Steamboat girls tennis gets big wins at Western Slope Open

6 of 7 teams advance to semis

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— Days don’t get much better for the Steamboat Springs High School girls tennis team than Friday, coach John Aragon said.

Six of Steamboat’s seven entries in the Western Slope Open advanced through their brackets and start play today in the semifinals. The one doubles team that lost still can place as high as fifth in a field stacked with many of the state’s top high school tennis programs.

“We had the best day we’ve ever had at the Western Slope Open, boys or girls,” Aragon said. “The whole team, all the girls, came out and played really hard.”

Steamboat picked up big wins up and down the roster, with all but the No. 2 doubles squad winning its matches.

Christi Valicenti at No. 1 singles, Rachelle Steele-Cerone at No. 2 singles, Claire Parsons at No. 3 singles, Ali Diehl and Lauren Siegel at No. 1 doubles, Rachel Grubbs and Alli Lowrie at No. 3 doubles and Summer Smalley and Brook Metzler at No. 4 singles all won to stay alive in the championship side of the brackets.

“Rachelle was playing better than I’ve ever seen her, really hitting passing shots that were fun to watch,” Aragon said. “Christi really played entertaining tennis. Claire just didn’t make many errors and wore her opponent out, winning, 6-0, 6-1.”

Aragon had plenty of praise for his doubles teams, as well.

“Our No. 1 doubles won a real close match, won 7-3 on a tiebreaker. They both got up in the front court and were battling for points. That’s how they won,” Aragon said.

The No. 3 doubles team avenged a loss it picked up just Thursday, downing a Durango squad, 7-6 (2), 6-1.
“That was a really big win for them,” Aragon said.

The No. 4 doubles team also played well. Metzler filled in because of an injury and helped the team to the semifinals.

The No. 2 doubles squad of Kaitie Breisch and Ellie Bender lost in the second round, but with a few wins today still can score enough to help the team.

“I was real pleased with the effort they all put forth,” Aragon said. “Hopefully, they came back out with that same effort and make this one of the best tournaments we’ve had.”

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com

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