Tennis Center holds Battle of the Sexes to introduce newest instructor
Steamboat Springs — At the root of it, Saturday evening’s Battle of the Sexes tennis match was a competition, but Jim Swiggart couldn’t help but be a little awestruck by what was happening across the net.
The Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs director appreciates the game played masterfully as much as anyone, and Lilia Snape fits that bill with precision.
Swiggart and the rest of the operators of the Tennis Center cooked up a way to introduce Snape — the facility’s latest professional instructor — to the community. What better way than to show Steamboat’s tennis community her deep skill set than a friendly competition?
Swiggart paired up with multiple city champion Louis Nijsten. On the other side of the doubles net was Snape and Swiggart’s wife, Stacy Swiggart. It was the men versus the women, a court with four players and a laundry list of tennis accolades between them.
“It was sort of a way to introduce the community to Lilia,” Jim Swiggart said. “When you got a player of her skills and her swing, it’s just beautiful to watch the way she sets up the ball.”
The doubles pairs traded points back and forth through the one and only full set played. Four times the Swiggart-Snape duo took the lead, and four times the Swiggart-Nijsten pair evened it up. But after the men fell into a 5-4 deficit, they turned it on, winning the next three to snag the victory.
It sounds more serious than it was. With Tennis Center Head Professional Bill Conway providing some comedic relief from atop the officiating stool, there were lots of laughs and plenty of showcasing Snape’s artful and powerful swing.
“Every time she swings the racquet, it’s like turning on the TV and watching the Australian Open and seeing that skill set,” Swiggart said. “We’re just so lucky that she decided to come to Steamboat and make her home here.”
These days, Snape admits, opportunities like Saturday’s Battle of the Sexes are rare. She’s so ingrained in her coaching career that her competitive nature often is put into storage.
“It was good to be back out and be competitive out here,” Snape said. “It was so much fun and for a great cause.”
Members who renewed their Steamboat Tennis Association memberships Saturday night were put into a vote drawing based on which team they thought would win. The winner was awarded a new tennis racquet.
Charlie Smith again proves himself on the junior circuit
The Battle of the Sexes split the weekend-long competition at the Tennis Center, the 2015 Steamboat City Adult MXD and Junior Championships.
In juniors play, Charlie Smith, a Steamboat Springs Sailor, again proved why he is one of the truly emerging players on the young tennis circuit. Smith took down high school teammate Nolan Connell, 6-1, 6-2, to win the advanced boys singles. Andy Schuiling was the advanced boys consolation-round winner against Ethan Paulus.
Mae Thorp, another stellar young player, won the advanced girls singles championship against Noelle Cerone, who lost just one match the entire weekend.
Schuiling also competed in the intermediate boys singles bracket, taking down John Hannaway in the championship. Tommy Regan was that bracket’s consolation winner against Roy Lundeen in a tight three-setter.
Patrice and David Lorenzen were the winners of the most advanced 9.5 doubles bracket, beating out Kelley Dodge and Louis Nijsten. Kyle and Emilie Rogers were the 8.5 doubles champs ahead of Steve Harrison and Loretta Conway.
Bo and Susan Stempel were the combined mixed 7.5 doubles champions against Kevin and Emilie Rogers. Kevin Cerone and Joanne Steele defeated Tony Connell and Marlyn Myers in the 7.0 doubles championship.
Josie Dean and Matthew McLaughlin took the 6.0-6.5 doubles championship against Sharon Paulus and Larry Williams.
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