Steamboat girls tennis wins tournament

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— It was a duct tape and bailing wire kind of day for the Steamboat Springs High School girls tennis team, the squad’s coaching staff scrambling to plug roster holes created as players and families jetted off for spring break vacations.

The results looked positively pristine, however, as the Sailors’ cobbled-together efforts still were better than what their nine competing teams could muster at a 10-team tournament in Longmont.

“It was a great tournament,” Steamboat coach John Aragon said. “There were good teams, very good players, and even though we didn’t have our full lineup, the girls put up some of their best tennis. This is a huge win for us.”

The Sailors were led by senior Christi Valicenti, who rolled to a tourney title in the No. 1 singles bracket.

She won her final match, 6-3, 6-2.

“Christi just stepped up and played some of her best tennis in this tournament,” Aragon said. “I was pleased to see a senior come through like that and at that No. 1 singles position.”

Steamboat got second-place performances from Rachel Grubbs at No. 2 singles, Summer Smalley and Brooke Metzler at No. 2 doubles and Katie Ross and Kate Spencer at No. 3 doubles.

The No. 1 doubles team of Lexie Baden and Hailey Gray finished fourth. Steamboat had to default at No. 3 singles when regular Ellie Bender had to leave town. Alli Lowrie stepped in to play those matches Saturday, falling, 6-0, 6-2, in her last one.

The team has the next week off, but the regional tournament looms soon after the players return.

“Hopefully, they take their tennis rackets with them over break and come back ready to play some tennis,” Aragon said.

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

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