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High school girls tennis: Davis clinches first state tennis title in 100-year history of school

Published: Saturday, Sept. 5 2015 2:01 a.m. MDT

Davis celebrates winning the 5A girls state tennis championships at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News) Davis celebrates winning the 5A girls state tennis championships at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Davis High School is celebrating its 100-year anniversary this year, and after all those years the school finally has a need for a tennis trophy case.

The Darts swept the singles titles in the 5A girls tennis tournament at Liberty Park on Saturday to narrowly edge Lone Peak for the state championship, the first state title for boys or girls tennis in school history.

“In front of the school it says, 'Defend the tradition,' and a lot of programs want to defend that tradition. I feel like we just opened up a new tradition,” said first-year Davis coach Andy Wahlstrom.

Davis believed it was good enough to win during each of the past two years, but the team was never deep enough at all five positions. That certainly wasn’t the case this year.

Jean Noh, from Bingham High School, plays a doubles match during the 5A girls tennis tournament at Liberty Park Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, in Salt Lake City. (Tom Smart, Deseret News) Jean Noh, from Bingham High School, plays a doubles match during the 5A girls tennis tournament at Liberty Park Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, in Salt Lake City. (Tom Smart, Deseret News)

All five Davis positions advanced to Saturday’s semifinals, with all three singles players eventually taking state titles.

Junior Breezy Turley won at first singles, with freshman sister Whitney Turley prevailing at second singles. Fellow Davis freshman Eliza Hafen won at third singles.

Those three individual titles helped Davis tally 22 team points, just enough to edge two-time champion Lone Peak’s 20 points.

All three singles won their championship matches in straight sets, but Breezy Turley had to grind out a semifinal victory Saturday morning against Lone Peak’s Leah Heimuli. After dropping the first set 4-6, Turley battled back to win the next two, 6-1, 6-0.

Had she not turned that match around so quickly, it would’ve been Lone Peak celebrating the team title.

“I don’t think any of us really expected it to really happen. It’s really overwhelming right now,” said Breezy Turley, who was a second singles state champion the past two years.

JJ Bitton as she and her teammate, Sarah Nielson from Lone Peak Hish School they lose to Bethany Morey and Amanda Balls from Bingham High School in a second doubles match during the 5A girls tennis tournament at Liberty Park Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, in Salt Lake City. (Tom Smart, Deseret News) JJ Bitton as she and her teammate, Sarah Nielson from Lone Peak Hish School they lose to Bethany Morey and Amanda Balls from Bingham High School in a second doubles match during the 5A girls tennis tournament at Liberty Park Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, in Salt Lake City. (Tom Smart, Deseret News)

As important as Davis’ singles players were, Wahlstrom stressed that every point mattered.

“That’s what I love about the state championship. I told all five positions, 'We needed your points.' We’re not state champs without those points,” said Wahlstrom. “It’s a team effort today. Every position today should feel like they own a part of this trophy.”

After sweeping the singles Saturday, Davis’ players were forced to sweat out the final hour of the 5A tourney to find out if they’d won the outright trophy.

Lone Peak trailed by four points heading into the finals, but the Region 4 champs had teams in both the first and second doubles championships. When Lone Peak’s Haley Schettler and Lauren Allen defeated Bingham’s Brooke Burningham and Emily Watkins at first doubles, 6-4, 6-2, all eyes immediately diverted to the second doubles court.

Bethany Morey, left, and Amanda Balls from Bingham High School win their second doubles match against JJ Bitton and Sarah Nielson from Lone Peak High School during the 5A girls tennis tournament at Liberty Park Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, in Salt Lake City. (Tom Smart, Deseret News) Bethany Morey, left, and Amanda Balls from Bingham High School win their second doubles match against JJ Bitton and Sarah Nielson from Lone Peak High School during the 5A girls tennis tournament at Liberty Park Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, in Salt Lake City. (Tom Smart, Deseret News)

The Darts watched with glee, however, as Bingham’s Bethany Morey and Amanda Balls hung on to beat Lone Peak’s JJ Bitton and Sarah Nielson at second doubles, 6-4, 6-2, a victory that clinched the outright title for Davis.

