Steamboat’s No. 1 doubles falls in semi-final, but will fight for third |

Steamboat’s No. 1 doubles falls in semi-final, but will fight for third

Senior JP Carter, right, and sophomore Wiley Cotter celebrate a Steamboat tennis match victory in the regional tournament on Oct. 6, 2022. Earning a trip to the State tournament, the duo dominated its first two matches before falling to Kent Denver in the semi-finals. The pair now begins its hunt for third place in the Playback bracket.
Darrin Grommeck/Courtesy photo

Read how the Sailors did in the third-place match here.

It is not very often players from mountain schools make deep runs in the Colorado High School Activities Association State Tennis Tournament.

Nevertheless, the Steamboat Springs No. 1 doubles team of senior JP Carter and sophomore Wiley Cotter are doing just that.

Two wins in the early rounds propelled the Sailors to the semifinals on Friday, Oct. 14, at Pueblo City Park.

Steamboat lost the first set 2-6 to a team from Kent Denver. The Sailors made some adjustments and earned a 6-2 victory, serving Kent Denver its first set loss of the tournament and forcing a deciding third set. 

Carter and Cotter battled, but it was Kent Denver that came out on top in the final set, 6-2. 

“Everyone was surprised that we made it this far,” Steamboat tennis head coach Jason Scicchitano said. “For a mountain team to get there, it’s huge.”

Despite the loss, the boys get a second chance in the playback bracket to compete for third place in the state. Instead of feeling deflated after the loss, the pair gained confidence and is focused on the matches to come. 

“We were the first team in the tournament that got a set on Kent, and I thought we played amazing,” Cotter said. “I just felt good.”

Sophomore Wiley Cotter continues a rally in a Steamboat Springs tennis doubles match against Rocky Mountain on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022.
Tom Skulski/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Beginning the hunt for third, Steamboat’s first playback match was against Coronado on Friday afternoon. 

The Sailors had the advantage of watching Coronado’s match against George Washington and were able to use their knowledge from that game to exploit Coronado’s weaknesses. 

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Carter highlighted that Coronado’s players put spin on their serves that would put the ball on the forehand side for a return. These little things added up to make a big difference in Steamboat’s 6-0, 6-4 victory over the Cougars. 

The Sailors will now compete against Mullen for third place on Saturday, Oct. 15. Carter and Cotter are confident in their abilities and plan to bring bronze back home to Steamboat. 

“We’re looking to start off strong and make sure they do not get any momentum back,” Carter said. “That’s the best you can do to win a match and then just keeping positive.”

The pair kicked off action on Thursday, Oct. 13. In the opening round of matches, the Sailors took care of business with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Dawson. 

Scicchitano said that match gave the Sailors the momentum and confidence they needed to start a run. 

The second match of the day for the Sailors came against Cheyenne Mountain, a team that had just defeated a Steamboat rival, Grand Junction. 

Carter and Cotter knew it would be an even match. After dropping the first set, they calmed down and took the match with 7-6 and 6-1 victories in the second and third sets, respectively. 

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