Steamboat girls tennis qualifies 5 lines for state championship |

Steamboat girls tennis qualifies 5 lines for state championship

Steamboat Springs girls tennis will send five of seven lines to the state championship following an impressive performance at the 3A Regional Tournament in Grand Junction on Friday, May 5.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Five lines on the Steamboat Springs girls tennis team have advanced through the 3A Regional Tournament and will compete in the Colorado High School Activities Association Tennis State Championship. 

Competing in regionals on Thursday, May 4, and Friday, May 5, in Grand Junction, all seven Steamboat lines medaled, with the Sailors taking two bronze, four silver and one gold medal. 

The success is a complete turnaround from last season for head coach Bill Conway, who has a young group of athletes that have continued to exceed all expectations. 

“Last year we did not field a whole team, and that speaks volumes to the freshman class,” Conway said. “The upperclassmen are mentoring these kids and bringing them along. This is such a fun group to coach.”

Freshman Lucia Del Haya dominated her way through No. 1 singles and put on a clinic against Vail Christian senior Annika Iverson in the first-place match. 

Conway is most impressed by the way Del Haya has matured as a player over the last couple months. He consistently gives tips on looking for tendencies in opponents and finding a weakness and Del Haya did just that to become a regional champion. 

“To watch her and listen to all the coaching we have done with her over time and to be able to analyze a player and go execute it is just amazing at 14,” Conway said. 

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Junior Grace Brice competed in a playback for second place, losing the first set and facing three match points before coming back to win the match and advance to the state championships. 

The three Steamboat pairs to advance to state include the No. 1 doubles team of juniors Evan Quinn and Kelsey Norland, No. 2 doubles players junior Amanda Dietrich and freshman Evan Quinn, and the No. 3 team of senior Kayla O’Brien and freshman Leslie Jimenez. 

The state competition will begin Thursday, May 11, and run through Saturday, May 13. Conway hopes to work out any final kinks over the next few days before the team travels to Colorado Springs on Wednesday, May 10. 

He has seen improvement from each line and expects big things at state. His girls are ready to compete.

“This team has been amazing in character and performance,” Conway said. “If you look at the last two weeks, we got eighth in the state in 3A as a team and then in the individual side, we are sending five lines of seven to play at state.”

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