Christi Valicenti returns a volley during her match against Vail Mountain School’s Camilla Trapness on Tuesday afternoon at the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs. Valicenti won her match, 6-2, 6-0, helping the Sailors roll to a 7-0 win against the visiting Gore Rangers.

Photo by John F. Russell

Christi Valicenti returns a volley during her match against Vail Mountain School’s Camilla Trapness on Tuesday afternoon at the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs. Valicenti won her match, 6-2, 6-0, helping the Sailors roll to a 7-0 win against the visiting Gore Rangers.

Steamboat tennis sweeps Vail Mountain School

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Steamboat Springs Sailor Katie Spencer returns a shot during a match against Vail Mountain School on Tuesday afternoon at the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs. Spencer and partner Malia Fraioli won the match, 6-2, 6-0, and helped the Sailors roll to a 7-0 win against the visiting Gore Rangers.

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Steamboat Springs' Brooke Metzler returns a shot during a match against Vail Mountain School on Tuesday afternoon at the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs. Spencer and partner Summer Smalley won the match, 6-2, 6-2, and helped the Sailors roll to a 7-0 win against the visiting Gore Rangers.

— Tuesday afternoon’s match against Vail Mountain School is the type of match that’s easy to look past.

But Steamboat Springs High School senior Christi Valicenti doesn’t like to look ahead.

“I try to take it one match at a time,” the Sailors’ No. 1 singles player said after Tuesday’s match at the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs. “I try to think about every shot rather than every point. I’m proud of how focused I stayed in this match. Sometimes I get ahead of myself and think about what’s going to happen when we switch sides or what’s going to happen later in the match.”

But on this day, Valicenti and her teammates on the Steamboat Springs High School tennis team kept their focus tight and took care of business at home.

“I knew that she was in for a dogfight,” Aragon said about Valicenti’s match. “I’m happy that Christi came out extremely focused and took care of the match. I knew this girl was talented, but when Christi plays like that, she can beat just about anybody.”

Valicenti’s 6-2, 6-0 win against Vail Mountain School’s Camilla Trapness may have looked easy in the win column, but the Steamboat player said the match was a lot closer than the final score might indicate.

“There were lots of close games and key points,” she said. “It was a tough match, and I’m happy to get the win.”

The point helped the Sailors make a statement en route to a 7-0 win against Vail Mountain School as the team starts to look toward the final stretch of the season.

Valicenti topped the No. 1 singles match while No. 2 singles player Rachel Grubbs topped Vail’s Thea Knobel, 6-0, 6-0, and No. 3 singles player Ellie Bender topped Vail’s Courtney Thomas, 6-1, 6-7(3), 6-1, in one of the tightest matches of the day to preserve the sweep.

Steamboat’s doubles teams also dominated most of the matches.

Steamboat’s Alli Lowrie and Ali Diehl beat Vail’s Erica Charles and Nicole Byrne, 6-1, 6-0, at No. 1 doubles; Steamboat’s Kira Lorenzen and Shealie Jenkins topped Vail’s Kendall Deighan and Paula Hernandez, 6-1, 6-1, at No. 2 doubles; Steamboat’s Summer Smalley and Brooke Metzler topped Vail’s Elle Egizii and Ali Plzak, 6-2, 6-2, at No. 3 doubles; and Steamboat’s Katie Spencer and Malia Fraioli topped Vail’s Anne McMurrain and Anna Skelton, 6-2, 6-0, at No. 4 doubles.

The convincing showing improved the Sailors record to 6-2 on the season. But doubles players Smalley and Metzler still think there is work to do.

“We won, but I’m not sure that we played up to our ability,” Smalley said after the match. I know that we still can get better and that there is still some work to do.”

The Sailors will host Ralston Valley on April 14 in the team’s next match. Regionals is scheduled for May 3 and 4 in Grand Junction, and the state tournament will take place May 10 to 12 in Pueblo.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209 or email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com

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