PCHS tennis takes down rival at home
Coming into the season, the Park City High School boys’ tennis team was expected to compete with Grantsville for the Region 10 title.
On Monday afternoon, the two schools met for the first time this year at the PC MARC. Using their home-court advantage, the Miners got the best of the Cowboys, earning a 4-2 victory.
No. 2 singles player Cole Lee defeated Grantsville’s Matt Waldron 6-1, 7-5 and No. 3 singles player Connor Burke cruised to a 6-0, 6-1 win over Parker Wyatt.
In doubles, the No. 1 team of Spencer Kunkel and Charlie Lambert defeated Grantsville’s Isaac Hamm and Nate Beckett 7-6, 6-1 and Park City’s No. 2 team of Jack Lecher and Hans Nilsson took down Seth Beckett and Andrew Dalton 6-2, 6-1.
Park City’s No. 1 singles player David Payne fought hard in his match against Grantsville’s Tytan Thurgood but came up short in the long affair, losing 6-7, 6-1, 6-3. The No. 3 doubles team of Jack Wright and Jeremiah Smith also lost its match, falling 7-6, 6-3 to Logan Hill and Peter Kurtz.
Park City Coach Tamarin Espinoza said she wasn’t surprised the Cowboys made the Miners work for the win.
"Grantsville came out and did exactly what I thought they were going to do," she said. "They pushed us and they challenged us. There has been some good tennis today. They came out here and made us play."
Espinoza said having Lecher on the team this year has been a big boost for the Miners. What he lacks in form, he makes up for with raw athleticism.
"We had him at JV in St. George just because he hadn’t played since he was about six years old," she said. "He’s an extremely athletic kid. Whenever you tell him what to do, he picks it up really well. He’s a sponge — he gets it. He’s really fast and extremely competitive, which makes up for a lot."
Coming off of spring break, Espinoza said Payne may have gotten tired after a tough first-set victory. She said she expects future battles to be just as competitive between Thurgood and Payne.
"He’s just got to stay in the points a little longer," Espinoza said. "Those second and third sets, he got a little impatient. They’re going to play two more times. They’re going to play when we go to Grantsville and I’m assuming they’re going to go in [to the Region 10 tournament] as the one and two seeds, so they’ll meet if they make the finals of the region tournament."
Park City travels to Grantsville on April 26. Espinoza said she expects that to be a much tougher match against the Cowboys.
"The Grantsville crowd gets into it," she said. "That’s how it was with the girls, too. The girls always did better when we played them at a neutral site or here. [Grantsville’s courts] are in the middle of nowhere with no wind screens, which is different than what [Park City] is used to."
Park City’s next home match is scheduled for Thursday against Stansbury. The match will start at 3:30 p.m. at the PC MARC.
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Two Park City singles players advance to the semifinals of the 5A state tennis playoffs; North Summit and South Summit girls soccer to begin state playoffs next week.