High school boys tennis: Mountain View comes from nowhere to secure 4A team crown
SALT LAKE CITY — The 4A boys tennis tournament ended in grand style Saturday afternoon at the Eccles Tennis Center at the University of Utah after early-morning rain ended all possible outdoor competition at Liberty Park.
In the end, it was Mountain View's three singles players and a pair of double teams from Logan who stole the show.
On the strength of advancing three singles players to the championship round and winning two of the three title matches, Mountain View came out of nowhere to score 16 total points and secure the 4A team title. Logan came in second with 14 points, following by Timpview in third with 13.
Freshman Jon Dollahite of Mountain View came away with the first singles championship as he beat favored Matthew Pearce of Timpview, 6-4, 6-3.
Dollahite’s fundamentally sound play constantly led him to be in the correct positions, and as he neared the end of his victory in the title match, he couldn't help but let out of a smile.
“I just worked real hard in practice. I’ve got some really good coaches, and I had no pressure, no nerves, so I was just playing great and I couldn’t keep (the smile) in,” said Dollahite.
Dollahite started the tournament as an underdog, but came away as a champion. He discussed what it meant to him to win the big one as an underclassman.
“It’s everything. That’s what my goal was. I knew it was really tough 'cause Matt’s such a great player, but that was my goal and I played really well when it counted,” said Dollahite.
Bonneville’s, Jay Walter came away with the second singles championship as he beat Aldo Maldonado of Mountain View, 6-1, 6-4.
The Bruins' third participant in the singles championships was Manuel Ortiz of Spain, who came away with the third singles title against Austin Kirk of Woods Cross. His play, summed in two words by Mountain View head coach Wilford Mueller, encapsulated the Bruins' day.
“Absolutely phenomenal,” said Mueller. “I could have never imagined.”
With Dollahite and Ortiz returning — Ortiz will come back as a resident instead of exchange student next year — the Bruins hope to be a force to be reckoned with going forward.
And Dollahite, in particular, has a chance to do some special things.
“It’s not often that a player can win a state championship all four years of high school at the No. 1 position, and Jon’s set himself up for that,” said Mueller. “I hear things that when he was very young he had incredible coordination, and he has one heck of a court sense that is a talent from great individual coaching over the years. And today he beat two players that he has never beaten before and the way he beat Matt Pearce in straight sets — the way he did it — is beyond belief.”
In doubles play, Logan High brothers Jordan and James Larsen, playing on separate teams, captured doubles titles. Jordan Larsen, playing with Hunter Ballam, captured the No. 1 doubles title, while James Larsen, playing with Andrew Hopkins, won the No. 2 doubles title.
“We served well and definitely returned well and that was something we’ve been working on this whole week together,” said Jordan Larsen.
Ballam explained how he and Jordan worked so well together: “We have great chemistry; we have a lefty-righty combination going; and we’ve played together for two straight years; and we’re both really athletic and have the same mentality with everything we do."
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