Swiggart going to state tournament as singles player
For the past three years, Kylee Swiggart was a doubles player.
Last year, Swiggart teamed up with Sara Bearss at the No. 1 doubles spot to win Steamboat Springs’ lone state championship.
But after the Sailors lost several players coming into this season, Swiggart found herself alone on the court, moving up the singles ladder.
After winning Friday at the Class 4A Western Slope Regional at Elliott Tennis Center, Swiggart will be making the trip to state again, only this time at No. 2 singles.
“I had a goal to win regionals, but coming in as a doubles player I didn’t know what was going to happen,” Swiggart said.
What ended up happening was a win over defending regional champion Annika Trapness of Vail Mountain.
After falling 6-4 in the first set, Swiggart bounced back, winning 7-5 in the second set and 6-2 in the third.
“I think (the key) was to stay mentally strong and not getting upset over any particular shot,” she said.
It’s that same mental dexterity that has allowed Swiggart to make the transition from doubles to singles.
“Once she accepted her role at No. 2, she stepped up her whole level of play,” Steamboat coach John Aragon said.
However, the transition took a little bit of adjusting.
“It’s just a different game because you have someone else on the court to pump you up or get you to calm down a little bit,” Swiggart said. “You’re mentally on your own.”
Luckily Swiggart is the type of person who sets a goal and lets nothing get in the way of achieving it.
“She’s a very disciplined person and when she gets it organized she can play,” Aragon said.
“(The state tournament) is going to be about how well you establish yourself in the match and how hard you’re willing work. She’s a hard worker and she’s going to make good things happen.”
As for her performance at state, Swiggart can see it going both ways.
“I think having been there, dealing with the nerves and everything will give me an advantage,” Swiggart said, “But singles is a totally different game, so I think I need to reset my goals and think about what everything is.”
Swiggart won’t be making the trip to state alone — she will be joined by all four of Steamboat’s doubles teams and No. 3 singles player Mandy Thieleman, who all won their regional championships on Friday to finish with 93 points.
The lone winner not from Steamboat on Friday was at No. 1 singles, where Montrose’s Jessica Vickers won.
Montrose’s No. 4 doubles team of Sabrina Norwood and Jessi Hicks also qualified for state by beating Vail Mountain in playbacks.
Vail Mountain finished second in the tournament with 57 points. All three of the Gore Rangers’ singles players finished second in their divisions to qualify for state.
Delta’s Iris Hentze and Becca Korthuiz finished second in the No. 3 doubles to qualify for state.
The Fruita Monument girls lacrosse team ended its season with a 9-3 loss to Summit in Frisco.
In their fourth game in five days, the Wildcats (6-7) were outshot 33-12 in the game, during which goalie Stephanie Long recorded 24 saves.
The majority of the team’s offense came from Katie Heil, who finished with two goals. Mikayla Clark also scored.