Miners win a tight one vs. Tigers
April 14, 2009
The boys on the Park City High School tennis team knew coming into Thursday’s match against Ogden that they were in for a doozie in doubles. They played against a No. 1 doubles team that finished as one of the best in the state last year. On top of that, both players were well over six feet tall and used their imposing force on the court.
"We knew we were going against something," said Park City head coach Schuyler "Scooter" Mastain. "But I had a lot of confidence in my doubles team.
Unfortunately, Ogden won the match fairly easily in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2. There was more of a battle in the No. 2 doubles game, but Ogden eventually won out in three sets.
With two losses coming from the doubles teams, the Miners knew they would have win in all three singles position. No. 1 singles play Sam Miller and No. 2. Jack Burrus easily won their matches in straight sets, so the pressure came down to No. 3, John Packham.
Mastain wasn’t concerned. "He has a way of playing that allows him to win in big situations," said Mastain
After many matches so far this year, Mastain has thanked Packham for once again saving the win.
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"He will not let himself of the court unless he has fought to the end," Mastain said. "He is so valuable to our success."
And Packham did have to fight to the end in this one.
In the first set he was down 3-4, but came back to win 6-4.
"I was worried," Packham said about his first set. "I kept taking my eye off the ball right before I struck it."
But Packham soon figured out his mistakes and followed up the first set with a decisive 6-1 victory in the next set.
"You get frustrated when you get down and get a rush when you come back," Packham said.
"That pressure works well for John," Mastain added. "He knows how to perform."
The match against Ogden allowed the boys to practice against one of the top teams in the division and one that they will surely see at the state championship.
"It’s necessary," Packham said. "It’s good to know what’s coming."
The boys will get the week off for spring break before returning to the court for more region matches next week. Mastain has no structured practices scheduled, but has insisted that his team play every day so their swings don’t get cold.
"If you don’t play, you’ll lose it," Mastain said.
The last week of April, the team will head to Logan for a tournament. It will allow them the chance to see Logan, one of their biggest nemeses in the battle for the state title, and a number of other 3A schools that could stand in their way. The Miners played Logan twice at the St. George Tournament at the beginning of the season, and lost twice, but this time they will have Miller and doubles player Gabe Oriente, who missed the early trip due to illness. Mastain said he is optimistic about their chances. The rest of the month will be devoted to preparing for the end of region play and the divisional and state finals.