Skiers’ No. 1 makes a statement at state |

Skiers’ No. 1 makes a statement at state

PUEBLO, Colo. Bryan Steinhurst was the only Aspen player to earn a win in Thursday’s opening round of the 4A state tennis championships in Pueblo.He did so by earning the respect of his opponent, Greeley West senior Nik Lehnert, after grinding out a gritty three-set win after losing the first, 2-6.Steinhurst forced a tiebreaker in the second set, which he won, 7-0, then wore out Lehnert in the third for a 6-3 win and a quarterfinal berth.”It was a really neat match,” Skiers varsity coach Torre said. “His opponent afterward, he was just like, ‘Man, that kid just kept fighting and would not give up.'”Steinhurst played with the same intensity in his quarterfinal match Friday against Mountain Range sophomore Andrew Flora, but failed to advance, losing 6-2, 2-6, 2-6.Nonetheless, making it to the second round of the state tournament was a great way to wrap up a memorable senior season. Steinhurst returned to Aspen after two years at the Evert Tennis Academy in Boca Raton, Fla., for the chance to star for the Skiers and deliver on the promise he showed as a freshman.”He was very happy about it, and I’m very happy for him,” Torre said of Steinhurst, who plans to play tennis in college.The coach was also upbeat about the prospects for next year’s team, considering the four others Skiers to qualify for state are all underclassmen.Sophomore Kyle Feuer was bounced in Thursday’s opening round by Pueblo County’s Joey Patti at No. 2 singles, while freshman Michael Willsky fell to Broomfield junior Ken Lynch in straight sets (6-4, 6-2) at No. 3 singles.Freshman Michael Ward and sophomore Nic Broeking also failed to get past their first match at No. 4 doubles, losing to Mullen’s V.J. Clasgens and Connor Hudson (6-1, 6-2).”I was really happy with the fact that a lot of these kids learned a ton about tennis and about the lessons that apply both on the court and off the court,” he said. “It was really good for these guys to get a good look at what they’re going to be seeing in the next few years … I thought we could have even had more people for state. Nonetheless, everybody played well and we had a really fun season.”Nate Peterson’s e-mail is

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