Sailors storm to girls tennis regional championship
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Steamboat Springs High School girls tennis team had its streak of 12 consecutive regional championships snapped last spring in what turned out to be the final season for longtime coach John Aragon.
Friday, the Sailors started what they hope will be a new streak with a new coach, winning the regional tournament over two rain-plagued days in Grand Junction.
The Sailors will send five entries, nine total players, to the state tournament.
“That was huge for the team,” first-year coach Kristyn Wykert said of the regional championship. “It’s what they needed.”
The regional tournament was the first action for the team after spring break, and it didn’t exactly go into spring break with the most confidence-building effort. It was swept in all seven matches against back-to-back opponents.
Thursday and Friday, however, the squad was much sharper.
“For them to come back after spring break and fight as hard as they did and play as resilient as they did, that’s a huge win in itself,” Wykert said. “The girls played like they meant it, like they wanted to win instead of just playing to play. They played with a purpose.”
The team won regional championships at No. 1 singles with Mae Thorp, No. 1 doubles with Lauren Ehrlich and Morgan Sauerbrey, No. 3 doubles with Este Wilkinson and Maddie Heydon and No. 4 doubles with Christina Hathaway and Maria Koop.
The team also got a second-place finish from Amy Spear and Amanda Walker at No. 2 doubles.
Lily Fox, at No. 2 singles, and Annika Fahrner, at No. 3 singles, both places third. They’ll miss the state tournament.
“They were disappointed,” Wykert said, “but they still scored points for the team and they helped the team win. Regardless of whether or not they’re going to state, they definitely helped the team win regionals.”
The Class 3A state tournament runs for three days starting Thursday in Greeley. The semifinals will take place Friday afternoon and the finals Saturday morning.
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Work to form a new strategic plan for the Steamboat Springs School District will start next week with the first sessions of a listening tour aimed at getting broad community feedback.