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Girls tennis players slip into second

by Adia Waldburger , of the Park Record staff

For the second time in a row, the Park City High School girls tennis team finished in second place to the brand new Desert Hills team from St. George at a high school invitational tournament.

Not too shabby considering the Desert Hills team is made up mostly of former Pine View players known for their perennial power on the prep tennis scene.

"They [Desert Hills] are a very strong team," said Park City assistant coach Tim Donnelly, who is serving as the head coach while Lori McMahon tends to family matters. "They are probably the team to beat this year."

The Miners were able to keep themselves in the running up until the finals, where they lost to Desert Hills at almost every position. Despite the sweep, the Miners still looked strong. Both No. 2 singles player Tessa Wray and No. 3 singles player Stormy Dvorak took their finals matches to three sets. Wray earned some extra attention for playing the match on a broken ankle. Donnelly said that the No. 1 doubles team of Callie Wells and Alex Oriente also looked good throughout the tournament.

"I was really proud of how they played," Donnelly said.

The only Miners who didn’t make it to the final round were Hilary Packham and Kristen Albrecht, the No. 2 singles duo, who lost 4-6, 4-6 to 4A East in a hard-fought semifinal round.

Leading the pack was No. 1 singles player Ali McMahon, who has seen limited playing time as she nurses a strained stomach muscle. McMahon was able to move quickly past all of the competition in the early rounds, losing only in the end to Desert Hills’ Morgan Anderson.

"Ali crushed everybody up to Desert Hills," Donnelly said.

When the Miners saw Desert Hills for first time, in Logan, the results were a bit more lopsided. McMahon won her match, but the rest of the team was beaten soundly. So, this time around, the girls were a bit apprehensive going into the final round. But, at the last minute, the team made a mental turnaround and came out against Desert Hills with tenacity. Donnelly said that in the first three or four games of each set in the finals, the girls were either in close battles or even leading at times.

"They started to feel like they can do it," Donnelly said.

It’s this kind of progress and determination that Donnelly was hoping to see. He figures if the girls can continue to learn and progress against the state’s toughest competition, it should give them a legitimate shot in the state finals.

"I told them, "You’ve got to learn to play with these guys," Donnelly said. "We have to find a way to beat them and I think we started to there."

It’s a bit of a unique task for the Miners who are used to soundly beating just about every other team in the state, but Donnelly said the experience is a good one.

"They really rose to the challenge," he said.

The Miners will be in action again next week as they face Region 10 rivals Uintah on Tuesday, Sept. 23 and Judge on the Sept. 25.


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