Steamboat freshman to play for state championship | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat freshman to play for state championship

Mae Thorp watches a return sail back toward the net Friday at the Class 3A state tennis tournament in Greeley. Thorp won her semifinal match on Friday and will play Saturday for the No. 1 singles state championship.

— Steamboat Springs High School freshman Mae Thorp said she’s always looked up to Tatum Burger, trying to emulate the former Sailors tennis standout on the court.

Friday, she did a pretty fair imitation, and if Thorp can carry out the act one more day, she’ll be a state champion.

Burger won a state championship at No. 1 singles for Steamboat Springs in 2015 as a freshman. Burger moved from Steamboat following that season, and now Thorp, also a freshman, has a chance to match the player she's always admired in a major high school accomplishment.

Thorp won her semifinal match Friday at the Class 3A state tennis tournament in Greeley, cruising by her opponent, Myiah Scott, of Eaton, 7-5, 6-1.

Now, she’ll play Saturday against another freshman, Sammy Moore-Thomson, of Colorado Academy, for the state championship.

"It's really, really cool," Thorp said, beaming still, even several hours after her match. "I'm a little scared, but I'm really happy I made it to finals. I made it this far. I want to go all the way."

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Thorp was one of two Sailors players to advance into Saturday's final round at the state tennis tournament.

Maddie Thompson, a senior playing at No. 2 singles, lost her Friday semifinal 6-1, 6-3 to Bridget Bell, of Dawson. Thompson rebounded, however, to win a consolation match 6-2, 6-1 against Krista Davis, of Vanguard. That put Thompson into Saturday’s consolation finals, where she'll play for third place.

Making that match alone offers Thompson an opportunity that had her excited.

"I'm super happy. I've been to state for four years now, and I've never medaled," she said.

Before this year, she'd only actually won one match. She won her third of this tournament alone Friday, and though she's guaranteed a medal either way, she hopes to add a fourth win Saturday.

"I'll be a little nervous, but I've been playing really well this whole season, and this is my goal," she said.

Steamboat picked up one other win on the day from its No. 1 doubles team with Natalie Simon and Emmie Thompson. The pair easily won their first-round consolation match 6-1, 6-1 against a team from Pueblo Central. They ran into a tougher challenge in the next round, however, and lost to a Colorado Academy team 6-3, 6-3.

Lily Fox also got back into the tournament in the consolation bracket. The sophomore, at No. 3 singles, played a tough match against Colorado Academy's Amanda Funk but came up short, 6-4, 6-2.

"I'm really proud of our whole team," coach John Aragon said. "They'e all came together and worked hard. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9