SALT LAKE CITY — Defending co-champion Lone Peak leads the field after a grueling first day of the 2012 girls state tennis tournament.
The Knights managed to advance into the semifinals in all five brackets, earning 10 points on the first day at Liberty Park.
"I was less concerned about winning a state championship, but more concerned with the fact of trying to get everyone through based on the young team we have," said Lone Peak coach John LaCognata. "Just to get the girls through some state experience, and seasoned a little bit was more important than anything."
Lone Peak sophomore Taylor Calton led the charge in first singles, knocking off Brighton junior Amy Johnson 6-0, 6-1 before handing Viewmont senior McKelle Sanders an early quarterfinal exit.
Calton will have to wait until play resumes on Saturday before facing the 2011 runner-up Katie Sweet of Cottonwood. Sweet knocked Calton out of the tournament last year in the semifinals with a 7-5, 6-4 decision.
At the top of the first singles bracket, Emily Tanner blanked Bingham senior Cassie Cowdell en route to a quarterfinal battle against Davis senior Alexis Turley. Call, a junior, narrowly survived a 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 match that now puts Alta in contention for another run at the title.
"I think it made me play better," mentioned Call referring to the split set. "I just got nervous in the second set, and I wanted to come back and just take it."
Call will take on West junior Brooke Burnside in semifinal action Saturday.
Davis also made tremendous strides Wednesday in the attempt to better last years third place finish at state. The Darts finished with nine points after the first day of competition.
Sophomore Breezy Turley dominated in the second singles bracket, sweeping past Tori Byington of Kearns 6-0, 6-0 in her first match. Turley then routed Bingham senior Lexi Hansen 6-0, 6-1 to improve to 14-0 this season.
Lone Peak freshman Leah Heimuli has a few days to think over the semifinal matchup against 2011 No. 2 singles runner-up Sarah Sturt of Cottonwood.
Mariah Petersen is vying to keep Alta afloat in third singles, filling the void left by 2011 champion Alexis Nielsen. The quest resumes Saturday when she faces off against another Lone Peak freshman Morgan Hall.
Hall swept past Jordan's Kim Pickerell 6-0, 6-0, and was just as successful in a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Fremont sophomore Aubree Fowers to advance into semifinal play.
In doubles competition, it was Davis and Bingham that rallied along with Lone Peak to send two-teams into championship day.
Play resumes Saturday morning at the Liberty Park tennis courts at 8:45 a.m.
Day 1 results
Overall Team Scores
1. Lone Peak 10; 2. Davis 9; 3. Alta 7; 3. Bingham 7; 5. Pleasant Grove 4; 5. West 4; 5. Viewmont 4; 8. Layton 2; 8. Syracuse 2; 10. Fremont 1; 10. Granger 1; 10. Northridge 1; 10. Weber 1.
1st Singles: Emily Tanner, Alta, def. Alexis Turley, Davis, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4; Brooke Burnside, West, def. Sarah Clifford, Pleasant Grove, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4; Taylor Calton, Lone Peak, def. McKelle Sanders, Viewmont, 6-2, 6-1; Katie Sweet, Cottonwood, def. Gabrielle Goris, Northridge, 6-0, 6-0.
2nd Singles: Breezy Turley, Davis, def. Lexi Hansen, Bingham, 6-0, 6-2; Sophie Sorhaitz, Pleasant Grove, def. Emily Lemmon, Viewmont, 6-1, 6-4; Leah Heimuli, Lone Peak, def. Karishma Shah, West, 6-1, 6-1; Sarah Sturt, Cottonwood, def. Joanna Racine, Layton, 6-0, 6-2.
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