PCHS girls’ tennis looks to repeat as champs in 2016
Wednesday’s match against Timpanogos showed that the Park City High School girls’ tennis team hasn’t lost a step since winning the 3A state championship in 2015.
Playing at the PC MARC, the Miners’ three singles players — No. 1 Livi Rockwood, No. 2 Gabby Rockwood and No. 3 Taylor Matz — didn’t lose a single game as they each rolled to 6-0, 6-0 victories.
The doubles squads had a bit more of a struggle with their opponents, but the No. 1 doubles team of Julianna Signor and Brooklyn Thompson squeaked by with a 6-4, 7-5 victory.
The No. 2 doubles team of Emme Phillips and Marissa Zanetti cruised to a 6-0 first-set victory, but struggled in the second set and lost 7-6. They managed to bounce back, though, and won the tiebreaker 10-5.
First-year head coach Heather Nicholas said the doubles teams struggled to maintain their energy levels after strong starts.
“That’s what our doubles teams had trouble with,” she said. “They sort of zipped through their first sets and then lost focus.”
However, in the singles matches, that wasn’t a problem. Nicholas said she enjoyed watching the Miners do what they were supposed to do on the court.
“I liked, especially for singles, how the girls came out and got the job done,” she said. “It’s sometimes hard to play matches where you’re supposed to win and stay focused.”
Nicholas added that Matz’s effort was especially notable, as the junior can’t serve overhand after offseason surgery.
“Last year, she was serving underhand the first month, too,” Nicholas said. “She had surgery this year, so it’s the same deal. She has until the end of the month before she can start serving overhand.”
Matz should be fully recovered by the midway point of the Region 10 season. Nicholas said Park City should be the top team in the region when all is said and done.
“Grantsville lost a lot of their top players,” she said. “They’ll still probably be one of our top challengers, but I think they had four or five seniors who moved on.”
As the Miners work toward defending their 3A state championship from last season, Nicholas said health and mental toughness are keys to the team’s success in 2016.
She said she’s noticed calmer on-court demeanors from the Rockwoods already this season.
“With the twins, their mental toughness has gotten a little bit better,” she said. “They used to come out a little more nervous last year as freshmen. Playing tennis as a team sport is a much different feeling than playing just for yourself. I think they had a little more anxiety last year. Hopefully that’s behind them as we move forward this year.”
The Miners’ lineup could look different by the time the 3A state tournament comes around in early October. Nicholas said Park City’s challenge ladder — the process by which players earn varsity spots — is constantly changing.
“Our depth is even stronger this year,” she said. “We have a lot of good incoming freshmen. Our ladder right now, they’re fighting for those varsity spots. On any given day, any of them can beat each other.”
Nicholas said having access to the courts at the PC MARC helps the team stay sharp and fosters the depth that has been built over the years.
“One thing that’s important to me is giving kudos to our club and our patrons for allowing our girls to come here and play,” she said. “They open up seven courts for three hours and that’s nice to have that support since we don’t have our own [school] courts.”
Park City’s next home match is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 23, against Tooele at 3:30 p.m. at the PC MARC.
PCHS Girls’ Tennis Schedule
(All home matches at the PC MARC)
Aug. 22 — at Orem — 3:30 p.m.
Aug. 23 — vs. Tooele — 3:30 p.m.
Aug. 25 — vs. Union — 3:30 p.m.
Aug. 26-27 — St. George Invitational — TBA
Aug. 30 — at Stansbury — 3:30 p.m.
Sept. 1 — at Grantsville — 3:30 p.m.
Sept. 8 — at Tooele — 3:30 p.m.
Sept. 13 — at Union — 3:30 p.m.
Sept. 15 — vs. Stansbury — 3:30 p.m.
Sept. 20 — vs. Grantsville — 3:30 p.m.
Sept. 29-30 — Region 10 Championships — TBA
Oct. 6-7 — 3A State Championships — TBA
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