Steamboat tennis has rough day at state tournament

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— It’s become a regular occurrence for the Steamboat Springs High School tennis team to take its whole varsity allotment to the state tournament.

It hasn’t been regular for that entire squad to struggle on the first day of that tournament.

All seven of the Sailors’ entries into the state tournament fell in either the first or second round Thursday, opening day of the state tennis tournament.

The team isn’t finished, though. Six of its entries could be pulled back into the tournament’s consolation bracket, but that stood as little solace to a disappointed squad of Sailors when play wrapped up Thursday evening.

“It was really a long day for the Sailors,” coach John Aragon said. “Overall, we played well, but we didn’t finish. We had points set up, and we didn’t close. We just hope we get a chance to get back into it.”

The troubles ran up and down the Steamboat roster.

At No. 1 singles, Jamey Swiggart cruised in his first match, winning 6-3, 6-2. Matched up with another of the state’s very best, however, he struggled in the second match, dropping a second-set tiebreaker and losing to Stephen Moore, of Cheyenne Mountain, 6-3, 7-6.

“The match could have gone either way, but we just didn’t pull it off,” Aragon said. “That was a heartbreaker.”

Steamboat’s Luke Farny was equally disappointed at No. 2 singles. He opened the day hot, blasting his first-round opponent, 6-0, 6-0. But he couldn’t maintain that momentum through the second match, falling 6-2, 6-4.

“He left it all out on the court,” Aragon said. “I was very pleased with his effort.”

The story was similar for all the Sailors. Colin Green first won at No. 3 singles, battling back after losing the first set, to advance, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4. Then he lost in the quarterfinals, 6-3, 6-2.

Gabri Erspaper and Erik Sortland won, 6-0, 6-1, before losing, 6-3, 7-5, at No. 1 doubles. Corbin Diehl and Quinn Cain advanced, 7-5, 2-6, 6-2, before losing, 6-1, 6-1, at No. 3 doubles. The No. 2 doubles squad of Kyle Rogers and Stefan Sortland lost, 6-2, 7-6, in the first around. Karsten Thompson and Ben Wharton, at No. 4 doubles, also fell in the first round, 6-4, 7-6.

Steamboat players can get back into the tournament if the teams that beat those players win Friday morning in the semifinal round. The squad will be up early hoping for the best, which wasn’t exactly how the squad planned on spending its time at the state tournament.

“We are definitely talented enough we should be able to medal in some positions,” Aragon said. “But we don’t control our own destiny. Someone else controls it for us, and we’re hoping it will work out.”

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

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