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Miners look forward to tougher teams

Adia Waldburger, of the Record staff
No. 2 singles player Tessa Wray returns the ball.
2006901__2Sports

When you are a state championship contender from week one of the season, like the Park City High school tennis team, sometimes true competitions are few and far between. This week, the Miners faced West High School in a practice match and then faced Wasatch in region play, handily beating both schools 5-0 in varsity competition.

"We just have a lot of depth," explained Miners’ head coach Lori McMahon. "We have year-round facilities. It’s just a better system."

But all weeks aren’t like this one. In just two weeks, comes a marquee match up with region rival Judge and a whole weekend of tough teams at the Ogden Invitational.

"I get nervous, but I think we will do fine," said team captain Carleigh Lake.

In order to maintain the focus and drive of her squad, McMahon has the girls play together in practice and schedules higher level practice matches against 4A and 5A schools.

"We play each other and some of the girls are hard and some are easier, so we get a range of what’s to come," Lake said.

Next week they will practice against 5A Weber, a match that McMahon hopes will get the girls prepared for the challenges of the following week.

"That’s a good match. We have to keep up competition," McMahon said.

They also have a practice match against Ben Lomand and a region match against Morgan next week.

But the Miners are learning that there are lessons and benefits in just being together even when the challenge isn’t there.

"It’s just fun to be together," McMahon said.

She adds that the easier matches are also an opportunity to work on certain skills, and that if the girls get too comfortable they could risk losing.

"You can’t get lax when you play teams like this," McMahon said. "You can’t lose focus."

In the meantime, McMahon says that she has set her roster for the year. Ali McMahon and Tessa Wray will play No. 1 and No. 2 singles, respectively, and Annika Karlsen has recently moved into the No. 3 singles spot. The No. 1 doubles duo will include Hilary Packham and Tori Sowul, and Kirsten Hardmann and Lindsay Price will play as the No.2 doubles team. McMahon says this lineup should continue to rank among other top teams in the state for awhile. Only Sowul is a senior and the rest are underclassman. Four of the varsity players also compete in individual tournaments.

"It’s just nice to have the team established," McMahon said. "I know now we can work together and just have fun."

Park city will host Ben Lomand on Tuesday, Morgan on Thursday and Weber on Friday. All matches will take place at the Park City Racquet Club at 3 p.m.


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