Steamboat girls tennis wraps up season |

Steamboat girls tennis wraps up season

Luke Graham

— The quest for No. 7 now begins.

The Steamboat Springs High School girls tennis team wrapped up the regular season Saturday in much the same way the team has in the past.

Steamboat downed Air Academy, 7-0, and didn't lose a single set all day. Now the team prepares for the regional tournament Thursday in Grand Junction.

All singles players — Christi Valicenti, Rachelle Steele-Cerone and Claire Parsons — easily cruised through their matches.

The doubles teams might have been even more impressive.

The No. 1 doubles team of Lauren Siegel and Ali Diehl, the No. 2 team of Ellie Bender and Kaitie Breisch, the No. 3 team of Alli Lowrie and Rachel Grubbs and the No. 4 team of Summer Smalley and Maria Hillenbrand lost a total of five games.

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"Our singles girls actually played some solid opponents and played really well," coach John Aragon said. "Our doubles teams played really solid, as well."

Aragon said he was especially impressed with Steele-Cerone's performance.

In beating Air Academy's Claire Zombola, 6-1, 6-1, Aragon said Steele-Cerone played her best match of the season.

"It's the best match I've seen her. There were no letdowns," Aragon said. "She's had a few matches with our team, and she is settling down. She's always had a solid stroke and game; it's a matter of her putting it together. It's a great time with state and regionals coming up."

Steamboat leaves Wednesday for regionals, a tournament that has been mighty good to the Sailors.

The girls team will be looking to win its seventh straight title when play begins at 9 a.m. Thursday in Grand Junction.

Steamboat's biggest competition likely will come from Durango. Steamboat beat Durango, 4-3, in a match earlier this season.

"One thing I've learned is to never take anything lightly," Aragon said. "You have to start with that first match. The top two teams go to state. We want to get there and have a good run at another (regional) title."

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email


Steamboat 7, Air Academy 0

■ No. 1 singles

Steamboat’s Christi Valicenti def. Jenna Milliman, 6-4, 6-2

■ No. 2 singles

Steamboat’s Rachelle Steele-Cerone def. Claire Zombola, 6-1, 6-1

■ No. 3 singles

Steamboat’s Claire Parsons def. Ana Pena, 6-0, 6-1

■ No. 1 doubles

Steamboat’s Lauren Siegel and Ali Diehl def. Grace Kim and Cheyenne Pulgin, 6-0, 6-0

■ No. 2 doubles

Steamboat’s Ellie Bender and Kaitie Breisch def. Chelsea Long and Maggie Juran, 6-0, 6-1

■ No. 3 doubles

Steamboat’s Alli Lowrie and Rachel Grubbs def. Karen Orton and Hanna Andrus, 6-0, 6-2

■ No. 4 doubles

Steamboat’s Summer Smalley and Maria Hillenbrand def. Megan Walmsley and Brooklyn Stern, 6-0, 6-2

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