PCHS tennis blanks Stansbury at PC MARC
After battling its way to a tough 4-2 win over Grantsville last Monday, the Park City High School boys’ tennis team has been on a roll. Last Tuesday, the Miners swept Tooele 6-0 on the road. On Thursday, Park City returned to the PC MARC to host Stansbury and picked up another 6-0 sweep.
No. 1 singles player David Payne earned a 6-2, 6-0 win over Stansbury’s Carson Palmer, while No. 2 singles player Cole Lee defeated Erik Leary 6-0, 6-0 and No. 3 singles player Connor Burke took down Josh England 6-1, 6-1.
In doubles, the No. 1 team of Spencer Kunkel and Charlie Lambert defeated Renden Dye and Dakota Fidler 6-4, 6-1 and the No. 2 team of Brennan French and Jack Lecher took down Peter Austin and Lance Hardy 6-0, 6-0.
The closest match of the day came at No. 3 doubles, where Park City’s Hans Nilsson and Jack Wright needed three sets to beat Carl Jackson and Scott Ruebush, 5-7, 6-0, 6-2. Park City Coach Tamarin Espinoza said Nilsson and Wright’s match was exciting to watch.
"Third doubles made life a little more interesting today," she laughed. "It was probably good for them, though. They haven’t played together a ton. That’ll be our third doubles team going forward, so it was good for them to stay out there and get some experience playing together."
Plus, Espinoza added, coming back after dropping the first set will make them a better team.
"They know now that they have the ability [to come back] going forward and that gives them confidence," she said. "That was a positive takeaway from that."
After falling in three sets to Grantsville’s No. 1 singles player Tytan Thurgood last Monday, Payne has been playing better tennis, Espinoza said. She’s excited to see Payne get another shot at Thurgood on April 26 at Grantsville.
"He came back and he’s been doing what he does," she said of Payne. "David’s solid. I’m really interested to see what happens when we play Grantsville again. The next time he sees Tytan, I think it’ll be a good match."
Espinoza said Burke has been flying under the radar at No. 3 singles, but he’s been just as consistent as he was last year.
"Connor is the ideal third singles," she said. "He’s a really integral piece to this team. There might be times when he wants to move up, but what he does at No. 3, I’m not sure anyone else could do. Going out there knowing Connor can pull out a win at that spot is huge."
In doubles, Lambert and Kunkel continue to shine. Espinoza said that duo has improved greatly from last year.
"They’re [at the PC MARC] all the time and they’ve just gotten better," she said. "As doubles players, they’re more confident and going for more. Charlie at the net is extremely powerful. So is Spencer, but Spencer is everywhere. Charlie’s that perfect fit at the net to scare everyone."
After a pre-match eye injury on Monday, French had to sit out against Grantsville. He was back on Thursday, though, and Espinoza said that completed the Park City team.
"[Thursday] was one of the first days we’ve been able to put our whole lineup out there," she said. "We were kind of hoping to do that against Grantsville, but Brennan got hurt in warmups, so this was the first day we’ve seen what our lineup looks like. It’s a strong lineup."
Still, she added, there are areas where the team can improve.
"We’ve got to iron out some return serve [situations], especially in the doubles," she said. "At singles, we’ve got to work on being versatile and being able to come to the net or stay back at the baseline — do whatever the occasion calls for."
Park City’s next home match is scheduled for Thursday, April 28. The Miners will take on Tooele at 3:30 p.m. at the PC MARC.
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