Logan tourney gives tennis a boost
If the theme of the weekend was beating Logan, then the Park City girls tennis team fell right in line, beating the Grizzlies in an eight-game tournament hosted by the Northern Utah high school.
The Miners finished fourth in a field that featured stars from the 4A and 5A ranks including Bountiful and Skyline and 3A Southern Utah powerhouse Pine View.
Although the Miners are only in their second week of prep competition, Park City head coach Lori McMahon says that she likes to attend the early season tournament every year to expose the girls to tough competition and acclimate them to the pressure.
"It’s a great time to have a tourney right at the beginning," McMahon said.
She also said that the chance to play multiple teams in a day allows the team, especially the doubles, to really get a feel for each other, their skill and style of play early in the season.
Unfortunately, the Miners were playing a bit shorthanded. Both doubles pairs had a person missing, forcing McMahon to move some of her varsity players into the empty slots. Although she was happy to give them the opportunity to play, she suspects a full squad might have made a difference against some of the state’s best, but was still pleased with the results.
"We were pretty much right in there," McMahon said. "We’ve got a lot of talent on our team this year."
At the No. 1 slot, McMahon’s daughter, Ali, led the Miners by beating Pine View’s Melissa Cowles, 6-1, 6-1, in the championship round. McMahon said this match-up was key, because Ali will surely meet Cowles again at the state tournament.
"On any given day, these girls can beat each other," McMahon said.
In No. 3 singles, Hilary Packham also played well, forcing Pine View’s Hilary Heideman into a tight third set before losing. In the loser’s bracket, Packham beat 5A Skyline’s Allie Hagey for third place, 6-3, 6-0.
"Hilary was playing very consistent. She’s looking good," McMahon said.
The Miners also had a favorable outing leading up to the Logan trip, beating Uintah on the road at every position in both varsity and junior varsity. McMahon said that the trip also served as a bonding experience for the team, which was crucial in playing well at the tournament.
"The girls had a blast," McMahon said. It was a great time and all of the girls got to play."
This year’s tennis squad features 31 experienced players, so McMahon says that she looks for every opportunity to allow all of her team to play.
McMahon says that thus far, the usual problems with consistency, relaxation and communication cropped up at the tournament, but she is confident that with each match the girls will become more and more comfortable in competition.
"Otherwise, I was really pleased with singles. We will be ready down the line," McMahon said.
McMahon says she expects to solidify her roster position for the rest of the season this week.
The Miners will be tested as soon as this Thursday, Aug. 31, when they face region 10 rival Wasatch at home at the Park City Racquet Club at 3 p.m.
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