Park City tennis serves up third-place win
May 19, 2009
Park City High School senior Alex Quitiquit didn’t pick up a tennis racquet until tryouts for the boys’ tennis team his sophomore year. But on Saturday, he found himself playing in the final match for the 3A No. 2 doubles state title.
Quitiquit’s partner, Caleb Wray, a freshman, was also in his first state finals matchup.
The duo had defeated teams from Salem Hills and Juan Diego on Friday and Logan on Saturday morning, putting them in the state championship match versus Morgan. They were the only players from Park City to make it to the final game in their division.
"I knew that they could make it that far," said head coach Schuyler "Scooter" Mastain. "It was a matter of them believing in themselves and having faith."
Although Morgan won the match and claimed the first-place trophy, Quitiquit and Wray were not dissatisfied with second.
"We were playing tough together," said Quitiquit. "They were getting every shot. We were putting them away and they just kept lobbing them back."
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Wray and Quitiquit said that their chemistry is their secret to success in doubles. "I trust him on everything he does," Quitiquit said of Wray. "We work well together because we like each other."
"We have a good friendship and that’s the basis," Wray added.
Overall, Park City earned nine points in the state championship at BYU last weekend and came in third place as a team behind Logan and Juan Diego.
The Park City boys’ tennis team has landed in the top spots in the state finals in recent years they tied for first in 2007 and tied for second in 2008. However, last year, many of the team’s best players graduated and the Miners weren’t sure how their season would play out.
"I envisioned this as a rebuilding year, but I knew we could go far," said Mastain, who has observed the statewide competition firsthand, as a Park City player himself and then as a coach. "I’ve seen the competition improve so much, it’s incredible," he said.
Two of Park City’s players, sophomore John Packham and junior Jack Burrus, made it the semifinals in the singles competition.
Packham was knocked out of the No. 2 singles competition by a Hurricane player Saturday morning. "It was a pretty close match," he said. "I took him to a third set, but I was pretty tired."
Burrus earned a place in the semifinals by winning his first two matches on Friday.
"I played out of my mind yesterday," Burrus said, referring to his match against Desert Hills. "Nobody thought I was going to win."
Burrus played his semifinal match against a player from Juan Diego who ended up winning the 3A singles competition. "Today I didn’t know what I was coming into," he said. "He was a good player. He just straight up didn’t miss."
Burrus and other members of the team agreed that they felt good about the third-place finish. "We’re very happy with that," he said.