Steamboat tennis on a roll in Grand Jucntion |

Steamboat tennis on a roll in Grand Jucntion

The Western Slope Invitational tennis tournament is typically the first big test of the year for the Steamboat Springs High School girls tennis team.

Midway through the two-day Grand Junction affair, coach John Aragon said the team is well on its way to a passing grade.

The squad was led Friday in the first two rounds of action by its top two singles players. They’re two of the team’s youngest players, but they didn’t wilt even a bit.

Both Tatum Burger, at No. 1 singles, and Maddie Thompson, at No. 2 singles, have advanced to the tournament’s championship semifinals.

Burger made it after a clutch win in a tough second set. She beat her opponent, from Chatfield, 6-0 in the first, then pulled out a 7-6 (3) victory via a tiebreaker in the second.

“Tatum really out slugged her with her forehand, then came up to the net and put the ball away,” Aragon said.

Thompson had an equally tough test at No. 2 singles and against another Chatfield opponent. She lost the first set, but bounced back to take the second, then win the tiebreaker to advance.

“Maddie handled the pressure and literally pushed the girl off the net by hitting unbelievable passing shots,” Aragon said. “That was a huge win.”

The team had strong results elsewhere, too, but couldn’t quite get another entry into the semis, losing three tiebreakers in the doubles divisions.

Maddie Labor and Hanna Haggarty went 2-1 at No. 1 doubles. Sabina Berend and Sidney Boyd went 2-1 at No. 2 doubles, and Norma Techarukpong and Emmie Thompson went 2-1 at No. 3 doubles.

That’s all after the team went 6-1 on Thursday against Durango, improving Steamboat’s duals record to 3-0 on the season.

There, the No. 4 doubles team of Natalie Simon and Shannon Ross also picked up a win, the team’s only slip coming at No. 3 singles, where Shea Burger lost.

“I was really impressed. Durango’s pretty good, and we got the 6-1 victory,” Aragon said. “They’re in our region, so it was good to see them and great that we played well against them.”

The team will wrap up its play in Grand Junction on Saturday.

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

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