PCHS girls tennis cruises to victory in region opener | ParkRecord.com

PCHS girls tennis cruises to victory in region opener

Miners to compete in the St. George Invitational over weekend

By Griffin Adams
The Park Record

As winners of three of the last four UHSAA 3A state championships, the Park City High School girls' tennis team sometimes has to find ways to challenge themselves during the regular season.

That was the situation the Miners found themselves in on Wednesday afternoon when they played host to Ogden in the Region 11 opener at the PC MARC. Though the team never looks past an opponent, head coach Heather Nicholas said, Park City knew it had the talent and personnel to come out victorious, evident by its 6-0 sweep of the visiting Tigers.

"All in all, just happy with the fact that they were able to stay on task and stay focused," head coach Heather Nicholas said. "We were working on some things outside the box so that they were challenging themselves from within."

Leading the way on the No. 1 singles court was Livi Rockwood, who defeated her Ogden counterpart 6-0, 6-1. Her twin sister, Gabby, defeated her opponent by the same score on the No. 2 court, while Taylor Matz completed the singles sweep with a 6-2, 6-0 victory as the No. 3 singles player for the Miners.

In doubles play, Brooklyn Thompson and Emme Phillips cruised to a win on the No. 1 court, winning 6-1, 6-1, while Erin Case and Amelia Jorgensen took care of business in the No. 2 doubles slot, winning 6-1, 6-2. Mia Rapella and Ellie Fischer completed the Park City sweep by winning 8-1 on the No. 3 court.

"For doubles, we were having them play a lot more aggressive," Nicholas said. "[They were] working on serving and volleying a lot more often and coming in behind return serves. Just trying to step it up as far as being more aggressive than they typically would."

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Heading into the season, there were internal battles on the Park City team to see who would play in which position. Matz and Thompson were battling it out for the No. 3 singles spot, which, in turn, had a domino effect of who would play on which doubles court, too.

Matz, who's been battling a nagging shoulder injury, has elevated herself to the third singles player for the Miners, Nicholas said, pushing Thompson to the No. 1 doubles team. Though the injury may still be on her mind at times, Nicholas said she likes what she's seen so far this season from Matz.

"Her shoulder seems to be doing OK," Nicholas said. "Mentally, she seems to be prepared to be in that spot. It is a challenging spot because you're playing girls that are absolute grinders. Taylor is more of an aggressive player, so it takes her out of her own style of game, unfortunately. We want her to keep her style of game, because that's when she's the best."

The Miners will next travel down south, where they will participate in the St. George Invitational over the weekend. Schools such as Desert Hills, Salem Hills, Dixie, Orem, Bountiful and Maple Mountain are expected to be in attendance, and Nicholas is looking forward to the physical battles, as well as the mental ones.

"This is always a great tournament for us," Nicholas said. "It's not only good as far as the tennis goes, but it's challenging physically for the girls because it's supposed to be 105-plus degrees while we're there. To be able to physically get through two long, grueling days, they're going to have to win with some will, not just their tennis game."