Park City High boys tennis team’s depth could make quick work of region foes
According to the sports schedule, it’s spring. And with help from The Bubble — the inflatable dome that shields the outside courts at the PC MARC from the frequently inclement weather — the Park City High School boys tennis team has begun its season.
The Miners defeated Ben Lomond 6-0 in the season opener at home on Tuesday.
“We strolled through pretty handily,” head coach Hunter Nicholas said.
Senior Charlie Lambert suspects that most of the Miners’ region play will go the same way.
“Against schools like Ben Lomond, it’s not going to be too much of a competition, because a lot of their players were pretty new,” he said. “But I think against some schools, it remains to be seen how good they are, because we don’t know their teams yet, but I think for the most part in region, we will have a pretty easy season.”
That’s because once again, the Miners boys tennis team is deep. Nicholas said the team has 15 players on the varsity team, plus a JV team and a five-person development team. On top of experienced players filling the top singles and doubles positions, Nicholas said the team is tightly contested as it moves down the ranks.
“Our four-through-12 guys are all very close,” Nicholas said. “They are a mixture of incoming freshmen with pretty good skill sets and experienced upperclassmen who have played a year or two and have a feel for competing on the doubles court a little bit more. It provides some strong diversity, so we have the opportunity to pair different players together.”
Lambert said whoever ends up in the 12th position would probably be able to put up a “very good” fight against the fourth position.
“Which is really good for our team, because that makes everyone feel they have to work harder to stay where they are and work hard to get better with each other,” he said.
Even after routing the Scots, Nicholas plans to mix up the roster until he finds the right combination. As for the season, he expects nothing but effort out of his players, eschewing in-season milestones for a process-oriented approach.
“I expect them as tennis players to learn to figure things out on their own,” he said. “A big part of tennis is self-reliance — the ability to think critically and problem solve on their own and be able to work their way through a match, through their game and through the season one by one. That’s all I look for.
“Obviously, our goal is always to win a state championship, but that begins with a day-in and day-out process.”
Lambert, who has been a doubles player on the varsity team since his freshman year, also has goals for the team.
“I really want, since I’m a doubles player, there to be more aggression at the net,” he said. “Because a lot of people are scared to move up and cut off the angles that are up there, so I want everyone to be more comfortable moving up, being aggressive and going for things they wouldn’t before.”
He suspects that the tendency to stay back comes from watching professionals and focusing on the singles game, which is oriented around the power-baseline strategy and is generally slim in the volley department.
He said this is a mistake when it comes to doubles.
“It’s fine and it works for singles,” he said, “but a lot of kids will be playing doubles, and it’s always a great skill to have to be aggressive, because it shows your opponent you’re not afraid to get in there and get after the point.”
The Miners played Mountain View on Friday, and will face Davis on Tuesday.
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Park City is the lone undefeated team in Region 10 play after a 60-30 win over Mountain View. The Miners have three more region games in their quest to repeat as region champions.