Miners tennis readying for state, hoping for individual and team success

Miners three singles Agi Salazar strikes a volley during practice on Monday, Sept. 25. Park City will be competing in the state tournament Thursday, Sept. 28 through Saturday, Sept. 30, where they are expecting individual and team success.
David Jackson/Park Record

The Miners girls tennis team has had an excellent season, going 6-1 in regular season play and taking second in their regional tournament, however it’s time for rubber to now meet the road with the state tournament coming up Thursday, Sept. 28. Head Coach Miller Hales, arriving at Park City with both D1 playing and coaching experience, has excelled in her first season at the helm, and has her team preparing for the tournament. She spoke with The Park Record and discussed the season as a whole, as well as who and what to look out for at state, which runs Thursday through Saturday.

In your first season with the program, what would be considered a great result at state this week, and what would that result mean to you?

I obviously would love them all to come home with something around their neck or holding up a trophy; hopefully (they’ll be able to) carry on that momentum for the next year and the seasons upcoming. … I’m excited to see them compete this weekend.

Do you guys yet know who your first opponents are, and could you describe the format of the tournament a bit?

It’s everyone in the state at our 4A division (playing in singles and doubles draws). … Our draws actually come out tomorrow night, but I think (some of the players) they’re gonna get one or two rounds on Thursday and then get back after it Friday, Saturday.

How did your guys’ great result at regionals (placing second) help build any possible momentum leading into this tournament?

It’s always good to play high-level matches before we go into a whole season (defining) type of tournament, and building that confidence. … They’re competing, so hopefully peaking at the right time.

Where does the experience of both your upperclassmen and yourself help strengthen your team mentally heading into this weekend?

It’s funny you mentioned that too because our only senior plays two doubles. … She always brings a lot of energy, and she understands being a team player and putting out that positive energy.

Who are some of your players with the best chances for success this weekend, or others to keep an eye out for?

I’m really excited to see our one (Mia Jamrich) and two (Maddie Limback) singles compete. I think it’s going to be up to their brains to see how successful they are. They both are the two most talented players that we’ve seen all season within our division or our conference. … They’re young and have room to grow, and (so) it’s gonna be a really good experience for them.

Along with the potential for individual success from these players and others, is there a chance you guys could walk away Saturday with the team title?

There’s a lot of options out there. I would love to take home the team one as well, but there’s the cool thing about tennis — It’s individual and team at the same time. So, we’ll see what happens.

Is there anything else you’d like to share about this team?

I’m very happy and excited with this group. They’ve handled everything that’s been thrown at them very well and with a good head on their shoulders. We’ve kind of had a fresh start this season with me, and they all accepted me very well, and, I felt like, trust me and applied what I was coaching. … That’s really all I can ask for, especially in my first year, and it’s gonna be the icing on the cake when they come home with trophies after the weekend.

Miners two singles Maddie Limback lines up a forehand. Limback is one of the Park City players Coach Hales is most excited to see compete at state this week.
David Jackson/Park Record

The Miners open play Thursday at Brighton, albeit not their whole squad, before traveling to Liberty Park in Salt Lake City on Friday and Saturday. A team state title would be Park City’s first since 2017, when they won three-straight under then-head coach Heather Nicholas.

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