“I feel like all the sports at Davis are up there, and finally our name is up there in tennis too,” said Breezy Turley, who is moving on to play tennis at the University of Utah.

5A State Tournament

At Liberty Park

Team scores

1. Davis, 22; 2. Lone Peak, 20; 3. Bingham, 12; 4 (tie). Alta, Pleasant Grove, Viewmont, 6; 7 (tie). Brighton, Cottonwood, Jordan, West, 4.

1st singles

JJ Bitton, left, and Sarah Nielson from Lone Peak High School celebrate a point as they lose to Bethany Morey and Amanda Balls from Bingham High School in a second doubles match during the 5A girls tennis tournament at Liberty Park Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, in Salt Lake City. (Tom Smart, Deseret News) JJ Bitton, left, and Sarah Nielson from Lone Peak High School celebrate a point as they lose to Bethany Morey and Amanda Balls from Bingham High School in a second doubles match during the 5A girls tennis tournament at Liberty Park Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, in Salt Lake City. (Tom Smart, Deseret News)

Semifinals

Breezy Turley, Davis def. Leah Heimuli, Lone Peak, 4-6, 6-1, 6-0

Sarah Clifford, Pleasant Grove def. Brooke Burnside, West, 6-1, 6-2

Championship

Turley def. Clifford, 6-1, 6-0

2nd singles

Semifinals

Whitney Turley, Davis def. Mariah Petersen, Alta, 6-1, 6-0

Morgan Hall, Lone Peak def. Cassidy Brown, Cottonwood, 6-0, 6-1

Championship

Turley def. Hall, 6-0, 6-2

Bethany Morey, left, and Amanda Balls from Bingham High School win their second doubles match against JJ Bitton and Sarah Nielson from Lone Peak High School during the 5A girls tennis tournament at Liberty Park Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, in Salt Lake City. (Tom Smart, Deseret News) Bethany Morey, left, and Amanda Balls from Bingham High School win their second doubles match against JJ Bitton and Sarah Nielson from Lone Peak High School during the 5A girls tennis tournament at Liberty Park Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, in Salt Lake City. (Tom Smart, Deseret News)

3rd singles

Semifinals

Eliza Hafen, Davis def. Victoria Hekking, Cottonwood, 6-0, 6-0

Electra Cochran, Lone Peak def. Sara Marple, Viewmont, 6-0, 6-0

Championship

Hafen def. Cochran, Lone Peak, 6-0, 6-4

1st doubles

Semifinals

Haley Schettler/Lauren Allen, Lone Peak def. Brooke Burningham/Emily Watkins, Bingham, 6-0, 6-3

Jaelyn Peterson/Jean Noh, Bingham def. Tabby Jones/Jenni Milne, Jordan, 6-1, 6-0

Haley Schettler, right, and Lauren Allen of Lone Peak High School win a first doubles match against Joelyn Peterson and Jean Noh of Bingham High School during the 5A girls tennis tournament at Liberty Park Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, in Salt Lake City. (Tom Smart, Deseret News) Haley Schettler, right, and Lauren Allen of Lone Peak High School win a first doubles match against Joelyn Peterson and Jean Noh of Bingham High School during the 5A girls tennis tournament at Liberty Park Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, in Salt Lake City. (Tom Smart, Deseret News)

Championship

Schettler/Allen def. Peterson/Noh, Bingham, 6-4, 6-2

2nd doubles

Semifinals

Bethany Morey/Amanda Balls, Bingham def. Kendall Sargent/Annie Gardner, Davis, 6-4, 6-3

JJ Bitton/Sarah Nielson, Lone Peak def. Jessie Brown/Aspen Langren, Brighton, 6-1, 6-1

Championship

Morey/Balls def. Bitton/Nielson, 6-4, 6-2

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