Sailors put five in regional title matches
Day 1 regional tennis standings
1 Steamboat 54
2 Montrose 45
3 Durango 40
4 Aspen 39
5 Paonia 19
6 Glenwood 14
7 Cortez 12
8 Vail 5
9 Delta 2
10 Cedaredge 0
Steamboat Springs — The Steamboat Springs High School girls tennis team advanced five of its seven regional tournament entries to the championship matches of their respective brackets Thursday, but the team will have to log another strong day Friday if it’s to extend its regional title streak to 12.
The Sailors will be playing for championships at No. 2 singles, with Maddie Thompson, No. 1 doubles, with Sydney Boyd and Sabina Berend, No. 2 doubles with Surina Techarukpong and Emmie Thompson, No. 3 doubles with Jordyn Hetrick and Natalie Simon and No. 4 doubles with Fena Metzler and Anna Allsberry.
Lily Fox, meanwhile, playing at No. 3 singles, will compete for third place Friday.
“The overall team performance, with the season we’ve had and the injuries, we’re just really proud,” coach John Aragon said. “We’re really pleased with what they’ve accomplished so far, and hopefully, tomorrow we can carry this in and finish it.”
All that success is crucial if the team is to keep its regionals streak alive. The chances of that happening took a big hit this season with Maddie Labor, playing in the points-rich No. 1 singles position, injured her knee. The team turned to junior varsity sophomore Amanda Walker to fill in on short notice. Aragon did say Walker handled the situation admirably and played well Thursday, but she lost in the quarterfinals, 6-1, 6-2.
The Sailors picked up particularly key wins from Techarukpong and Thompson, at No. 2 doubles, and from Fox.
The doubles team won the first set, 6-2, then answered a strong challenge from a Durango pair in the second, bouncing back from a late 5-4 deficit to win in a tiebreaker, 7-6(1).
Fox, meanwhile, lost in the semifinals, 7-5, 6-0, but came back to beat Glenwood Springs player Kelly Tran to advance to the consolation finals, where she’ll play first for third place, and if the cards fall right, a chance to go to state.
The top two finishers from each bracket advance to next weekend’s state tournament. If Fox wins, and her semifinals opponent, Montrose player Meg Franz, wins in the bracket’s championship match, Fox would get to play that championship runner up, Laurel Chappell, of Cortez, for the final spot at state.
“Lily played solid from start to finish,” Aragon said. “Her winning that, getting into the third-place match, that scored us some points that we really needed, so that was great.”
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