Tennis team preps for big break

Steamboat Springs High School Sailors

— Now the wait begins for the Steamboat Springs High School tennis team.

The Sailors closed their regular season Monday with a trip to the Front Range for a triangular against Longmont and Poudre, and now the squad won’t play again until the regional tournament, which begins May 4 in Grand Junction.

That’s a 16-day gap — wrapped around the school’s spring break — before the biggest matches of the season, but the hiatus is one the program has become accustomed to.

“We’ve been doing it that way so long, the kids are used to it,” coach John Aragon said. “There have been a couple of years where it has affected us, but the biggest thing is if they have the right attitude and mentally, physically and emotionally work together, they can usually get back into tennis.”

The team is coming off a strong regular-season sendoff.

Aragon said the squad put up a good showing in a 2-5 loss to Class 5A powerhouse Poudre. Then Steamboat picked up a comfortable win, 6-1, against Loveland.

No. 2 singles player Maddie Thompson has cruised through the end of the regular season, and she helped lead the team again. She picked up one of the team’s two wins against Poudre, winning that match 6-3, 1-6, 6-2.

She won again against Longmont, 6-1, 6-0.

“She just played really well and didn’t give that girl any breathing room,” Aragon said. “She can hit with anyone now and can change the pace of play. She can slice, and she’s learning how to close out points.”

The other win against Poudre came from the No. 3 team of Hadley McGee and Mariah Walker.

“That’s probably the biggest win they’ve had all season,” Aragon said. “It’s great to see that happening. They’re really playing well.”

The team had near misses at No. 1 doubles and No. 4 doubles. Both teams split the first two sets then lost in tiebreakers.

Against Loveland, Mae Thorp won at No. 1 singles, 6-1, 7-5. Lily Fox won at No. 3 singles, 6-3, 7-5. Emmie Thompson and Natalie Simon won at No. 1 doubles, 6-1, 6-1. Amy Speer and Soria Rabanal won at No. 2 doubles, 6-4, 7-5, and Morgan Sauerbrey and Lauren Ehrlich, No. 4 doubles, 7-5, 7-5.

“Now, we have a big break, and hopefully, when they go to a warm place on spring break, they’ll take their rackets and be ready for regionals when they get back,” Aragon said.

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

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