PCHS girls’ tennis: Park City holds court against rival
Heading into Tuesday’s Region 10 rivalry showdown against Wasatch, Tim Donnelly admitted he was a little nervous. The Wasps had made an impressive start to their season and with the Park City High School girls’ tennis team a little beaten up from an arduous preseason schedule, the Miners’ first-year head coach expected his team to be thoroughly tested.
Turns out, Park City was up to the challenge.
The Miners defeated rival Wasatch 4-1 Tuesday afternoon at the PC MARC, improving their Region 10 record to 2-0 so far this season.
"I knew it was going to be a challenge going in for our girls," Donnelly said. "We put some hard work in and we kind of came together as a team and played them very well as a team."
That started with the return of No. 1 singles ace Solveig Karlsen, who has been dealing with some lingering injury issues. After missing the first region matchup of the season, the junior returned to her No. 1 spot and got the Miners on track.
"We modified her service motion — streamlined it — which has helped her not feel pain during that action of serving," Donnelly said. "She had a good win; she started off a little slow, not having played in such a long time, but she quickly got the hang of things."
Junior Dani Lecher returned to her spot at No. 2 singles after stepping in for Karlsen last week against Uintah. Against Wasatch she trailed after the first set, but stormed back to win the next two.
"She hung in there," Donnelly said. "She showed some mental and physical toughness."
McKenna Tychsen has asserted herself at the No. 3 singles spot, according to Donnelly, and she demonstrated that Tuesday against the Wasps as she kept Park City unblemished in singles.
"She has really accepted the role of the No. 3 singles player and she’s playing what that position really requires. It requires a very specific game plan," he said. "She has lived up to that."
The lone loss against Wasatch came in the No. 1 doubles where the tandem of Lauren Weed and Katie Hardman lost in a tight third-set tiebreak, 7-5.
"It was very close and it was a still a great match, even though it was a loss," Donnelly said. "(The Wasps) were very aggressive with their doubles teams, so it was good to see the girls play someone like that and see how they reacted."
The No. 2 doubles duo of Caroline Davis and Carlin O’Connell won another tight match, besting their Wasatch opposition in three sets. Donnelly said the Park City junior varsity group also had a number of good results against the Wasps Tuesday.
"We really pulled it together," he said.
The Miners get a break from Region 10 action this weekend as they travel south for the annual St. George Invitational. Donnelly said this is an ideal buffer time between region matches where some of the varsity players with lingering injuries can rest and junior varsity players can get in important varsity matches at a high-profile tournament.
Following this weekend, Park City will get back to region play where they’ll face talented region foes Judge Memorial and Juan Diego in the coming weeks.
"It was a big region match," Donnelly said of Tuesday. "Wasatch is one of the strongest schools within our region and it was definitely a bigger test as far as region goes.
"It was good to get a win like that going into St. George. The girls are really confident."
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