Miners swing into season with 5-0 win
The Park City Miners tennis team looked pretty confident on Thursday afternoon as they easily beat 5A powerhouse Skyline, 5-0.
"We’re skilled," said new Park City head coach Scooter Mastain. "We’re proud of these guys."
Assistant Tim Donnelly agreed that even though both Mastain and many of the players are new to prep varsity competition, the tennis tradition and support in the Park City still makes them team to beat.
"I think were pretty lucky up in Park City," Donnelly said. "There has always been a bunch of kids that have excelled."
And even with the highest expectations generated by Park City’s numerous state titles in recent years, Mastain says that his team is only worried about how they play each game this year.
"Regardless of past successes we are focused on the here and now," Mastain said.
The Miners managed to handle the Eagles in straight sets in singles and first doubles play, and the doubles duo of Eric Pace and Tommy Clark quickly recovered after some early game struggles, winning 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Mastain said he was most impressed with the play of Pace, whom he praised for his steady play. He was especially impressed with his serving and communication with Clark.
"He has heart and he has hustle," Mastain said.
Underclassman Hunter Nicholas at the No. 1 singles position (6-1, 6-2) and No. 3 singles player Sam Miller (6-3, 6-2) were both strong as young players in their season debut.
"Park City is focused on bringing up great, young tennis players," Mastain said.
He said some of the players were a bit anxious to perform well in their first match of the season, but those nerves quickly faded as the Miners started to dominate.
According to Mastain, he chose to start the season with a tough team to set a precedent for the year of challenging play and intense focus.
"We know they’ve got a good talent pool," Mastain said. "I told them, ‘play the match you want to play.’ Its good for the kids and I think these kids are looking forward to the season," Mastain said.
With only one match down, Mastain says the lineup will likely change numerous times. He says in the weeks to come, he hopes to see the top three singles players rotate as they improve and feels that at least eight players could vie for a varsity doubles position. In fact, it’s the Miners’ depth that he feels will be their greater strength as the season continues.
"It’s great to have guys that can use their resources," Mastain said.
The Miners have yet another daunting matchup next week against the Ogden Tigers, and even with an impressive win under their belts Mastain says the team can improve. Mastain says the team will work on net confidence, first serves and strategy in doubles play during the week.
The Miners will have an opportunity to make those improvements next Tuesday when they travel to Ogden to face the Tigers at 3 p.m.
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