Thorp in title hunt at state for Steamboat girls tennis
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The start of the Class 3A state tournament didn’t go exactly how the Steamboat Springs High School girls tennis team hoped, but heading into the second day of the event, the squad’s top player, No. 1 singles dynamo Mae Thorp, is into the semifinals after dominating the first two rounds.
Thorp, just a sophomore, will play Friday morning to advance to the state finals for the second time in as many years.
“All of her training in the preseason and during the season is paying off,” coach Kristyn Wykert said. “She spends so much time on the tennis court fine-tuning her game and she always has that mental edge.”
Thorp first got through Colorado Springs Christian senior Tristen Van De Veer, winning 6-1, 6-2. She then beat Erin Mauro of Pueblo County, 6-1, 6-0.
“She lost four games to get to the semifinals,” Wykert said. “That says a lot about her and how well she’s playing.”
Thorp will face Jules Thompson, a Colorado Springs School freshman. Thompson battled through a stiff test in the first round, winning 6-1, 7-5, then a grueling match in the quarterfinals, winning 5-7, 6-1, 6-4.
Steamboat didn’t have as much success in the doubles brackets, where it had a team in each of the four divisions, though it wasn’t without some solid play.
The team got a first-round win from Lauren Ehrlich and Morgan Sauerbrey at No. 1 doubles, 6-2, 6-2 against a pair from Salida. They lost a tough match in the second round, however, falling 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 to a Dawson team of Allie Blank and Isabelle Shehan.
The Dawson pair played well at the net, challenging Steamboat to beat them. The Sailors couldn’t quite pull it off.
“We just didn’t have the shots we needed to beat them today,” Wykert said. “The girls fought so hard in the third set, so I’m really proud, but Dawson played a different game and we couldn’t adapt.”
Amanda Walker and Amy Speer lost to Charity Perkes and Keri Jennings of D’Evelyn at No. 2 doubles, 6-3, 6-1. Este Wilkinson and Maddie Heydon then lost at No. 3 doubles, falling to Acacia Doughty and Natalie Flores of Fort Morgan, 6-4, 6-4.
Maria Koop and Christina Hathaway at No. 4 doubles won a tight match at No. 4 doubles in the first round, beating a Salida pair 6-7, 6-3, 7-6. They lost in the quarterfinals to Dawson’s Julia Darfinkel and Sarah Devereux, 6-2, 6-4.
The No. 1, No. 2 and No. 4 doubles teams all still have a chance to get back into the tournament if the team they lost to can make the finals. The No. 3 doubles team was officially eliminated Thursday.
“It was an off day for Steamboat, but the girls battled hard. They really did,” Wykert said. “I just think it wasn’t one of our better days, and unfortunately this is where it really does matter. I’m proud of them, proud of every single one of these players, but we weren’t all there today.”
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Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021