PCHS girls’ tennis wins St. George tourney
Over the weekend, the Park City High School girls’ tennis team went down to St. George for a team-building trip and also to play several matches against some of the top teams in the state.
The Miners inserted themselves into the "best team in the state" discussion in a big way, winning the gold division of the tournament on the backs of their three solid singles players.
Despite the desert heat, Park City played well. Coach Tamarin Espinoza said it was nice to see players from the mountains adapt to unusual conditions.
"For St. George, it was really nice," she said. "But for our Park City kids, it was hard. It was between 99 and 104 [degrees]. It was definitely hot for us, but for St. George, it was mild."
As hot as it was in St. George, the Miners were even hotter, Espinoza said.
"Our singles players didn’t drop a match all weekend," she said. "They went undefeated through that entire tournament."
No. 1 singles player Livi Rockwood, her twin sister, No. 2 singles Gabby Rockwood, and No. 3 singles Taylor Matz all stepped up against tough competition, leading Park City to a 3-2 victory over Maple Mountain and 5-0 wins over Spanish Fork and Richfield in pool play on the first day of the tournament.
"Livi got the clinching point [against Maple Mountain]," Espinoza said. "She saw a player that she’s not going to see a lot of at No. 1. It was good for her to get through that to get us the win, especially since Maple Mountain came in second in the tournament. It was definitely helpful for us to get that win on day one."
The No. 1 doubles team of Marina Mayo and Julianna Signor made it to the second day in the gold division, but ran up against some tough competition early on day two.
"Doubles got unlucky, especially No. 1 doubles," Espinoza said. "They hit Desert Hills right out of the gate. In terms of doubles, Desert Hills has that dialed in — that’s always been their thing. Their coach is a doubles genius."
The No. 2 doubles team of Marisa Zanetti and Caileigh Lydon played in the silver division after falling to Maple Mountain on day one. Espinoza said the tournament was a good test for both doubles squads.
"It exposed a lot of weaknesses in our doubles teams, which I would much rather see now than later," she said. "It was good. They’re not big weaknesses, just things that need to be tightened up."
With Matz seemingly recovering well from a shoulder injury, Espinoza said it will be interesting to see the singles lineup after some challenge matches this week.
"Those three girls are now going to challenge each other," she said. "We’ll see where the chips fall and who ends up where."
No matter how the lineup looks the rest of the season, Espinoza expects big things from the Miners after the tournament victory.
"That’s a huge accomplishment for our girls," she said. "Confidence-wise, it’s big, especially since we have two freshmen and a sophomore. It’s a testament to the types of players they are. They’re not just high-school players. These are bona fide tennis players who we may see in the NCAA in the next few years."
Moving into Region 10 play this week, with a big match at Grantsville on Thursday, Espinoza said the tournament win will spur the Miners to keep working hard.
"Honestly, that confidence is just going to keep them going," she said. "Having such a young team, confidence is key. Being able to beat those big schools is just going to help us get through ones we know are weaker."
Park City’s next home match is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 8, against Union at 3:30 p.m. at the PC MARC.
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