Sailors suffer close defeats |

Sailors suffer close defeats

Steamboat doubles teams fall to Montrose

— Stacy Cavanagh picked up a tennis racket seriously for the first time about three months ago, loved the sport and decided to go out for the high school team.

Friday, she and partner Amanda Toy fell in the No. 1 doubles match in a super tiebreak, 6-3, 4-6, 8-10.

“I didn’t think I’d make varsity,” Cavanagh said.

Toy admits she’s a little surprised at how quickly Cavanagh is picking up tennis. A potent serve when in control and her height — she’s roughly 6 feet tall — are two assets that make Cavanagh a valuable partner.

Plus, it’s pretty hard to knock the smile off her face.

“The key is to trust your partner and have fun,” Toy said.

Cavanagh and Toy’s narrow defeat was a trend suffered by most of the Sailors doubles teams in Friday’s match against Montrose. Montrose, as a team, defeated Steamboat 5-2 behind opportunistic doubles play.

The Sailors No. 2 doubles team of Megan Mooney and Martha Bender and the No. 3 doubles team of Elizabeth Salzgeber and Cori Evans also fell in super tiebreak matches.

Prior to Friday’s matches, the coaches of Steamboat and Montrose agreed to play tiebreaks to 10 points instead of third sets in matches that warranted it. The tiebreaks are quicker than playing third sets; an advantage in a long match held five hours from home.

Three of the four doubles matches went into the super tiebreak on Friday. Montrose came out victorious in all three.

On the singles side, Kelli Parnell and Ali Fisher remained undefeated for the Sailors. Parnell beat Krista Herr, 6-3, 6-3, while Fisher beat Anna White, 6-2, 6-2.

“Montrose is definitely the toughest team we’ve played so far,” co-coach Carol Bailey said. “Montrose, Aspen and Steamboat are the top teams in the region.”

The elevation in play likely affected Steamboat’s No. 1 singles player Kimberly Heckbert. Until Friday, Heckbert has handled her opponents easily.

Friday, Jamie Kneese was able to catch up to and return many of Heckbert’s tough groundstrokes, which may have caught the senior off guard, ultimately beating Heckbert, 4-6, 2-6.

“Sometimes that happens when you play a tougher opponent,” Bailey said. “Sometimes what you think is a winner comes back. Sometimes the first or second shot isn’t a winner. Sometimes it takes four or five. Then you start to wonder what you have to do to win a point.”

The loss was Heckbert’s first of the season.

Steamboat is in an 18-team tournament in Grand Junction next weekend. Montrose will be in the field, meaning the Sailors teams who lost could get another crack at their Indians opponents.

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