High school tennis: Senior trio leads Rowland Hall to second title in three years

By Andrew Sorensen

Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Sept. 29 2012 9:00 p.m. MDT

Scout Swenson of Rowland Hall shakes hands with Erica Park of Waterford following the State 2A Tennis third seed singles tournament at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012. Swenson defeated Park in the match.

Brian Nicholson, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Madeline Foley, Kaitlin Ramsey and Scout Swenson had been working toward sweeping the state singles matches ever since they each took their respective playing slot on the Rowland Hall's team three years ago. Finally, at Saturday's 2A girls state tennis tournament at Liberty Park, it came true for the three seniors.

Foley, who plays No. 1 singles for the Winged Lion, won state for the third straight year, while Swenson did the same at No. 3 singles. Ramsey came close as a sophomore and junior as she was the runner-up at No. 2 singles both times, but she broke through as a senior in impressive fashion as she defeated Janell Starr from Richfield 6-2, 6-1 in the finals.

"It is crazy, it's so exciting that I won my senior year," Ramsey said. "It was really hard (the previous two years) because my friends both won state and I was right there, but I am so proud of them."

"For them to all win at their spot, it's pretty special," Rowland Hall coach Tim Sleeper said.

Behind Ramsey, Foley and Swenson, Rowland Hall cruised to win the team title, earning 21 points. Manti took second with seven points, while Waterford came in third with six.

Foley had as good of a match in the finals as she did all tournament as she defeated Waterford's Molly Peterson 6-0, 6-1.

"I was pretty pumped up going into the match," Foley said. "Tennis is what I love most in life. I love playing it all the time."

Throughout the tournament she only lost three total games, and she did not lose a set during the year.

Like her teammates, Swenson is accustomed to winning state, but out of the three she had arguably the most impressive tournament. As a freshman, she won state at No. 1 doubles with Ramsey, and then continued to win state at No. 3 singles as a sophomore and junior.

This year was no different as she beat Erica Park from Waterford, 6-4, 6-0.

"It is still nerve-racking and exciting as ever," Swenson said of winning state for the fourth year in a row.

While the singles brackets were dominated by Rowland Hall, both the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles titles were up for grabs from the beginning.

At No. 1 doubles, the top-seeded team from Rowland Hall was defeated in the semifinals, leaving the bracket wide open.

"We had a very talented team at first doubles, but that St. Joseph team played out of their heads," Sleeper said.

That team from St. Joseph — Kelsey Almony and Katie Panushka — was eventually defeated in the finals 6-1, 6-1 by Manti's Amanda and Arie Naylor.

Arguably the best match was found at the finals of the No. 2 doubles bracket, as Rowland Hall's Hollis Mills and Angela Foley, Madeline's younger sister, defeated Brenna Bliggi and Brittney Macdonald from San Juan in a three-hour thriller. Mills and Foley lost the first set 5-7, but came back and narrowly won the next two sets 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-1).

2A girls tennis

State tournament

Saturday, at Liberty Park

Team Scores

1. Rowland Hall, 21; 2. Manti, 7; 3. Waterford, 6; 4. (tie) Richfield, San Juan, 5; 6. St. Joseph, 4; 7. (tie) Grand, Maeser 1.

First singles