Park City in second place heading into second day of state tournament
The Miners have 4 entries still alive heading into semifinals
Everyone wants to be in their best form in the state tournament, and Park City’s girls tennis team was dialed in from the jump on Thursday.
Four of Park City’s five entries in the state tournament advanced to the state semifinals after Thursday’s action, and all five won at least one match. The Miners are sitting in a tie for second place with 27 points, just three behind leader Olympus. The tournament is scheduled to continue Saturday morning at Liberty Park.
“I feel really good,” Park City assistant coach Bradley Smith said. “I’m really proud of the girls. They went out and competed hard. We’ve got four of five positions into the semifinals, which that’s a big deal.”
Park City’s top two singles players, senior Elle Martin (first singles) and junior Reagan Harrison (second singles), opened the day with 6-0, 6-0 sweeps. Harrison went on to win her second match 6-0, 6-1 to advance to the semifinals on Saturday. Martin, however, was challenged much more in her second match.
Martin faced Orem’s Maya Inouye, whom the Park City senior had beaten in the second round in last year’s tournament. The first set was tightly contested and needed to be settled in a tiebreaker. Martin held her nerve to take the set and dominated the second one to advance to the semifinals with a 7-6 (1), 6-1 victory.
“It felt really good to get some pressure points in the first set and then being able to lock in for the second set,” Martin said. “That’s what I need to do for the rest of the tournament, so that was really good.”
The senior will face another familiar opponent on Saturday in Brighton freshman Avery Olsen. Martin, the third seed in the first singles bracket, lost to her in the regular season and at the region tournament, but she’s looking forward to another crack at this year’s second seed.
“I have nothing to lose,” Martin said. “I’m not going to play tight, and it’s just exciting.”
Harrison, meanwhile, is set to face Olympus junior Elisabeth Carter for a spot in the state championship match. The two have not faced each other this season.
“There’s going to be fireworks – it’s going to be a good match,” Smith said. “The great thing about Reagan is she always finds ways to up her game when she needs to.”
Park City’s sixth-seeded first doubles team of senior Alysa Inglish and freshman Mia Jamrich pulled off a big upset against Woods Cross’ third-seeded team in the quarterfinals. Inglish and Jamrich won their opening-round matchup in straight sets, and they were even more dominant in the quarterfinals. They left no doubts in a 6-1, 6-1 win to advance to the semifinals.
“I think that was some of the best tennis we’ve ever played,” Inglish said. “I felt really good. It builds a lot of confidence in our game, especially for next round.”
As both a coach and Inglish’s dad, Smith couldn’t have been happier with their performance.
“They played as they have, but we talked about there’s really two things that the girls can control: their attitude and their effort,” Smith said. “They did a really great job of that today across the board.”
Senior Olivia Tarmina, Park City’s third singles player, also made her way into the semifinals. She won her first match 6-0, 6-1 and then took her second one of the day 6-4, 6-1. Tarmina had been playing second singles entering this year, but she’s playing in third singles after the emergence of Harrison. However, she’s taken it in stride and could play a major role in helping the Miners score enough points in their pursuit of a state title.
“Right now, Olivia is playing as well as I have ever seen her play,” Smith said. “Her practice this week, I’ve never seen her play that well. She’s got something to prove and she’s out to prove it. I’m super happy for her. She played great today, and I think she’s just really focused and ready to go.”
Senior Martina Cavieres and sophomore Madeline Limback, who make up Park City’s second doubles team, fell just short of advancing to the second day of the competition. However, they made up for it by winning a marathon match in their first one of the day.
The two slugged it out against Highland’s second doubles team over the course of nearly three hours. They took the first set in a tiebreaker, dropped the second and then won the third in another tiebreaker for a final score of 7-6 (3), 1-6, 7-6 (2). Cavieres and Limback couldn’t repeat the feat against top-seeded Olympus in the next round, but they gave Park City some important points by making it that far.
“I was proud of their effort, and they played really well in their quarterfinal match,” Smith said. “They just came up against some girls that played a little bit better. They played those girls better than they did during the season, and it’s just a tough matchup for them. But I was super proud of the way they hung in there and fought tooth and nail for those points for us.”
Smith emphasized that he wants them to focus on their effort and attitudes because that’s what they can control heading into Saturday. For seniors like Inglish, Martin and Tarmina, they’ve got nothing left to lose ahead of the last day of their final state tournament.
“This is kind of their last hurrah, and they’re trying to just have fun and enjoy the moment,” Smith said. “(The girls) done a really good job of (controlling their effort and attitudes). So, we’re just excited to go out there and compete. We’re still in it with a shot, and that’s all we can ask for.”
The International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation held their World Cup event at Park City this week. Using the track at the Utah Olympic Park. | David Jackson/Park Record
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