SALT LAKE CITY — Heading into this week’s 3A state tournament, Park City coach Tim Donnelly had a hunch his Miners were the team to beat, but had no idea how they’d handle the increased anxiety of the tourney atmosphere.
After swapping text messages with some of the “professional texters” on Park City’s team following a successful first day Friday, Donnelly had no doubt his players would take care of business Saturday, which is exactly what they did.
Park City won four of five semifinal matches, and then claimed individual titles at second and third singles to capture the 3A state championship with 20 team points at Liberty Park. Pine View finished second with 14 points.
“It was a great day,” said Donnelly, whose team was tied with Pine View and Desert Hills at eight points after Day 1.
Dani Lecher’s win at second singles epitomized Park City’s weekend, and the entire 2013 season for that matter. She simply found a way. Trailing Snow Canyon’s Bergen Nelson 5-2 in the third set, Lecher hunkered down and rallied for the 6-2, 5-7, 7-5 victory.
“(She was) incredibly focused and calm. She has been working on that all season, remaining in the moment and finding a way,” said Donnelly. “Coming back in the third set, it just shows that mental fortitude she has been working on all year. Always knew she’s been a leader off the court, and to see her do it on the court is incredible.”
Jessica Santos claimed Park City’s other individual title at third singles, also in three sets, as she topped Pine View’s Hattie Erekson, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.
As expected, Lacey Hancock easily won the first singles title for the third straight year, defeating Park City’s Solveig Karlsen 6-0, 6-0.
“I was really nervous of course, so my sisters said to get the nerves out, get pumped up, do some first pumps. I think that helped me a lot, raised my confidence,” said Hancock.
Hancock was Pine View’s lone individual winner Saturday, but the junior was extremely pleased with how all of her teammates competed.
“Actually right now I’m more proud of my team than myself. I’m so glad that my team got to go far. We didn’t get first, but hey, second is good,” said Hancock.
While Park City and Pine View claimed the singles titles, Desert Hills and Grantsville did their damage in doubles
The Desert Hills team of Taylor Cooney and Madz Eames topped Park City’s Kylie Schwalbe and Kenna Tychsen in three sets, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3, to prevail at first doubles. The victory helped lead the Thunder to a third-place team finish.
Grantsville finished fourth thanks in large part to its second doubles pairing of freshman Bailee Sandberg and sophomore Becca Toone. The youngsters narrowly edged Juan Diego’s Caitlin Keenan and Mikela Baird, 6-4, 7-6.
3A State Tournament
At Liberty Park
1. Park City, 20; 2. Pine View, 14; 3. Desert Hills, 12; 4. Grantsville, 9; 5. Snow Canyon 6; 6 (tie). Juan Diego, Payson, 5; 8. Hurricane, 4.
Lacey Hancock, Pine View def. Maddie Barton, Desert Hills, 6-0, 6-0
Solveig Karlsen, Park City def. Francessca Ecklund, Snow Canyon, 6-2, 6-3
Hancock def. Karlsen, 6-0, 6-0
Dani Lecher, Park City def. Hannah Erekson, Pine View, 6-1, 6-4
Bergen Nelson, Snow Canyon def. Kambry Jensen, Richfield, 6-3, 6-0
Lecher def. Nelson, 6-2, 5-7, 7-5
Hattie Erekson, Pine View def. Hannah Stockwell-Lopez, Uintah, 6-1, 6-2
Jessica Santos, Park City def. Maddie Linares, Grantsville, 6-2, 6-2
Santos def. Erekson, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2
Taylor Cooney/Madz Eames, Desert Hills def. Keri Jeppson/Shaylynn Riddle, Pine View, 6-1, 6-1
Kylie Schwalbe/Kenna Tychsen, Park City def. Madison Farish/Paige Maag, Hurricane, 6-1, 6-1
Cooney/Eames def. Schwalbe/Tychsen, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3
SemifinalsComment on this story
Caitlin Keenan/Mikela Baird, Juan Diego def. Maddie Black/Paige Harris, Desert Hills, 1-6, 6-4, 7-5
Bailee Sandberg/Becca Toone, Grantsville def. Emily Wilson/Sarah Wilson, Hurricane, 6-1, 6-0
Sandberg/Toone def. Keenan/Baird, 6-4, 7-6