Sports Briefs: Steamboat boys tennis fights through playbacks, falls short of state title |

Sports Briefs: Steamboat boys tennis fights through playbacks, falls short of state title

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Steamboat Springs boys tennis team traveled to Pueblo with four athletes, and three would have a second shot to make it back into the main bracket.

Steamboat Springs freshman Andy Schuiling, having won his first match on Wednesday, made the quarterfinals on Thursday, Oct. 11, where he fell to Colorado Academy senior Richter Jordaan 7-5, 6-1.

But, in the playback bracket, Schuiling came back with a force to defeat Northridge’s Joe Lombordelli definitively, 6-1, 6-1. He advanced to the next round and played his last match, falling 6-4, 6-4 to Niwot sophomore Neil Wilcox. Schuiling finished fifth overall in the tournament and was the only freshman to make it to the quarterfinals.

“Andy played really good tennis,” head coach Bill Conway said. “So did one doubles. Ethan fought really hard but didn't get a playback because of how the tournament works.”

The Steamboat Springs No. 1 doubles team of junior Gabe Rabanal and senior John Hannaway lost their first round Wednesday but earned a spot in the playback bracket Thursday.

The Sailors claimed the first set over Discovery Canyon’s Gabe Wu and Evan Gustafson, 6-4, but the Thunder rallied back in the second set to win in a tiebreaker 7-5 and force a third set.

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The Thunder carried its momentum into the third, defeating the Sailors 6-4.

“The team aspect has started, whereas it really wasn't there before,” head coach Bill Conway said. “The way individual sport players came together, that was the coolest thing. The difference in high school tennis and USTA tennis is cheering for your teammate. I'd like to see more of that.”

To reach Leah Vann, call 970-871-4253, email or follow her on Twitter @LVann_Sports.

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