Steamboat tennis falls, 6-0, to powerful Kent Denver |

Steamboat tennis falls, 6-0, to powerful Kent Denver

— It didn’t take a tennis expert to figure out where the best action was Saturday morning as the Steamboat Springs High School tennis team dueled Kent Denver at the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs.

Vladan Chase and Max Roder, the Sailors’ No. 2 doubles team, let their emotions show, roaring with every winner and grimacing with every error. And, on a day when the rest of the squad was overwhelmed by one of the best teams in the state, the pair represented Steamboat’s best hope.

Still, it wasn’t enough, and like the rest of their teammates, they succumbed to a powerful Kent squad.

Steamboat lost all six contested matches Saturday.

“They’re the favorites to win the state title, but I still don’t believe they’re a 6-0 better team than us,” Steamboat coach John Aragon said. “We didn’t apply any pressure, and by the time we did start to do that, it was a little late.”

Chase and Roder rode a roller coaster match but fell apart in the third set. They took the first 7-5 and then rallied to challenge Troy Campbell and Brendan Soane in the second. Steamboat trailed, 3-0, in the second set but took the lead, 4-3. After that charge, Steamboat didn’t win another game.

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At their best, the two were smashing balls up the middle and delivering strong serves.

“We were having fun, and we were relaxed in the first set,” Roder said. “In the second set, we got a slow start, but we started getting more balls in play. Then we just lost it. We fell apart.”

Kent won the second set 6-4 and the third 6-0.

Kent simply proved too much, winning every other match in two sets. The only match Steamboat won was at No. 3 singles, where Kent didn’t field a competitor.

No. 1 singles player Jamey Swiggart had his moments against Jack Reynolds, one of the top singles players in Colorado, but it wasn’t nearly enough.

Reynolds took the first set, denying Swiggart on several key points early in the match and allowing him just one game.

The Steamboat sophomore was stronger in the second. He led the set, 2-1, and then was down 4-3 and 5-4. He defended his serve better than he had earlier in the morning, but he never found a way to crack Reynolds’ monster delivery and went on to lose, 6-1, 6-4.

“In the first set, there were a couple big points in those first three games. He won those so that put me in a big hole,” Swiggart said. “He placed his serve wherever he wanted, and even if I could get a return into the middle of the court, he could just rip it.

“In the second, I was placing my serve a lot better and coming up to the net to finish it off.”

Swiggart rose to the challenge in the second set and illustrated a theme that applied to his teammates.

Keegan Burger lost his first No. 2 doubles set 6-0, but he fell 6-4 in the second. Luke Farny and Callum Richman won a total of five games in their No. 3 doubles match, falling 6-3, 6-2.

The more Steamboat seemed to play, the more the matches seemed to grow even. That still didn’t result in any victories.

“They came out and jumped on us early, and by the time we started fighting back, it was too late,” Aragon said. “They definitely came in here and beat us up.

“What we need to do in these next two weeks, we have to come out and practice against that type of player. We meet them again at the state tournament; it could be a different scenario, and that’s when it really matters.”


– No. 1 singles Jack Reynolds, Kent Denver, def. Jamey Swiggart, Steamboat, 6-1, 6-4

– No. 2 singles Matt Carroll, Kent Denver, def. Keegan Burger, Steamboat, 6-0, 6-4

– No. 1 doubles James Martinez and Graham Baker, Kent Denver, def. Jeff Lambart and Jack Burger, Steamboat, 6-0, 6-0

– No. 2 doubles Troy Campbell and Brendan Soane, Kent Denver, def. Vladan Chase and Max Roder, Steamboat, 5-7, 6-4, 6-0

– No. 3 doubles Nick Merrill and Kamiar Coffay, Kent Denver, def. Luke Farny and Callum Richman, Steamboat, 6-3, 6-2

– No. 4 doubles David Karpas and Alec Lee, Kent Denver, def. Kyle Rogers and Gabri Erspamer, Steamboat, 6-0, 6-0