No home for Miners: Racquet Club remodel costs PCHS girls’ tennis team | ParkRecord.com

No home for Miners: Racquet Club remodel costs PCHS girls’ tennis team

Matthew Piper, OF THE RECORD STAFF

If you want to catch the Park City High School girls’ tennis team in action this year, your best chance might be Sept. 7 at Wasatch.

That’s because the Miners don’t have a single home match on the slate, thanks to ongoing construction at the Racquet Club that might not even finish in time for the start of the 2011 season. For now, they practice at the Solamere/Oaks Swim and Country Club, where 13th-year head coach Lori McMahon works as an instructor, and play competitive matches on the road. They aren’t complaining, however.

"We’re content," McMahon said. "We know what we have to do."

What the Miners have to do is replace five varsity starters from a team that placed third in last year’s Class 3A state championships. Just two varsity players return – singles players Stormy Dvorak and Alex Oriente. The rest of the spots were up for grabs among the 27 players on the PCHS roster earlier this month.

"It definitely motivates them," McMahon said. "This group of girls, they’re going to be a really fun, determined group of girls."

Last year, the Miners rolled through the state ranks until coming up against St. George-based Desert Hills High School, which plays tennis year-round. Desert Hills soundly beat PCHS in four varsity matches on its way to a state championship.

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Desert Hills is always the team to beat, McMahon said, but this year’s squad might just be up to the task. "We’re going to give them a run for their money," she said.

Senior ace Stormy Dvorak returns at No. 1 singles after bowing out in the state semifinals in 2009. "She’s a tournament player," McMahon said. "She’s very consistent and tenacious."

At No. 2 singles is freshman Solveig Karlsen, another player who McMahon said regularly steps her game up when the goings get tough. Although she is a freshman, she is one of many players on the team whom McMahon has coached prior to the high-school level. "I’m really excited to have her," she said. "She’s a powerful player with good strokes."

Senior Alex Oriente could benefit from a drop from No. 2 – where she reached the state quarterfinals last year – to No. 3. "She’s a fighter," McMahon said. "We call her our ice princess."

McMahon said the doubles lineup is still in flux, but Dani Lecher, Kara Johnson, Katherine Davis, Ashton Strauss and Jules Patterson have battled for spots on the No. 1 and 2 teams for the first two competitions of 2010.

"We’ve got a lot of work to do with doubles," McMahon said. "But they’ve got the talent and enthusiasm."

McMahon said Lecher, a freshman, is already an aggressive volleyer and has a leg up on most young players who haven’t developed that instinct. Strauss and Davis are both seniors who played JV last year and put in countless hours to improve in the offseason.

Park City beat both Ogden and Woods Cross 4-1 at the Cache Valley Invitational in its first tournament of the year, then swept Carbon 5-0 on Tuesday.

No singles player lost a game against Carbon, with Nos. 1-3 each winning 6-0, 6-0. In doubles, a No. 1 team of Lecher and Johnson won 6-1, 6-1, while Davis and Patterson prevailed 6-1, 6-0 at No. 2. Park City’s JV doubles teams also went 8-1 at Carbon.

The Miners traveled to play at the two-day Ogden Invitational on Friday, after The Record went to press.