The Steamboat Springs High School girls tennis team won the Western Slope Open on Saturday in Grand Junction.

Courtesy photo

The Steamboat Springs High School girls tennis team won the Western Slope Open on Saturday in Grand Junction.

Steamboat girls tennis makes history, wins Western Slope Open

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— The Steamboat Springs High School girls tennis team added to its reputation as one of the most consistent tennis teams with a little bit of history Saturday.

With two individual championships and all 11 girls placing, the Sailors became the first team from Steamboat to win the highly competitive Western Slope Open in Grand Junction.

Steamboat got championship-winning performances from Claire Parsons at No. 3 singles and from Summer Smalley and Brooke Metzler at No. 4 doubles to lead the way.

Co-head coach “Don (Toy) and I been here for a lot of years, and it finally happened,” Steamboat coach John Aragon said. “We’ve been close, but this time these girls sealed the deal.”

The Steamboat girls team has been attending the tournament for eight seasons, while the boys had gone for 14.

But not until Saturday had a Sailors group won it. Steamboat finished with 184 points as a team, 13 more than second-place Chatfield.

In addition to the championships, Christi Valicenti finished third at No. 1 singles, Rachelle Steele-Cerone was third at No. 2 singles, Ali Diehl and Lauren Siegel were second at No. 1 doubles, Kaitie Breisch and Ellie Bender were fifth at No. 2 doubles, and Rachel Grubbs and Alli Lowrie finished fourth at No. 3 doubles.

“Don and I talked about it and talked with the girls that when we saw the draw we believed we could do it,” Aragon said. “The girls really bound together. The first two rounds are where we really won it.”

Those first two rounds took place Friday and were essential in Steamboat’s success. Steamboat got all three singles players and three of its doubles teams through the first two rounds, setting the Sailors up to score significant points Saturday.

Aragon said he was especially pleased with Parsons and his No. 4 doubles team. He said Parsons outlasted her opponents with sheer willpower.

The No. 4 doubles team of Smalley and Metzler played for the first time together Friday. Metzler filled in because of an injury and showed Steamboat’s depth.

Steamboat returns to action at 4 p.m. Friday at home against Fossil Ridge.

“As a team, we get back on Monday, and we have to work harder,” Aragon said. “Each time at practice we’re telling them to practice with a purpose. Hopefully that hits home, and we can get ready for regionals.”

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com

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