Park City controls court in St. George |

Park City controls court in St. George

by Adia Waldburger

The Park City Miners are living up to their reputation as the team to beat.

The boys won five straight matches in two days at the St. George Invitational tournament over the weekend to establish a tone of dominance that should last for the remainder of the season.

The tournament included 16 teams from around the state, including other tennis powerhouses such as St. George’s Dixie and Pine View High Schools. The schools were split into four brackets on Friday with the top teams advancing to the finals on Saturday. The Miners, who also won all of their games in the competition, were able to beat surprise advancee Jordan High in the semifinals to meet Pine View in the final match.

"It was a good chance for us to see the strength from the other teams," said Park City head coach Warren Pretorius.

Pretorius lamented that, because Pine View and Dixie played each other in the semis, his team was unable to gauge themselves against the individual play of one of the strongest teams in the state.

Still, the Miners easily handled Pine View in singles play, but doubles play was more of a challenge. Although Park City won all of its sets, it was by a much narrower margin and gave the Miners something to work on before they meet Pine View again in the state championships.

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"I watched the doubles and focused more on them," Pretorius said. "We can work on some things and get better."

The Park City junior varsity also competed against the varsity competition over the weekend. Led by the Miners assistant coach Tim Donnelly, the team went 2-3 in the tournament and allowed Pretorius to try a few different combinations on the court.

"We were really proud of them," Pretorius said.

The weekend also served as an opportunity for the team to come together and use the time away to build unity and cohesiveness.

"They had a good time, "Pretorius said. "They are a great bunch of guys."

In fact the only drawback to the trip came when the team bus suffered a flattire mid-weekend, forcing the Miners’ parents to chauffeur the boys around.

The tournament was open to teams from all levels, so the Miners were also able to test themselves from 5A and 4A schools.

Another big test for the Miners will come later this week. They open Region 10 play against Wasatch early in the week, but the Miners are anticipating a road a trip to Ogden on Thursday. Ogden, who did not attend the tournament in St. George, is Park City’s main challenger in the northern end of the state. Pretorius says that if they can handle the Tigers then they will be in good shape for the remainder of the season.

The Miners host Wasatch at the Park City Racquet Club at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, March 28.