

Steamboat’s Keegan Burger def. Jack Reynolds, 6-3, 6-2

No. 2 singles

Kent’s Alec Lee def. Mirko Erspamer, 7-5, 6-2

No. 3 singles

Steamboat’s Jack Burger def. Ryan Beyer, 6-2, 7-5

No. 1 doubles

Kent’s Brenden Soane and Adam Pinto def. Gabri Erspamer and Kyle Rogers, 6-2, 6-2

No. 2 doubles

Kent’s David Karpes and Josh Ruben def. Lev Tsypin and Chris Barounos, 6-0, 6-2

No. 3 doubles

Kent’s Kamiar Coffay and Jeff Ellenoff def. Erik Owen and Colin Green, 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-3

No. 4 doubles

Kent’s Michael Sadwith and Charlie Alpert def. Corbin Diehl and Quinn Cain, 6-1, 6-0

2010 Sailors boys tennis schedule

— It was hard-fought and it was better, meaning no matter what Keegan and Jack Burger did, the Steamboat Springs High School boys tennis team was going to walk away from its 0-2 weekend home stand with at least a little momentum.

But the brothers Burger shined, stealing the show as an improved Sailors squad lost five of seven matches Saturday against the reigning Class 4A state champions, Kent Denver.

“We were all better today,” Steamboat coach John Ara­gon said. “Kent’s always very solid and deep, and we played them tough.”

The Burgers, Kee­­­­­gan at No. 1 singles and Jack at No. 3, had their way with talented opponents.

Keegan Burger won his second important match in as many days and improved to 4-0 on the season. He continued his emergence from the disappointment and doubt surrounding a season-ending injury to the best player on last year’s team, Jamey Swig­­gart, by taking control of the No. 1 singles spot with a newfound aggressiveness and a killer instinct rarely found on Steamboat’s courts.

“He’s playing with a purpose,” Aragon said. “He’s really focused and playing better than I’ve ever seen him play and as well as we’ve ever had anyone play for us.”

Saturday it was Kent’s Jack Reynolds that felt the wrath, falling in two sets, 6-3, 6-2. Reynolds is a respected mountain-area player, and Burger carved him up, putting him on the defensive even after high-quality shots and pounding the corners throughout the afternoon with can’t-touch-this winners.

“Jamey gave me some pointers, told me he’d hit some really good shots and to weather that storm,” Burger said. “I played pretty well. Last year, I was pretty consistent, but this summer, (coaches) Don (Toy) and John helped me develop some weapons.”

Jack Burger also found some of the best play of his career in a 6-2, 7-5 win against Ryan Beyer. Playing singles for his first high school season, Burger continued to grow into the role Saturday, moving his opponent around the court and setting up big forehands.

“Coming off a disappointing loss (Friday), I wanted to leave everything out there,” Burger said. “He was really consistent and got every one back, so I couldn’t make many errors. But he didn’t move really well, so I had to hit it around the court.”

Elsewhere, Steamboat lost, but with more life than the team showed in a Friday dual against Boulder. The No. 3 doubles team gave up the best fight, nearly winning its match in two sets.

Colin Green, in his first varsity action of the season, teamed with Erik Owen to take the first set and grab a 5-4 lead in the second.

They couldn’t close it out, however, losing that one via an 8-6 tiebreaker.

As the match wore on, the power and precision that helped Steamboat’s pair to the early advantages faded, and Kent earned a 6-3 final-set victory.

The No. 1 doubles team of Gabri Erspamer and Kyle Rogers lost, 6-2, 6-2. The No. 2 doubles squad of Lev Tsypin and Chris Barounos fell, 6-0, 6-2, and No. 4 doubles Corbin Diehl and Quinn Cain lost, 6-1, 6-0.

“We came out to beat them. It didn’t happen today, and there are a lot of things we have to work on, but this team can step up,” Aragon said.

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