Seven Sailors set for state tennis |

Seven Sailors set for state tennis

— It’s been that kind of season for the Steamboat Springs High School girls tennis team, so of course, as the team was preparing to leave for the Class 4A state tennis tournament in Pueblo, something went wrong.

No. 1 doubles player Sabina Berend came up sick and was unable to travel with the team.

The team overcame hurdles last week to win its 12th consecutive regional championship, and it hopes to overcome this one, too, Thursday when play begins in the state tournament.

“When you walk through those gates, you have to leave it all on the court and give it your best effort,” coach John Aragon said. “If they manage their nerves early, get competitive and put enough pressure on, anything can happen.”

The good news is there’s still hope for Berend to rejoin the team before play begins, while keeping her temporarily sequestered from the squad pre-tournament.

Those first matches will decide the team’s fate, Aragon said.

Of course. No team ever won a championship by losing in the first round. But it’s especially important in tennis, where only a few of the eliminated teams will get chances in the consolation bracket.

If a player loses in the first round, her opponent has to make the finals for that player to get another shot.

“Lose in the first round,” Aragon said, “and you’ll be watching the rest of the tournament.”

Make it through that first round, however, and the world starts to open up.

Steamboat is sending seven players to this year’s state championship. Maddie Thompson will play at No. 2 singles. Aragon said her fight-for-every-point attitude gives her a great chance to crack through and push for a medal.

Berend and Sydney Boyd will play, hopefully, at No. 1 doubles.

Boyd has now made state in No. 4 doubles, No. 3 doubles, No. 2 doubles and now No. 1 doubles. Berend was with her for all by the No. 3 doubles season.

Surina Techarukpong and Emmie Thompson will play at No. 2 doubles for Steamboat while Fena Metzler and Anna Allsberry will play No. 4 doubles.

“If we can just get by that first round, our odds of someone going forth to the medal round really increases,” Aragon said. “The way we’ve been playing, the way some of these kids finished out at regionals, I could see them getting through.”

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email or follow him on Twitter @JReich9

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