■ No. 1 singles
Steamboat’s Keegan Burger def. Jaron Belcher, 6-2, 6-4
■ No. 2 singles
Boulder’s Galen Arney def. Mirko Erspamer, 7-5, 6-4, 6-4
■ No. 3 singles
Boulder’s Harrison Vivas def. Jack Burger, 6-1, 6-2
■ No. 1 doubles
Boulder’s Ian Ron and Peter Van Dusen def. Gabri Erspamer and Kyle Rogers, 6-1, 6-1
■ No. 2 doubles
Boulder’s Dylan Platt and Bryce Waldman def. Lev Tsypin and Chris Barounos, 6-3, 6-3
■ No. 3 doubles
Boulder’s Levi Chandler and Julian Melcer def. Erik Owen and Corbin Diehl, 6-1, 6-2
■ No. 4 doubles
Boulder’s Darrin Brock and Scott Cleveland def. Maxx Schaller and Quinn Cain, 6-3, 6-0
Steamboat Springs There weren’t a lot of positives to be found in the Steamboat Springs High School tennis team’s Friday night match against Boulder.
The squad’s No. 1 singles player, Keegan Burger, won his match in an easy two sets.
But the Sailors players and coaches said they’re hoping Friday night’s action can turn into more than disappointment for a young team. They’re hoping it can be the springboard to a strong season.
“We have the toughest schedule we’ve ever had,” Steamboat coach John Aragon said. “This was one of the top 5A teams, and I think matches like this will help us a lot with growth.”
Burger wasn’t the only Sailor to play well, but he undoubtedly played the best, blasting Boulder’s Jaron Belcher, 6-2, 6-4, at the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs.
Burger, 3-0 on the season, controlled the games, slipping up only after taking a 5-1 lead in the second set. He lost three straight but still managed to close out the set and the match.
“He broke me the first game, but I broke him every game for the rest of that first set,” Burger said. “I’ve played a lot of these kids during the summer, so I’m feeling pretty comfortable.”
Mirko Erspamer, playing at No. 2 singles, came closer than anyone else to joining Burger with a win.
He took the first set, 7-5, but Galen Arney came around in the second set to win, 6-4.
In the gutsy third frame, they traded big shots, eliciting roars from all who had gathered to cheer on the last match of varsity competition. Erspamer held his own serve and pushed Arney nearly to a breaking point in several games, but he couldn’t ever convert close in to a win. Finally, Arney closed the match out with another 6-4 set victory.
“It was tough. That kid’s a solid player,” Erspamer said. “I should have been more aggressive at the end. I let some errors get in the way.”
No. 3 singles player Jack Burger lost, 6-1, 6-2. Gabri Erspamer and Kyle Rogers fell, 6-1, 6-1; Lev Tsypin and Chris Barounos lost, 6-3, 6-3; Erik Owen and Corbin Diehl fell, 6-1, 6-2; and Maxx Schaller and Quinn Cain lost, 6-3, 6-0.
“Boulder has a lot of depth,” Aragon said. “Their doubles were very solid. They hit big serves and great returns. We just couldn’t match them this early in the season.
“Give us time, and with hard work, I think we can close that gap on a team like that.”
Steamboat won’t have any time to digest Friday’s action as the team turns right around with another tough challenge starting at noon today.
The squad will face off against the defending Class 4A state champions, Kent Denver, which took the title by winning six of the seven divisions.
“Kent’s a good team. We need to go out and work hard,” Mirko Erspamer said. “This is definitely helping us for when we get to state and regionals. It will definitely improve our game and keep us on our toes.”