Steamboat tennis hoping for 2nd chance at state |

Steamboat tennis hoping for 2nd chance at state

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Steamboat Springs High School tennis team came out of the first day of the Class 4A state tennis tournament in Pueblo with one win, and the Sailors will be hoping for the right results Saturday to give its athletes a chance to get back into the action.

The Sailors had three entries in the tournament and lost two No. 2 singles player, Wyatt Stempel and No. 3 singles player Roy Lundeen, in the first round.

Stempel lost to Ben Bicknell of Silver Creek, 6-2, 6-0. Lundeen lost to Jordan Wagner of Colorado Academy, 6-1, 6-0.

Gabe Rabanal and Kyle Nilsson did pick up a win for the squad at No. 2 doubles, defeating Cory McCarthy and Zach Kwitek of Pueblo West in the opening round in a tight match, 7-6 (3), 6-4.

That pair then lost in the second round to Michael Dashiell and Grant Leap of Cheyenne Mountain, 6-0, 6-0.

“We didn’t have any bad losses, that’s for sure,” coach Joseph O’Dell said. “The kids were happy, and I was happy with the way they played. They played pretty well.”

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Lundeen and the doubles team both have a chance to get back into the consolation bracket if the players they lost to can make it to the championship match.

"We're optimistic we'll have an opportunity to play tomorrow," O'Dell said. "When you lose to someone who's making semifinals at least you feel confident you lost to someone good. No one's hanging their heads low."

The team's trip to state got off to a rough start before anyone even got on the bus to head to Pueblo. The No. 1 doubles team, with Luke Borgerding and John Hannaway, had to withdraw from the tournament after Hannaway broke his ankle over the weekend. The region's third-place No. 1 doubles team, Durango, got called up to fill the slot.

The key to a better first day, O'Dell said, lies in several places. One, he said, is in work and tournaments outside the high school season. The other is simply in confidence when arriving to play in the big state championships spotlight.

"Experience and confidence are important," he said. "They need to understand they earned their spot here."

The fate for Lundeen and the doubles squad will be decided in the semifinals matches, which began at 9 a.m. in Pueblo.

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