Sailors make it a dozen, win regional title | SteamboatToday.com

Sailors make it a dozen, win regional title

— It was one of the closest calls the team has ever had, but Friday, the Steamboat Springs High School girls tennis players managed to pull it off, winning their 12th consecutive regional championship.

Injuries called into question whether they'd be able to keep the streak alive, but the team won championships in three brackets and qualified for state in four, holding off a bevy of challengers.

"It was some great matches, and we got 'er done," coach John Aragon said. "I was so proud of the whole team. It was really fun to see them come out so determined and to see them accomplish a goal."

Steamboat finished with 66 points. Montrose had 56, Aspen 54 and Durango 52.

None of those points came easily, and some of the most difficult came at the No. 1 doubles level, where Sydney Boyd and Sabina Berend matched up with a Montrose pair.

That match had the potential to swing the final score six points, more than half the Sailors’ margin of victory.

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Steamboat prevailed there, winning in three sets.

"It's the best I've seen our two seniors there play," Aragon said. "They dug in and won it under a lot of pressure and with a lot of people watching. It was just exciting to see."

Steamboat got another key win at No. 2 doubles, where Surina Techarukpong and Emmie Thompson won in three sets.

"It could have gone either way," Aragon said. "Whenever they needed a big point or needed to close it, one of them found a way to get it."

Steamboat's final regional title came at No. 2 singles from the racket of Maddie Thompson. She won in two sets.

"It was great to see how she could focus and play that hard," Aragon said.

Fena Metzler and Anna Allsberry, at No. 4 doubles, lost in the finals, but won their playback match to earn a spot at state.

Jordyn Hetrick and Natalie Simon, at No. 3 doubles, and Lily Fox, at No. 3 singles, meanwhile, fell just short of that opportunity.

Hetrick and Simon lost in the finals, then lost again in their playback match against Aspen.

"They were just better than us today, but it wasn't because of a lack of effort," Aragon said.

Fox was playing for third place and lost there, also against Aspen.

"It was the best match I've ever seen her play," Aragon said. "It went three sets, and I was so proud of how she played."

The state tournament begins Thursday in Pueblo.

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

Regional tennis team standings

1 Steamboat 66

2 Montrose 56

3 Apsen 54

4 Durango 52

5 Paonia 21

6 Montazuma Cortez 16

7 Glenwood Springs 14

8 Vail Mountain 9

9 Delta 2

10 Cedaredge 0

State-bound Sailors

No. 2 singles: Maddie Thompson

No. 1 doubles: Sydney Boyd and Sabina Berend

No. 2 doubles: Surina Techarukpong and Emmie Thompson

No. 4 doubles: Fena Metzler and Anna Allsberry