Park City ready to defend the dynasty
The progression of events couldn’t have been orchestrated any better. Last week the Miners boys tennis squad had their first loss in 14 matches at the hands of 5A Brighton. This weekend, Park City rebounded to beat the talented Judge Memorial Bulldogs to win the Region 10 Championship, just about the same time that Brighton won the 5A state championship.
"Brighton was a great match and showed us what we were going to see at State, Park City head coach Scooter Mastain said. "After that, the boys really got fired up."
One month ago the Miners beat the Bulldogs at all positions except No. 2 singles. In the final round of the region championship held at the Salt Lake Swim and Tennis Club, the Miners went 6-0 in varsity play. Mastain said this time No. 2 singles player Taylor Smith definitely learned from past mistakes, beating Trey Kennedy 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 in three games.
"The score was flipped around this time," laughed Mastain. "It’s a very close competition between those two. Taylor went into the match knowing what to do. He came into the net and was consistent."
Mastain said that in their regular season meeting with Judge the team made mistakes and unforced errors, but cleaned up their game and played more skillful tennis at the region finals.
"The determining factor is who makes the most mistakes" Mastain said.
Park City won in straight sets in the other singles positions. No. 1 singles player Hunter Nicholas defeated Noel Hollingsworth, 6-3, 6-2.
"Hunter knew what he had to do from the beginning," Mastain said. "He played strong, smart tennis."
At No. 3 Sam Miller defeated Dustin Matikhah, 6-0, 6-1.
In doubles action, the No. 2 duo of Jack Burrus and Eric Pace won 6-0, 6-3. The No. 1 position, which includes Blake Barcus and Beau Freckleton, struggled a bit more, losing the first set, but quickly fought back from a 5-2 deficit to win the match 7-5. They were also helped out by the fact that Judge double faulted a total of six times in the match.
According to their coach, the Miners are ready for the state championships this weekend.
"They are match tough. They are ready for competition," Mastain said.
As one of the top teams, he knows that they will have a target on their backs, but he is also aware that they will need to play their best games in order to beat powerhouses like Pine View, Snow Canyon, Ogden and Judge.
"Every team we face is the team to beat," Mastain said.
The Miners also have the pressure of living up to of past Miners squads who have had a number of state titles up to this point. Mastain just hopes that they can that factor out of their minds next week.
"I would be lying if I said they’re not thinking about that, but I hope they don’t," Mastain said. "If we work hard, we will be the state champions and that would be nice, but it’s not necessary."
The Miners will compete in the 3A State Championship this Friday and Saturday at Brigham Young University.
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