Steamboat's Malia Fraioli eyes the ball for a return Friday. The Sailors swept Aspen in the dual, setting up a batch of matches Saturday, first at 10:30 a.m. against Fruita and then at 2 p.m. against Air Academy.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Steamboat's Malia Fraioli eyes the ball for a return Friday. The Sailors swept Aspen in the dual, setting up a batch of matches Saturday, first at 10:30 a.m. against Fruita and then at 2 p.m. against Air Academy.

Sailors girls tennis sweeps Aspen, looks to Saturday matches

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Shealie Jenkins swings for a return Friday against Aspen.

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Steamboat coach John Aragon offers advice Friday as the Sailors played against Aspen.

— Steamboat got what it wanted Friday. Now the high school girls tennis team hopes to make a big statement by carrying that momentum into a pair of duals Saturday.

The Steamboat Springs High School girls tennis team faces Fruita at 10:30 a.m. and Air Academy at 2 p.m. at the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs. The squad will be fresh off one of its most dominating performances of the season, a sweep against a shorthanded rival squad from Aspen.

Steamboat won all seven matches, giving up only a combined 14 games.

“It was a total team performance,” coach John Aragon said. “Our girls all played well.”


Rachel Grubbs led the team off at No. 1 singles, winning, 6-1, 6-1. Ellie Bender was just as good, winning, 6-0, 6-1, and Kira Lorenzen wrapped the singles action with a 6-0, 6-0 victory.

As soon as the matches were over, the squad was looking forward. Saturday’s matches could factor in big when it comes to seeding at the state tournament. That’s still more than a month off, but now’s the time those foundations are laid.

“I have to work on my consistency,” Bender said. “I need to keep pushing myself and keep moving my feet, to do what every tennis player needs to do.”

Katie Spencer and Shealie Jenkins won at No. 1 doubles, 6-3, 6-4, but said they can find plenty to focus on improving for Saturday.

“We need to work on getting to the middle more,” Jenkins said.

“We need to work on coming to the net and pinching the middle, not leaving such a big gap for people to hit it down the middle,” Spencer added.

Steamboat also got wins from Brooke Metzler and Maddie Labor at No. 2 doubles, 6-0, 6-2; Malia Fraioli and Hanna Haggarty at No. 3 doubles, 6-2, 6-1; and Sydney Boyd and Sabina Berend at No. 4 doubles, 6-0, 6-1.

“We were able to stay consistent on our returns and control the net pretty well,” Metzler said. “Maddie, she killed the overheads, so that was nice, but lobs weren’t our strongest area. We need to work on how to deal with that.”

Metzler’s pairing, along with the rest of the Sailors, hopes to absorb those lessons by the time action kicks off Saturday morning.

“It will be fun,” she said. “These teams are fun to play against because they make you step up.”

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

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