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Sailors tame 5A Wildcats

Steamboat tennis team looks comfortable

— Steamboat Springs Andrew Hoing seems to have the focus.

After the Sailors No. 1 singles player handily defeated Fruita Monument’s Jeff Hrncir, 6-1, 6-1, the recent senior transfer student from Houston celebrated Steamboat’s 6-1 victory against the Wildcats by giving his teammates a show straight out of Sea World, catching hurled grapes in his mouth.

“A grape tossed at 40 feet – that’s why he’s my No. 1 singles,” joked Sailors coach John Aragon.



But when it comes to his game, Hoing is all business. He attributed his win to minimizing errors and finding success in the backhand he’s been working on. Like many of his teammates, Hoing looks forward to regionals, the first week in October, but he is not looking past a tough Friday match he foresees against Aspen.

“If he zones in, it will be a good match,” Aragon said.



Others, such as the No. 1 doubles tandem of seniors Brian Aragon and Brian Burger, were playing a much looser game, sharing jokes and matching quality play between Brian Aragon’s serves and plays at the net and Burger’s returns.

Burger, a senior transfer from Evergreen, paired up with Brian Aragon after becoming eligible for play Saturday against Colorado Academy, and the laid-back chemistry Burger described as “just chill,” paid off as the team beat Taylor Roberts and Ryan Bailey, 6-1, 6-3.

“That first set, they really kind of shell-shocked us,” Roberts said.

Coach Aragon said his No. 2 doubles are closely matched with Brian Aragon and Burger, and with only a tight practice challenge match separating the positions, the No. 2 doubles team of Jesse Schaller and Dylan Roberts also showed some swagger, winning its match, 6-3, 6-2.

“We forced them into making mistakes,” Schaller said. “If we can hold their serve and put the pressure on them, it turns out well.”

With his roster positions set, Coach Aragon enjoyed watching freshman Jordan Bernard, a player he sees gain confidence and maturity with each game, win his match at No. 3 singles, next to the court where his older brother, Ramsey, was busy winning his own match at No. 2 singles.

“I was pleased today, but our footwork has to increase, and with that, our intensity has to increase,” Coach Aragon said about the win against a 3-4, 5A opponent, pointing out how he thinks the team will be put to a test in its next home match, at 4 p.m. Friday against Aspen.


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