OGDEN Davis found itself in an unfamiliar and unwelcome position as the new girls tennis season dawned. For the first time in a decade, the Darts were not defending Region 1 champions. Losing such a lofty status was bad enough. Losing it to Viewmont made it all seem more bitter.
Once Davis hit the courts to prepare for the new season, it had one goal in mind reclaiming region supremacy from the Vikings.
"Viewmont is our toughest rival and we always want to beat them," said Darts junior Sarah Berrett. "We were pretty upset when they took region last year."
Berrett and her teammates got what they wished for by a slim margin. Davis captured its 11th region title in 12 years at Mount Ogden Park last week on the strength of final match victories from Berrett and first doubles team Alicia Davis and Corie Schofield.
The Darts tallied 31 total points to claim top team honors two more than second-place finisher Weber and only four better than the third-place Vikings.
Berrett, who claimed the second singles crown with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Viewmont's Paige Anderson, said getting players to championship matches in both doubles slots and one singles slot boosted the team's confidence about its chances in the 5A tournament.
"We're a lot more positive," Berrett said. "We feel we can do better, that we can win matches no matter how tough they are."
A major battle Davis faced like the rest of the region was a burst of foul weather on the tournament's first day. Rain soaked the premises at Ogden High and Mount Ogden Park until, as one observer described it, there were literally rivers running down the courts.
The coaches worked fast to relocate everyone to dry courts at Syracuse High and Clearfield High. The delay meant several matches crammed into the late afternoon and early evening.
Davis coach Mark Borski liked how his team overcame those distractions to achieve what they worked for all season.
"This is our goal, on top of our personal goals during the season, is to as a team perform and take region," Borski said. "Take it back. It belongs to us." Here's how other teams in Region 1 fared:
WEBER: Mary Anne Macfarlane winning another region title at first singles was more or less a foregone conclusion, based on her dominance of opponents during the regular season. The sophomore left nothing to chance, winning all three of her matches without dropping a single game.
Not surprisingly, she was imbued with positive energy after it was all over.
"Yeah, it was good," Macfarlane said about winning her second region crown. "A good tournament. Lots of good matches."
Her impressive run through Region 1 has cemented Macfarlane as a state title favorite in 5A. But Weber as a whole showed it is not simply a one person show.
Ashley Jolin and Carly Lloyd also qualified for state in singles as third seeds. On the doubles side, Kara Lasen and Olivia Love earned a second seed in first doubles and Megan McKnight and Rachel Christensen claimed the third seed.
VIEWMONT: The Vikings had a second consecutive region title in their grasp only to watch it slip away with head-to-head losses to Davis and Weber in a pair of championship matches. Still, Viewmont is in a great position in the 5A tournament especially in doubles.
Kjarinda Lambert and Alyssa St. Jeor earned the top seed in second doubles. Kim Hintze and Hilary Bloomfield claimed the second seed in first doubles. It wasn't easy for either tandem to reach that point. Both pairs had to survive a tiebreaker set against Northridge in the semifinals.
Anderson was the top singles qualifier, with her runner-up finish in second singles. Sidney Burningham placed third in first singles and Stacie Hymas earned the fourth seed in third singles.
NORTHRIDGE: Liz Waite clawed her way through two tough third singles matches to emerge as the Knights' lone region title winner. Waite won in three sets, 6-4, 2-6, 10-8 against Lloyd in the semifinals and again needed three sets to beat Davis' Ashley Everton, 6-2,2-6,6-1 in the final.
Northridge also had 5A tournament qualifiers that earned fourth seeds in second singles, first doubles and second doubles.
LAYTON: Shelia Adams was the primary bright spot for the Lancers in Ogden. The multisport star lived up to her second seed status in the tournament, making it to the championship match at first singles, before falling to Macfarlane 6-0,6-0.
The Lancers added fifth seeded state tournament qualifiers in the remaining singles slots and both doubles slots.
FREMONT: Jaclyn Parsons prevented the Silver Wolves from being shut out from the 5A tournament by winning her final two matches and claiming the fifth seed in first singles. Parsons switched over to singles after playing first doubles for Fremont last fall.CLEARFIELD and SYRACUSE did not qualify anyone for the 5A tournament.