Steamboat Springs The Steamboat Springs High School girls tennis team wrapped up the final day of the Western Slope Open tennis tournament in Grand Junction on Saturday, coming away with one second-place finish.
Steamboat senior and No. 3 singles player Kylee Swiggart won her morning semifinal before falling, 6-4, 7-5, to a player from Greeley West in the championship match.
“Kylee left it all on the court,” Steamboat coach John Aragon said. “It was a match decided by a two-point swing. They both were very athletic. It was a super match for high school tennis, and it was a great final.”
Steamboat’s No. 2 singles player Christi Valicenti finished fourth. The No. 1 doubles team of Sara Bearss and Lauren Siegel finished fifth, the No. 2 doubles team of Ali Diehl and Alli Lowrie finished eighth, the No. 3 doubles team of Katie Ross and Mandy Thielemann finished fifth, and the No. 4 doubles team of Sara Hoing and Rachel Grubbs finished fourth.
“As a team, we did pretty well for the size of the tournament and where we’re at early in the season,” Aragon said. “I think this is a really great learning experience for our team looking at regionals and state.”
Although the regional and state meets don’t take place until May, Aragon said this was the type of tournament a relatively young Steamboat team needed.
In addition to teaching them how to play in a tournament, Aragon said, it gave his team an idea of what the athletes need to work on as the season progresses.
It also showed that the road to a sixth straight regional title might not be as easy. Other teams in the region have clearly gotten better. Still, Aragon said the team would work on conditioning, serving, volleys and overheads.
Take care of those, he said, and Steamboat should be in the mix for No. 6.
“We need to learn how to set up a point and then put it away,” he said. “We’ve been giving (other teams) one more chance to mess up instead of putting them away. Once we figure that out, we’ll be a strong team.”