Tennis stars shine |

Tennis stars shine

Junior varsity squad finishes 3rd at Niwot tourney

Mike Farny

The Steamboat Springs High School junior varsity boys tennis team closed out its season on a high note, finishing third out of 12 Front Range teams at a tournament in Niwot last weekend.

Teams were split into two pools, with all players playing a six-game pro set format with the other teams in their pool. Results from the morning pool play were used to group players for the afternoon championship rounds.

Mark and Matthew Dennis fought hard in the No. 4 doubles position and just missed qualifying for the afternoon championship rounds. Andrew Balvanz filled in for Adrian Pougiales, who missed the tournament because of the SAT, and teamed up with Lev Tsypin in the No. 3 doubles slot. Balvanz and Tsypin finished 4-1 in the morning rounds – twice coming back from big deficits to win. They got off to a quick start in the championship round, going ahead 5-2, but could not put the opposing team away. They ended up losing the match, 7-5, for a respectable fourth-place finish. Steamboat’s No. 2 doubles team of Luke Farny and Chris Barounos won every match in Niwot. Farny and Barounos ended up playing their best match of the day in the championship round, beating a talented Longmont team, 6-1. Murphy Roberts and Kyle Rogers faced stiffer competition in the No.1 doubles flight. They finished the day in fifth-place after playing six close matches.

Steamboat was represented by freshman Max Roder in the No. 1 singles position. Roder played outstanding tennis and lost just one match all day, to the eventual tournament champion from Broomfield, a squad that also won the overall team trophy. Roder finished third and is hoping to challenge for a varsity position next season.

With the junior varsity season now over, the varsity team’s season gets heated up with regional competition taking center stage in Steamboat Springs this weekend.

Play begins Friday morning at the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs and continues through Saturday, with the top two players in each division qualifying for the state tournament, in Pueblo from Oct. 16 to 18. The varsity team goes into this weekend’s regional tournament with a record of 8-3 in divisional play.