Park City girls’ tennis players occupy every top seed at state championship
The Park City High School girls’ tennis team could not be better seeded going into the Class 4A state tournament.
The Miners swept the Region 11 varsity tournament, with only a few close calls along the way, meaning they will face fourth-seeded opponents across the board in the first round of the state championships this Thursday at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City.
The Miners, none of whom have lost a match in Region 11 play, were also the top seeded players going into the Region 11 finals at Ogden High School on Sept. 20-21.
As the top seeded team, the Miners all enjoyed a bye before playing two opponents to the best of three sets each.
Seniors Livi and Gabby Rockwood both played opponents from Stansbury in the first and seconds singles finals respectively, where Livi went 6-0, 6-1, and Gabby swept 6-0, 6-0.
In No. 3 singles, junior Brooklyn Thompson went three sets in her second round, facing an opponent from Ogden High School in the finals. Thompson lost the first set 1-6, then took the second 6-1 and won the third 6-4.
The two had faced each other twice over the season, and Thompson had won four out of five sets.
“We knew it was going to be a relatively tough match,” said coach Heather Nicholas. “(Thompson) just had to fight through some nerves and anxiety. She did a great job not letting the nerves get to her, just being as calm as can be.”
At No. 1 doubles, seniors Emme Phillips and Mia Rappella earned a hard-fought win over Stansbury opponents in the first set of the finals match, winning 7-6, then closed with a 6-2 win in the second set to win the region.
In the second doubles position, freshmen Lauren Allen and Daniela Santos beat their Stansbury opponents 6-2, 6-0.
“All in all, I thought they did really well,” Nicholas said of her team. “I was happy to get a few challenging matches under our belt for Brooklyn and for our No. 1 doubles. I think that’s going to help them going into state, but I think they are pretty motivated, excited and ready to go. I feel confident and I think they will step up to the occasion.”
The Miners will travel to Salt Lake City this Thursday and Saturday for the Class 4A state championship tournament at Liberty Park.
“We’re going to meet up with some really tough teams with Desert Hills and Ridgeline at state, and they know what to expect they’ve played the girls in practice or in tournaments,” Nicholas said. “And we know what we’re up against, it’s just a matter of getting the job done.”
Desert Hills and Ridgeline have both beaten Park City in tournaments, though the Miners were missing key players and have since changed their lineup.
Ridgeline enters the tournaments with no players seeded lower than second from Region 12.
All but one of Desert Hills’ players are seeded first from Region 9, with the exception of their No. 1 singles player, junior Morgan Behymer, who is ranked second.
The Miners, all ranked first in Region 11, will be seeking their fourth consecutive Class 4A state championship.
“I’m just anxious to see the girls believe in themselves, trust their abilities, and play the best tennis they can play,” Nicholas said.
The state tournament will start on Thursday, Sept. 27, after player meetings conclude, the earliest of which are scheduled for 8:30 a.m.