Steamboat Springs girls tennis team wins 2 at home |

Steamboat Springs girls tennis team wins 2 at home

Luke Graham

Athlete of the Week: Ellie Bender

— Kira Lorenzen's rosy cheeks dropped, her eyes widened, and there was disbelief on her face.

Someone had suggested that Lorenzen, at No. 3 singles, and teammate Ellie Bender, in the No. 2 spot, would have to play each other in another tennis game.

Luckily for the pair of Steamboat Springs High School girls tennis players, the comment was made in jest.

It already had been a marathon of a day for the two.

Lorenzen and Bender each won morning matches against Frutia before having three-set wins in the afternoon against Air Academy and helping Steamboat to an undefeated weekend.

The team beat Fruita, 6-1, on Saturday morning before beating Air Academy, 5-2.

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"I'm tired," said Bender, who went on a tennis bender Saturday.

In the morning match, Bender outlasted Fruita's Jacque Soychak, 6-2, 0-6, 6-0. And after a little break, she again went to three sets.

This time, she handed Air Academy's Ashley Burnett her first loss of the season, eventually winning, 5-7, 6-4, 6-3.

"At 3-all, I was thinking I have to win her serve," Bender said. "I got to my serve and won that."

Lorenzen's day was slightly less intense. She easily won her first match before staging a furious comeback in her second.

She eventually beat Air Academy's Lauren Petty, 6-4, 2-6, 7-5.

"I felt like I had good fitness," Lorenzen said. "I did have to tell myself, ‘You want it more than her.’ I shoved the bad thoughts out of my head. I was just locked in in the third set."

Against Fruita, Steamboat also got a win from No. 1 singles player Rachel Grubbs. The No. 1 doubles team of Katie Spencer and Shealie Jenkins, the No. 3 doubles team of Hanna Haggarty and Malia Fraioli and the No. 4 doubles team of Sydney Boyd and Sabina Berend also picked up wins.

In the afternoon, the No. 2 doubles team of Brooke Metzler and Maddie Labor bounced back to pick up a win.

For a Steamboat team that struggled in the early going, the weekend was a rousing success. The team, which beat Aspen on Friday, went 3-0 on the weekend and seems to be trending the right way as the regional tournament approaches.

"The improvement the last three weeks has been tremendous," coach John Aragon said. "Their serve-receive and they're getting into longer points. They're developing patterns. It's all good stuff right now."

The team next plays at 3:30 p.m. Friday at Evergreen.

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email