Park City High’s boys tennis team prepares for state
Miners shorthanded but optimistic about chances
As a rare hailstorm pelted Park City Monday afternoon, the Park City High School boys tennis team got to work under Park City Municipal Athletic & Recreation Center’s bubble.
A little adversity is nothing new for the Miners this year.
Down to 12 players after losing some team members early in the season, a decrease from 25 last year, Park City has one of the smallest teams in the state. But the Miners are also one of the best teams in Region 8.
Park City tied with two other teams at 6-1 for first place in the region, and the Miners had a successful regional tournament. Senior Will Efrusy was the runner-up in the first singles bracket, and sophomores Dominic Jamrich and Coen Woolley won the second and third singles finals, respectively. In doubles, the Miners’ duo of senior Drew Neff and Kaj Christensen dropped the first doubles final match.
Ahead of the Class 5A state championship on Thursday and Saturday, the Miners and coach Justin DeLong are feeling optimistic about their chances. All four entrants are either a one seed or a two seed. Capturing a state championship as a team will be difficult — they can’t capture any points from second doubles because their second doubles tandem didn’t win a match at regionals — but DeLong likes their singles matchups, especially with Woolley in the third singles bracket.
“Most schools might have one or two really good players, but then their third starts to get a little less,” DeLong said. “He won the region tournament and he only dropped like three games in the whole tournament out of three rounds, three matches, so that’s really pretty good.”
For Efrusy in the singles bracket, this has been the moment that he has spent four years working toward. He captured the third singles state championship in Class 4A for Park City two years ago, then the pandemic wiped out his junior season. Now, as one of the team’s captains and playing at the No. 1 position as a two seed, he still views himself as the underdog.
“I’m someone who loves to be the underdog,” he said. “I was three singles when I won state my sophomore year. I know that there were a lot of players who were better than me in terms of their ranking or in terms of their seeding or whatever, but once you get on that court, it doesn’t really matter. And for me, I know that if I’m playing my best and I’m in it, I can beat anybody.”
Woolley enters the state tournament at 6-1 in his first year of competition after his freshman season was canceled. After tearing through the regional tournament, he shares his coach’s optimism heading into state.
“Hopefully make it to finals, that’s the goal and hopefully win there,” Woolley said. “But the matchup is pretty good, but we’ll see.”
The first doubles team of Neff and Christensen went through the regular season undefeated before losing in the regional final. Along with the rest of the team, DeLong wouldn’t be surprised if they went on a run this week.
“Like I said, No. 2, No. 3 and No. 1 (doubles), they could all get pretty far in the tournament,” he said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if they … I mean, if they won the whole thing, I’d be like ecstatic. But I don’t know how surprised I would be if they got far.”
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