Mullen flexes muscles, brings end to Sailors’ run |

Mullen flexes muscles, brings end to Sailors’ run

The Steamboat Springs High School tennis team’s six-match winning streak came to an end April 8 as the Sailors fell in a 6-1 match to Front Range powerhouse Mullen.

Freshman sensation Allison Griffing picked up the local girls’ only win in the match, but coaches and players were upbeat following the contest.

“Mullen has a very deep team,” Sailors coach Beccy Brane said. “Their doubles players are just as strong as their singles. This was a big test for us and all of the coaches are extremely proud of the way our players competed.”

Griffing downed Mullen’s Andrea Ackerman in a 6-4, 6-4 match in the No. 3 spot.

“She was pretty tough so I was happy,” Griffing said after the match. “She was the toughest player I’ve faced this season — by far.”

In fact, Mullen was the toughest team the Sailors have played this season. The Mustang’s No. 1 singles player, Christy Roth, is ranked in the top two players in the state in her age group. Roth beat Steamboat’s Meagan Franks in a 6-0, 6-1 match. Mullen’s Maureen Walker topped Sailor Kandra Sharp in the No. 2 slot. Mullen also swept the doubles brackets with the No.1 team of Leah Leddin and Melissa Redmond topping Steamboat’s Kim Heckbert and Tiffany McGinn. Mullen’s Blair Bowen and Paige Stapp beat Steamboat’s Tori Austin and Laura Varsafsky in the No. 2 doubles match and Mustang’s Jessica Ciarvella and Shannon McNicholas topped Steamboat’s Ali Fisher and Tara Weiss in the No. 3 match.

Brane said the Mullen match was good for the Sailors despite the losing score.

“These are the type of matches we need to get better,” Brane said. “It was our first real test. It showed us where we are now and where we need to get to be successful.”

Griffing was just happy to get the win and remain undefeated this season in her matches.

“I’m very happy to be playing (No. 3) singles,” she said. “I think we have a very good team this year.”

The Sailors will get another shot at Mullen this week when they travel to a tournament hosted by the school on April 14-15. The tournament will use the same format Steamboat will face at the regional and state tournaments later this season.

“This will be a great experience for regional and state,” Brane said. “That’s what we need right now –more experience. That will help us win the difficult points in games and help our players win matches.”

–To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209 or e-mail

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