Skiers tennis takes three of seven from rival Sailors
ASPEN Steamboat Springs tennis players showed up to Aspen’s home courts Friday afternoon sporting T-shirts that listed on the back each year of the Sailors’ six straight regional titles.After seven matches, the Skiers proved to their rivals – ranked third in the latest Rocky Mountain News poll – that seven straight isn’t a sure thing heading into next week’s tournament in Montrose.Aspen got a win at No. 2 singles from Kyle Feuer, two more from two of its four doubles teams and was close to pulling out a team win in its second and final home appearance this season. Two of Steamboat Springs’ four wins came in matches that went the full three sets.The Skiers’ performance prompted junior Paul Young to predict that he and his teammates would be ordering T-shirts with “regional champions” scripted across the back in the immediate future. “It’s the most amazing feeling I’ve ever had playing tennis,” Young said of his and Chris Taylor’s 6-4, 6-4 win over Charlie Smith and Alex Gibbs at No. 1 doubles. “We both fell, we both were bleeding, and we just came out and we just started performing. We just focused as hard as we could. We just started putting shots away and hitting them back and winning.”The win was Young’s first against Steamboat Springs. Unsurprisingly, he basked in the moment by celebrating with the fans who turned up Friday.Aspen’s No. 1 singles player, Bryan Steinhurst, surprised everyone – himself included – when he stole the first set (6-4) in his showdown with the Sailors’ best player, Ramsey Bernard. Bernard stormed back to win the final two sets (6-2, 6-0), yet even in defeat, Steinhurst was all smiles.The test was one that should prepare him well for his matches next week, he said.”He’s insanely good,” he said of Bernard. “I just won that first set I think because he had to adjust to being up here, but I felt like I held my own. He has a 120-mile-an-hour serve, so it was tough to break his serve. I was throwing everything I had at him, and he was just throwing it right back at me.”At No. 2 singles, Feuer rolled past the Sailors’ Matt Godbois in straight sets (6-1, 6-2) to give Aspen its first win of the afternoon. Steamboat Springs’ Jeff Lambert followed with a win at No. 3 singles over Michael Willsky (6-4, 7-5).Aspen’s third win came at No. 3 doubles, where Remy Pearlstone and Stephen Boening rallied back from an opening 6-4 loss in the opening set to earn a tense 7-6 win in the second, then a 6-4 victory in the third.No. 2 doubles also went three sets, with Aspen’s Doug Schuster and Sean Trotter eventually falling to Keegan Burger and Jack Burger (7-5, 6-7, 6-2).At No. 4 doubles, Steamboat Springs’ Mirko Esparmer and Vladen Chase defeated Michael Ward and Nic Broeking in straight sets (6-2, 6-3).”It feels really good,” Aspen coach Torre said. “Everybody played really well. Even the losses that we had today are going to serve us in the future. We are going to see this team, as well as others at regionals in one week, so today we got a sneak peek at what they’re going to be bringing. All of us feel pretty confident that we can turn in some different results in a week from now.”Nate Peterson’s e-mail address is email@example.com
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Maybe leave the dance shoes at home, but it’s still race on come Saturday for the 16th annual Summit for Life on Aspen Mountain. While the pandemic will again silence the post-race party at the top, the Chris Klug Foundation fundraiser’s popular trek up Ajax is back and ready to entertain.