The 1991 3A state prep tennis championships may have been played Saturday at Brigham Young University, but Judge Memorial High learned that the
3A tennistrek to the title went through Logan.Better put, Judge's tennis squad earned its first 3A state crown in nearly a decade thanks in part to Logan's No. 1 doubles tandem of Phil Doyle and Mike Olsen. The Logan pair won the final match of the day at the UHSAA-First Security Bank state tournament, preserving a Judge triumph.
"I guess I'm going to have to write them a thank-you note," said Judge Coach Bob Juhauz after his Bulldog netters had been handed the first-place trophy.
Let's recreate Saturday's scenario. Judge's Peter Matus had polished off Uintah's Shane Bullock, 6-4, 6-2, for the No. 1 singles title, West's Tuan Ngo had downed Uintah's Cortney Nelson 6-4, 6-4 in the No. 3 singles finals, and Box Elder's duo of Lance Turner and Quinn Karlinsey had all but shut out Judge's Chris Barra and Casey Foley for the No. 2 doubles crown.
After that point, Judge held a precarious single-point lead over Uintah, with the Bulldogs boasting 16 points and the Utes 15. West's Ricky Skaar dethroned defending champion Marek Pfeil in the No. 2 singles finals, 6-4, 6- 4, pulling West into a second-place tie with Uintah.
With the No. 1 doubles finals the last match to be contested, Uintah was the only front-running team able to hope for a last-ditch two points (each semifinal and final victory Saturday was worth two team points). In that one, the Utes' Sheridan Peck and Eric Enlowe were up against Logan's Phil Doyle and Mike Olsen.
Doyle and Olsen outlasted their Uintah counterparts 6-0, 7-5 for the doubles win, which meant that Uintah remained in a tie for second with West and Judge somewhat backed into the title.
"At the halfway point after yesterday's quarterfinals, we figured we had a real good chance," said Juhauz. "But it was total upsets through the whole tournament - and we had two upsets (losses) of our own. Without those upsets, though, we felt we had a clear shot."
With the upsets and all, the tournament results seemed a little quirky. Judge took the team title with just one event champion and one of the lowest team scores in recent memory. Uintah, which had the best representation after the quarterfinals with three singles players and a doubles duo still alive, had only one event titlist itself. And perennial powerhouse Ogden was totally shut out of all five finals.
Matus' championship effort was sweet, with the junior having won his second title in three years. After claiming the No. 2 singles crown two years ago as a freshman, he took a break from competitive prep tennis during his sophomore year, instead dabbling here and there in some soccer and basketball.
"I felt strong out there - I was mentally and physically refreshed," said Matus, who added that he will be back to seek a third individual title next year.
He's not the only one back - Judge and West both boast state-tournament teams that will not lose a single starter to graduation this spring.
Rounding out the top-placing half-dozen were Box Elder, Logan and Ogden. Box Elder and Logan tied for fourth with 10 points apiece, while Ogden finished sixth with seven points.