The Western Slope Tournament in Grand Junction is always one of the toughest tests of the season for the Steamboat Springs High School girls tennis program, and it lived up to that billing this weekend for the Sailors.
Coach John Aragon came away form this year’s event with enthusiasm.
“It was a great learning experience for our team,” he said. “We have a lot of new players, and it was great to give them opportunities to compete and play together. I was very pleased with the team’s attitude and how hard the girls worked.”
The team was led by Maddie Thompson, who cruised to the semifinals and a fourth-place finish. She won her first match easily, 6-0, 6-1, then gritted out her second, against a player from Denver East, 6-4, 6-4.
She lost to a Heritage player, 6-4, 6-2 in the semifinals.
“She had a great weekend,” Aragon said. “She was really just a few points and a few games out of being in the finals. She has mentally, physically and emotionally become really solid. I’m really impressed with how she competes.”
He also pointed to the No. 1 doubles team, with Jordyn Hetrick and Natalie Simon, who went 2-3 in the 16-team tournament.
“They fought hard through every match and were in all of them,” Aragon said. “As the season goes on, those two are going to really help our team and be a real threat toward the end of the season.”
Next up for the team is a trip Thursday to play at Aspen.
To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9