Steamboat girls tennis dominating at regional championships

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— Things couldn’t have gone much better for the Steamboat Springs High School girls tennis team on Day 1 of regionals in Grand Junction.

All three Sailors singles players advanced to Friday’s finals, and three of Steamboat’s four doubles pairs also will play for regional championships.

No. 1 singles player Ellie Bender advanced her way to the finals with a 6-4, 7-5 win against Durango’s Kit Hackett and a 7-5, 6-3 semifinal win against Vail Mountain’s Courtney Thomas. She will face Montrose’s Alyssa Arellano in the finals.

In No. 2 singles, Steamboat’s Kira Lorenzen is playing for the championship after a semifinal win against Montrose and a quarterfinal victory against Mountain.

Maddie Labor, the Sailors’ No. 3 singles player, cruised to the finals with a 6-4, 6-2 win in the quarterfinals, followed by a dominant 6-0, 6-2 victory in the semis to advance.

In doubles play, Steamboat’s No. 1 pair of Hanna Haggarty and Emmie Thompson stacked a 6-2, 7-5 win against Durango in the quarterfinals and a 6-3, 6-2 victory against Glenwood Springs in the semifinals to reach Roaring Fork’s Brianda Perea and Yaritza Zarate in the finals.

Lily Petersen and Maddie Thompson hold Steamboat’s No. 2 doubles finals spot with a big win against Glenwood Springs and a three-set victory against Hotchkiss in the semifinals. They will face Aspen’s Kelsey Ward and Sadie Alphern in the finals.

The Sailors’ No. 3 doubles team of Sydney Boyd and Shannon Ross are also in the finals. Steamboat’s No. 4 doubles team of Jessie Selby and Emma Wilson will play for third place Friday. Selby and Wilson still are alive for a state tournament bid but need to win Friday, Steamboat coach John Aragon said.

As a team, Steamboat accumulated enough points in the quarterfinals and semifinals to solidify itself as the regional champion, no matter what happens Friday. The Sailors' 70 team points have them well ahead of second-place Glenwood (43 points) and third-place Durango (36 points).

“It was some of the most competitive and close matches we’ve had in the regional tournament in 13 years,” Aragon said. “I was really, really proud of all 11 girls and how hard they worked.”

Finals will begin at 9 a.m. Friday.

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

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