Steamboat tennis tops Durango

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— On the eve of the team’s most important early season tournament, the Steamboat Springs High School girls tennis team beat Durango, 6-1, on Thursday.

Steamboat’s No. 2 and 3 singles players Christi Valicenti and Kylee Swiggart each won in straight sets.

The No. 1 doubles team of Sara Bearss and Lauren Siegel, the No. 2 doubles team of Ali Diehl and Alli Lowrie, the No. 3 doubles team of Katie Ross and Mandy Thielemann, and the No. 4 doubles team of Sara Hoing and Rachel Grubbs also won their matches. 

Steamboat’s lone loss came at No. 1 singles, where Kate Cooper — fresh off a season of ski racing — was defeated.

But Steamboat coach John Aragon said Cooper may have shown the most of any player.

“She may have lost the match, but she played well,” he said. “She really did a nice job.”

Now the Sailors prepare for the Western Slope Open today and Saturday in Grand Junction.

The tournament begins at 8 a.m. and draws many of the top teams from across the state. Aragon said the team would sit down late Thursday evening and talk about their expectations for the tournament.

For a good majority of the Steamboat team, it will be their first look at a top-level tournament.

Aragon said the key at tournaments such as this is to win the first match and get into the winner’s bracket.

Still, he said the focus is on getting better and prepping for the regional and state tournaments later in the season.

“There are some awfully good teams here,” he said. “It’s really about whatever draw you get, they just have to be ready to play.”

— To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229 or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com

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