SALT LAKE CITY— One thing stood out after Day One of the 4A girls tennis tournament.
The road to the top of 4A is wide open.
Skyline saw defending second singles champion Erin Blessing make an early quarterfinal exit Thursday afternoon. The senior was upset by Timpview fresman Kate Cusick in a three-set 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 battle.
The underclassman will have a day off before a semifinal meeting with Bountiful senior Kanela Adamson, the 2010 first singles champion.
Alexandra Wallin helped East to eight points on Day One of the tournament, knocking off Hannah Jones of Bonneville 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 to reach the semifinals.
It's surely a welcome sight for the Leopards, based on a disappointing fifth-place finish in 2011.
Wallin will be put on the spot Saturday morning, when she opens up championship day against defending first singles champion Erica Valimaki.
The Orem senior was all smiles after reaching the semifinals, while also bringing the Tigers back into the title talk.
"I feel confident," said Valimaki. "My game feels solid, and everything is kind of working for me right now."
Defending third singles champion Sydney Monson helped Skyline on the quest to repeat, downing Orem senior Natassja Westover in a 6-1, 6-1 rout.
Monson moves into semifinal play, where fellow senior Laura Hartle will be looking to put East on top.
Carol Foote swept past her respective opponents on Day One, setting up a showdown against Bountiful junior Mariah Miller. Foote saw a semifinal exit in 2011, and will surely be looking to end her tennis career on a solid note.
Doubles play will have the final say in who is crowned the 2012 champion.
In first doubles, Timpview duo Kalani Kau and Jen Farnsworth dealt a huge blow to Skyline with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over seniors Elizabeth Gorey and Emily Love.
East and Orem managed to send both teams through into championship day, while Hillcrest seniors Hannah Choi and Megan Rimmasch battled through two matches to earn a semifinal berth.
Noel Bell and Sarah Cassell kept the Eagles' shot at a repeat alive by edging Logan duo DoYoung Kwag and Brynee Anderson 6-2, 6-4.
Play will resume Saturday morning at the Liberty Park tennis courts just before 9 a.m.
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