Sailors tennis headed to finals |

Sailors tennis headed to finals

11 on SSHS boys team advance at regional tourney

Luke Graham

— The Steamboat Springs High School tennis team did everything it could to secure its 12th consecutive regional title on Thursday at the first day of the regional tournament in Delta.

Steamboat, seeded No. 1 or 2 in all the brackets, rolled through the opening round, placing all 11 of its players at all seven positions in today’s finals.

The finals begin at 9 a.m.

“Everybody came out and played well. It’s much different,” Steamboat coach John Aragon said, referring to his team’s recent 0-6 loss to Kent Denver. “As a matter of fact, we’re using that as an example of being ready to play. It doesn’t matter who is over there.”

It certainly didn’t Thursday.

The Sailors were about as dominant as they have been all year.

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All three singles players – Jamey Swiggart, Keegan Burger and Mirko Erspamer – cruised in straight sets.

The No. 1 doubles team of Jeff Lambart and Jack Burger, No. 2 doubles team of Vladan Chase and Max Roder, No. 3 doubles team of Luke Farny and Callum Richman, and the No. 4 doubles team of Gabri Erspamer and Kyle Rogers also won in straight sets.

Today, however, there is still some intrigue. In most spots, save for No. 3 and 4 doubles, Steamboat will take on Aspen in the finals.

The Sailors beat the Skiers 6-1 earlier this season in Aspen.

“Aspen is a good team,” Aragon said. “They have to stay on their game and not let up at all. I think the key is getting an early start and being very consistent. They have to make them earn points.”

There was some concern coming into the regional tournament because Swiggart and Burger were battling the flu.

Although there were some signs of exhaustion, Aragon said both fought through their matches to win.

“Keegan struggled, and it was closer than the score,” Aragon said. “But we sent them back to the hotel and got them some chicken noodle soup. Hopefully they come out (today) and are at full strength.”

With Thursday’s impressive performance, Aragon said Steamboat was on its way to completing its first goal of getting everyone to state.

Although he didn’t want to look too far ahead, Aragon said he’s glad the Sailors are in the position they are.

“They just have to come out and treat it as a dual meet,” he said. “They have to come in there and play our game and set up the points, close out the easy shots and work a little harder.”

Regional tennis Day 1

– No. 1 singles

Steamboat’s Jamey Swiggart def. Hotchkiss’ Kacey Kropp 6-0, 6-1

– No. 2 singles

Steamboat’s Keegan Burger def. Montrose’s Aaron Arellano 6-2, 6-3

– No. 3 singles

Steamboat’s Mirko Erspamer def. Montrose’s Zach Decker 6-1, 6-0

– No. 1 doubles

Steamboat’s Jeff Lambart and Jack Burger def. Montezuma-Cortez’s Cody White and Zach Green 6-0, 6-0

– No. 2 doubles

Steamboat’s Vladan Chase and Max Roder def. Montezuma-Cortez’s Nick Hawkness and Freeland Wagner 6-0, 6-0

– No. 3 doubles

Steamboat’s Luke Farny and Callum Richman Def. Montrose’s Ty Skoe and Rodd Warren 6-0, 6-1

– No. 4 doubles

Steamboat’s Gabri Erspamer and Kyle Rogers def. Aspen’s Devon Cardamiore and Brian De Rosa 6-4, 6-3