7 Sailors tennis players advance to state

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— As a team, the Steamboat Springs High School tennis squad took third at the regional championships. As individuals, seven Sailors are state bound.

Senior Ben Wharton paced all Sailors in the tournament by winning the No. 3 singles division. No. 1 doubles team Quinn Cain and Zach Dunklin, No. 3 doubles team Mathew White and Joe Borgerding and No. 4 doubles team Nick Sear and Peter Wharton punched tickets to state, as well, but fell in their regional finals matches.

The two-day regional competition saw some Sailors’ chances at state slip away with some disappointing losses, but coach Don Toy was happy to see his group fight.

“Overall, it was slightly disappointing, but with a young team and pressure on the seniors, it was interesting days," Toy said. "We’re really proud of the kids in how they played and competed. It’s a pleasure coaching them.”

As a team, Steamboat began Saturday nine points behind league-leading Aspen, but a few losses in the finals killed the Sailors’ team championship chances.

For the seven who did advance, they will find out who they are matched up with Monday for next weekend’s state championships in Pueblo. The format is similar to regionals, with 16 qualifiers advancing from across the state in each divisional match.

In a word, pressure, Toy said, is what will be the deciding factor for his group at state.

The Sailors leave for Pueblo on Thursday morning.

To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email bingersoll@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll

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