Sailors boys tennis on brink of elimination at state

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— Steamboat Springs High School’s seven tennis competitors are down at the state championship in Pueblo, but they aren’t completely out just yet.

The Sailors’ No. 3 singles player Ben Wharton won his opening match of the tournament to advance but lost a nail-biter to Air Academy’s Naish Ganbatz, 7-6, 7-5. The loss tossed Wharton into a one-set tiebreaker, which he lost 6-4.

In order for Wharton to get a shot at a playback match, Sailors coach Don Toy said, Ganbatz has to advance to the No. 3 singles finals.

“He’s really become a tennis player, and it’s fun to watch him develop,” Toy said about Wharton. “He now has some weapons. He’s a very good athlete and keeps extremely calm under pressure.”

Steamboat’s trio of doubles teams all lost their opening matches and, like Wharton, have to play the waiting game to see if they can get back into competition.

The Sailors’ No. 1 doubles team of Quinn Cain and Zach Dunklin got out to a hot start in their opening match, getting up 5-1 on their opponent, but fell victim to a comeback, losing, 7-5, 6-3.

Other Sailors awaiting to hear their names possibly called are the No. 3 doubles team of Mathew White and Joe Borgerding and No. 4 doubles team of Nick Sear and Peter Wharton.

Toy said his players should have a good idea of where they stand by 10:30 a.m. Friday following the 9 a.m. second-day matches.

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

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