Steamboat girls tennis freshman qualifies for state in No. 1 singles

Steamboat Springs High School freshman Evan Quinn is the only member of the Sailors girls tennis team to qualify for state, as she finished second in the 3A Region 8 No. 1 singles bracket. (Photo by Shelby Reardon)

As a freshman, Evan Quinn earned the spot as No. 1 singles on the Steamboat Springs High School girls tennis team. Although young, she’s proven to be a seasoned and talented player, plowing her way through the short season with more success than not.

Quinn and her teammates traveled to Grand Junction to compete in the 3A Region 8 Tournament and had a strong showing, but Quinn was the only one who qualified for state.

In the No. 1 singles semifinal, Quinn was down 2-5. She battled back to win the set, 7-6. She dug herself a hole in the second set as well, going down 3-0 before coming back to win and earn a spot in the finals and therefore, a spot at state, since the top two in each position qualify for state.

In the finals, Quinn fell to Aspen senior Macy Hopkinson.

In the No. 2 singles bracket, Steamboat’s Kelsey Norland finished third, and at No. 3 singles, Grace Brice was third. Both will be alternates for the state tournament for the Sailors.

The No. 2 doubles team of Amanda Dietrich and Sloane Speer were ranked No. 1 in the region going into the tournament but had a tough draw of opponents. The Sailors pair started the day against Glenwood Springs in the semifinal because they had a first-round bye.

“Glenwood was really tough,” head coach Eliot Guin said. “They beat Aspen earlier that year — just outplayed us there. So we didn’t get that one.”

Those were the only Sailors to attend regionals. For various reasons, the No. 1 doubles and No. 3 doubles pairings did not attend.

Quinn and any alternates called up to play will travel to Colorado Springs to compete Friday and Saturday.

“We’re excited for her, and overall, it was a great season considering how many players we didn’t have at regionals and how young our team was,” Guin said. “I’m really proud of what we did this year.”

Quinn is slated to play Ellie Hartman, a junior out of St. Mary’s High School at 9 a.m. Thursday in the No. 1 singles bracket. If Quinn advances, she’ll play the winner of Elle Richardson (University) vs. Blair Franciscus (St. Mary’s Academy), players she’s never seen before. If she advances all the way to the semifinals, which will take place Friday morning, she could run into Aspen’s Hopkinson once again.

The 3A No. 1 singles state bracket

The team graduates a pair of seniors in Ella Chapman and Posy Skov, but the rest of the team are all underclassmen and will return with more experience in 2022 to try to improve upon their 2021 results.

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