Miners sweep regional meet without dropping a single set | ParkRecord.com

Miners sweep regional meet without dropping a single set

Team prepares for state, anticipates opposition’s antics

Gabby Rockwood returns a volley during her singles matchup against Ogden at the PC MARC Wednesday afternoon, August 23, 2017. (Tanzi Propst/Park Record)

The Park City High School Miners girls’ tennis team swept the region last Thursday and Friday. From first singles to third doubles, not one Miner team dropped a set against their region rivals.

“This is our first year in the new Region 11, so I guess it’s a good showing,” assistant coach Hunter Nicholas said. “So that’s exciting to be able to come out and post a good result as a new team.”

But the outcome wasn’t that big of a shock, considering the team had already faced their region foes twice before in the regular season. All of Park City High School’s varsity team was seeded first going into the regional tournament except for the third doubles team – Mia Rapella and Bianca Festavan. They had lost to Stansbury during regular season play, but came back to defeat their opponents easily in the tournament.

“They really handled a team they had a tough time against down in Tooele,” Nicholas said. “It was good to get some revenge there.”

Nicholas said it was particularly nice to see Rapella and Festavan succeed because the two, who are good friends, will not get to play together next season because Festavan is moving overseas.

“More than anything else, it was just great to see them end things on a high note,” Nicholas said. “I’m excited for Bianca in her new adventure and excited for Mia. She has a lot of potential.”

The clean sweep means the Miners will all take its first-seed positions when they travel to Liberty Park for the class 4A state tournament Friday and Saturday. Nicholas said that, in theory, should set the team up with a great chance of success, because it means it starts out by playing the No. 4 seeded player in its division. However, Nicholas said it doesn’t guarantee teams won’t mix up their seeding to ensure their high-level players get to stay in the tournament longer.

Tournament rules stipulate that a No. 1 position singles player cannot play at a lower singles position, not that they can’t play at a lower doubles position. So while a team’s top competitor may not be able to beat her would-be state rival in singles, she might be able to pair up with a teammate and take on a lower doubles team.

“We are going to have really stiff competition at doubles, because a lot of team put their No. 1 player in doubles,” he said. “Your No. 1 singles has to be better than No. 2 (singles) and same for doubles, but you can put your five, six, and seven (singles in the top singles spots), then put your one-through-four in doubles to steal some points.”

Nicholas said this tactic often sabotages a team’s chance at winning a state championship, because the team ends up losing its singles matches.

“But it’s tough for us because it can knock us off the horse,” he said. “We have to go in ready to play in every position. Our singles girls have to perform as well as anyone else and the doubles teams have to come out ready to play.”

Matches start on Friday at 9 a.m. at Liberty Park, and continues Saturday at 9 a.m.

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