Everyone is pitching in for Park City
If you could say one thing about this year’s Park City High School girls’ tennis team, it’s that the team is versatile.
In the last 10 days, the Miners have traveled to St. George for the annual St. George Invitational, and have taken on 2A powerhouse Rowland Hall at home and then Region 10 rival Union on the road. And throughout it all, Park City was able insert any number of players in different positions while continuing to compete at a high level.
In St. George on Sept. 7-8, the 3A Miners had a number of junior varsity players playing on varsity against some top 4A teams. If that wasn’t enough, No. 1 singles player Solveig Karlsen even tested her hand playing doubles.
"I was really happy with the way the girls played," said Park City head coach Tim Donnelly. "We faced a lot of firepower from the bigger schools. We held our own, so that was good.
"We kind of rotated everyone around; every girl sat one match out, so that worked out really well."
The St. George tournament featured 16 teams, with four brackets of four teams each. Park City won its bracket to advance to take on 4A Sky View. The Miners put up a fight but lost 3-2. In the No. 3-4 matchup following that loss, Park City lost to 4A Timpview.
"That was a good experience for them," Donnelly said of facing some talented opponents. "Everyone had their moments."
Donnelly said Natalie Frost returned from injury to play in singles and doubles matches and was able to win her singles match. The duo of Katie Hardman and Lauren Weed played against strong a Timpview doubles team and took it to a third-set tiebreaker before losing.
Katie Lagnese, Carlin O’Connell and Natalie Beal all had shining moments in St. George, according to Donnelly.
In last Tuesday’s 3-2 win over Rowland Hall, it was No. 2 singles player Dani Lecher who clinched the victory for the Miners. After losses by No. 1 and No. 3 singles and wins by both of Park City’s doubles teams, the deciding match came down to Lecher.
She delivered by winning a third-set tiebreaker.
"That was good to see," Donnelly said. "Dani played up to the challenge."
Traditionally a very strong tennis program, Rowland Hall defeated Park City a year ago. Donnelly said avenging that loss was a highlight of the week.
"It was good to be able to win against them on our home court," he said.
On Thursday, Park City traveled to Roosevelt to take on region rival Union, and the Miners put their foot down from the get-go, toppling Union 5-0. Donnelly said Caroline Davis was a bright spot in the No. 3 singles position.
"It is a newly-found position for her," he said. "That was impressive, the way she played. She had impressive defense and offense; she’s usually a defensively-orientated player, but she came in with some offense, so she’s broadening her skill set."
Despite their success over the last 10 days, the Miners face a daunting week. They traveled to play defending 3A state champion Judge Memorial Tuesday after this edition went to press and will face region rival Juan Diego in Draper on Thursday. Donnelly said Park City played both Judge and Juan Diego at the Ogden Invitational this year and went 0-2.
"We didn’t have our full lineup, so I’m eager to play them again," he said. "We usually do pretty well against them. If we can stay relaxed, hit our spots, we should be OK."
On Saturday, the junior varsity Region 10 tournament is scheduled to be played in Heber at Wasatch High School starting at 8 a.m.
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