SALT LAKE CITY — For the second year in a row, the Judge Memorial girls tennis team has been crowned champion of the 3A state tournament.
With 17 total points, the Bulldogs celebrated the team title as well as two individual championships at Liberty Park on Saturday afternoon.
"After my No. 2 singles (Emily Murnin) won, we had it clinched, but this put an exclamation point on it," Judge coach Loni Wilcox said after congratulating Katie Iwasaki on her second consecutive third singles championship.
Iwasaki, a junior, defeated Emily Till of Snow Canyon by a score of 6-3, 6-2, and Murnin, a senior, beat Bergen Nelson, also from Snow Canyon, in two sets, 6-1, 6-2.
"My No. 2 and No. 3 singles had to get the win against Snow Canyon to knock their team out," Wilcox said. The Warriors ultimately finished in a tie with Pine View for third place.
Of the three trophies, Wilcox said watching Murnin win her final match was the most gratifying.
"It is bigger than the championship, actually, to see a senior go out and win," she said. "To go out as a state champion is always a sweet thing."
The Bulldogs also reached the championship match in first singles, but it was a sophomore from Pine View that won the title. Pine View's Lacey Hancock defeated Judge's Whitney Weisberg, 6-2 6-1, for her second straight championship.
"I pretty much knew that I was going to play her in the final. I have been thinking about it for a while so I knew what to prepare for," Hancock said of Weisberg, who is an opponent of Hancock's in competitive tennis tournaments outside of the high school season. "I was ready to go out there and win. I am glad I'm not a one-hit wonder."
Hancock made her way to the championship without losing one game, and gave away just three to Weisberg.
"Whitney shouldn't feel bad, Lacey is great," Wilcox said. "Lacey is just a tough competitor. She's an incredible athlete and a tough competitor."
The Park City team finished second in the tournament, earning 11 points and getting a boost from its pair of No. 2 doubles players. McKena Tychsen and Natalie Frost, a junior and a senior, respectively, used three sets and a tiebreaker to defeat Region 10 foes Heather Evans and Julie Steinmann of Wasatch, 6-3, 6-7 (7-2), 6-4.
The first doubles title match also took three sets. Juan Diego's Grace Claudius, a senior, and Casandra Granhoej, an exchange student from Denmark, rallied to beat Marissa Christensen and Paige Beckstrom of Spanish Fork, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3.
"It was a really stressful match," Claudius said. "We lost the first set and then throughout we got frustrated. We got down on ourselves, but we came back and kept going and won the last two sets."
The two were paired up three weeks prior to the state tournament and were pleased they were able to sync up so quickly.
"I can't even believe it still," Claudius said of winning the championship. "The past four years I've always dreamed of that, and now as a senior I'm a state champion."
At Liberty Park
1, Judge Memorial 17; 2, Park City 11; 3, Pine View 9; 3, Snow Canyon 9; 5, Wasatch 8; 5, Juan Diego 8; 7, Spanish Fork 7; 8, Desert Hills 6; 8, Dixie 6; 10, Grantsville 5; 11, Cedar City 1; 11, Hurricane 1; 11, Morgan 1; 11, Ogden 1.
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