High school girls tennis: Desert Hills, Park City and Pine View lead pack at 3A tournament

Published: Friday, Oct. 11 2013 9:45 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — A day after weather caused portions of the 4A girls tennis tournament to be postponed, 3A tennis players enjoyed much more favorable playing conditions at the Liberty Park tennis courts.

All scheduled early-round matches at the 3A girls tennis tournament were completed Friday, and at the end of it all, the trio of Desert Hills, Park City and Pine View all finished in a three-way tie for first place.

“Our singles played well, and then just hit some really tough opponents that stayed within their games, but our doubles are strong so hopefully they can keep it going,” said Desert Hills head coach Dow Christenson. “They did what they expected to do today, making through and advancing, so they’ve got to keep doing that.”

Desert Hills sophomore Maddie Barton is the lone player representing the Thunder in singles play, and has the daunting task of playing Pine View junior Lacy Hancock Saturday morning in first singles semifinal action. Hancock dismantled both opponents Friday in four straight 6-0 sets.

Park City put itself in a solid position heading into Saturday, with three players punching tickets into the semifinals.

Solveig Karlsen managed to slip past Kenedi Cooper of Dixie in a 6-0, 6-1 decision to reach the semifinals. Karlsen will square off against Snow Canyon’s Francessca Ecklund.

Pine View sent players through in four of the five brackets heading into championship day, and could hoist the trophy when it’s all said and done. All three players in singles action are favored in their respective matches.

Grantsville caught a glimmer of hope in the 3A tournament, as sophomore Maddie Linares bested Payson junior Brenna Menlove, 7-5, 6-3, in the second round to advance to the semifinals. Linares will play Park City product Jessica Santos, who survived in a 6-4, 6-0 match versus Desert Hills senior Sheridan Kimball.

All in all, Saturday's final two rounds should be filled with plenty of drama.

“Pine View and Park City are kind of right in our way. If we can get some help and get them out of the way, we’ll hopefully be ready to make some noise,” said Coach Christenson. “We just need help to get some monsters out of the way.”

Desert Hills has been on the outside looking in since taking state in 2010, with Judge Memorial sweeping the tournament the past two years. The Thunder coach admitted that Friday was a great start to the tournament.

“We’ve kind of met our expectations, but you’d always rather go beyond,” said Christenson.

The 3A tournament will finish Saturday at the Liberty Park tennis courts, along with both the 5A and 4A girls state tournaments.

3A girls state tennis

Liberty Park



First singles

Mckenzie Lybbert, Payson, def. Casey McClellan, Uintah, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3; Lacy Hancock, Pine View, def. Cherokie Limb, Bear River, 6-0, 6-0; Maddie Barton, Desert Hills, def. Jennifer Christensen, Grantsville, 6-2, 7-5; Ashlee Earl, Morgan, def. Madison Utley, Richfield 6-2, 6-4; Francessca Ecklund, Snow Canyon, def. Rebecca Windley, Ben Lomond, 6-1, 6-3; Lindee Jo Christensen, North Sanpete, def. Hillary Mason, Union, 6-0, 6-0; Solveig Karlsen, Park City, def. Karina Ashdown, Canyon View, 6-0, 6-1; Kenedi Cooper, Dixie, def. Abby Nordgren, Stansbury, 6-1, 6-0.

Second singles