Claire Parsons, the No. 3 singles player for the Steamboat Springs High School girls team, eyes the ball Friday during a dual against Fossil Ridge. Parsons was one of two Sailors to win on the afternoon. The team is back in action today at home.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Claire Parsons, the No. 3 singles player for the Steamboat Springs High School girls team, eyes the ball Friday during a dual against Fossil Ridge. Parsons was one of two Sailors to win on the afternoon. The team is back in action today at home.

Fossil Ridge proves to be too much for Steamboat girls tennis team

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— The Steamboat Springs High School girls tennis team hit its first bump in the road Friday afternoon, dropping five of seven matches to Fossil Ridge after what has been a torrid start to the season.

Sailors coach John Aragon said there was plenty of good tennis played by his team, but plenty of lessons to be taken from the afternoon, as well.

The team won’t have to wait to apply them. Steamboat returns to the court at 10:30 a.m. at home today against Poudre Valley.

“We played well against (Fossil Ridge), but they were better,” Aragon said. “In doubles, they closed to the net a little stronger. They owned the front court, and we couldn’t take it away from them.”

Steamboat may not have emerged on top of many of Friday’s matches, but Aragon said he still saw plenty of solid tennis from his team.

Christi Valicenti at No. 1 singles and Claire Parsons at No. 3 singles were the best.

Valicenti picked up a big victory, knocking Fossil Ridge’s Kori Combs out, 6-2, 6-3. Parsons won, 7-5, 6-2, against Sarah French, relying on what Parsons termed an important change to her style.

“I was definitely trying to play less safely than I normally do,” Parsons said. “I was hitting more shots past her at the net when she’d come up. I was playing with more intensity than I normally do.

“I tend to play safe, play like a backboard, but I’m working on stroking the ball in matches.”

Elsewhere, Steamboat was often good, but never good enough. Fossil Ridge’s deep team played with aggression and won all the important points.

Kaitie Briesch and Ellie Bender lost a first-set tiebreaker and then lost an early second-set lead at No. 2 doubles.

Rachel Grubbs and Alli Lowrie lost a close first set in a two-set loss at No. 3 doubles, and the story was the same for Rachelle Steele-Cerone at No. 2 singles. She fell 7-5 and then 6-2.

Summer Smalley and Brooke Metzler lost, 6-3, 6-2, at No. 4 doubles, and Lauren Siegel and Ali Diehl fell, 6-3, 6-0, at No. 1 doubles.

“They were really good,” Diehl said.

“They got everything back where we weren’t,” Siegel said. “They placed the ball really well. We need to have more intensity, and we need to work on placing the ball a little more.”

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