Sailor tennis defends home court with wins over Aspen and Vail
SSHS vs. Aspen results
1 Singles: Dillon Leasure, Aspen, defeated Teague Burger, SSHS, 6-4, 6-2
2 Singles: Charlie Smith, SSHS, defeated Nolan Farrey, Aspen, 6-0, 6-0
3 Singles: Alex Ilic, Aspen, defeated Chase Adams, SSHS, 6-3, 7-5
1 Doubles: Suarez/Mehall, Aspen, defeated White/Borgerding, SSHS, 6-3, 4-6, 8-10
2 Doubles: Lynch/Paulus, SSHS, defeated Bush/Brown, Aspen, 6-0, 6-0
3 Doubles: Fox-Welch/Connell, SSHS, defeated DeGraff/Engels, Aspen, 6-3, 6-1
4 Doubles: Wharton/Bender, SSHS, defeated Gregory/Barel, Aspen, 6-1, 6-4
Steamboat Springs — Less than a month from now, the Steamboat Springs High School boys’ tennis team will see Aspen at regionals, and both could look a lot different than they did Friday. But until then, the Sailors can go forward knowing they got the best of Aspen in their first home matches of the season.
“Regionals are where it counts. That’s how you get to state, so I hope this gives them confidence,” SSHS tennis coach Jack Burger said. “We only beat them by one match, so I hope it motivates them to keep practicing hard. They didn’t have their full team, so we have to come out in regionals strong.”
SSHS beat Aspen 4-3 Friday at The Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs, part of a triangular with Vail Mountain. Steamboat beat Vail 7-0 in the day’s earliest match, with Aspen topping Vail 4-3 in the second match.
Aspen played without its No. 2 singles player and No. 2 and 3 doubles teams, but that didn’t diminish the positive vibes felt by the Sailors after beating a team that edged them at regionals a year ago.
“I think our team is really good this year,” said SSHS junior Nolan Connell, part of the Sailors’ No. 3 doubles team with River Fox-Welch. “As a team, we played well. There are a few aspects we could probably clean up before regionals, but as a team, we played well, and we got a win.”
Steamboat cruised past Vail in the first match, with Burger remarking, “It was fun to watch.” The final showdown between Aspen and Steamboat was nothing short of challenging for both teams, and the Sailors had their hands full in the No. 1 slots.
SSHS No. 1 singles player, freshman Teague Burger, lost 6-4, 6-2 to Aspen’s Dillon Leasure. He beat Vail’s Jake Singleton, 6-2, 6-1, earlier in the day.
Steamboat’s top doubles team of seniors, Matt White and Joe Borgerding, defeated its Vail opponents, 7-6(4), 6-2, before losing a tightly contested battle with Aspen under the late afternoon sun, 6-3, 4-6, 8-10.
“I thought they played really well. A third set tiebreaker can go either way,” Burger said. “I know those guys, and I know it’s going to motivate them. They are not going to want to lose that match again at regionals.”
Steamboat’s only singles win against Aspen came at No. 2, with Charlie Smith beating Nolan Farrey, 6-0, 6-0. The Sailors went three for four in doubles matches.
“I think we came out pretty strong and played our game and finished it the way we could,” said Fox-Welch, who, along with Connell, defeated Aspen’s No. 3 doubles team, 6-3, 6-1. “It definitely gives us a little confidence, for sure. Got a pretty good record going. I think we are feeling good about that. Just looking forward to regionals and hopefully making it to state.”
Steamboat, now 4-0 in matches this season, will travel to a tournament in Longmont next Friday and Saturday. The Sailors final home meet will take place Sept. 26 against defending Class 4A state champion Kent Denver.
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