HEBER — The undefeated Wasatch High School boy’s tennis team hosted its third annual Wasatch Valley Invitational this weekend and came away with the overall team victory.
The invite, which finished on Saturday morning under beautiful spring Heber skies, featured teams from Bear River, Judge Memorial and Waterford.
Match play started on the new Wasatch tennis courts Friday afternoon for seedings and concluded with the finals on Saturday. Wasatch won the invite with a low score of 9. Judge Memorial finished second with 11. Waterford had 14 while Bear River finished with 16.
In the first match on Saturday, the Wasps’ number one singles player, Scotty Niederhauser, faced off against Waterford’s Jay T. Anderson, one of the best players in the state. It was a competitive match that found Niederhauser in position a couple of times to gain advantage on his opponent, but the top-seeded Anderson outlasted Niederhauser and took the match 6-2, 6-1.
In the second contest, pitting number twos Kaden Neuberger of Wasatch and Luke Ropner of Judge Memorial, the Wasps came out on top with a strong performance by Neuberger. The Wasatch senior jumped ahead early, then had to fight back after dropping the second set and eventually held off his Bulldog counterpart for the 6-2, 3-6, 10-5 victory.
Wasatch’s number three seed, junior Spencer Willets, came back to beat his Waterford opponent, Christian Heath, 4-6, 6-0, 11-9 in an intense match that pretty much secured the team victory for the Wasps.
Even though taking second for his team in the number one singles match, Niederhauser was pleased with his performance. “I think I played pretty well today,” said the senior. “Jay T.’s one of the best around and very tough to beat, so I’m happy to take second,” he added. “Getting the team win and staying unbeaten is the best part.”
In doubles play, Wasatch’s first team of juniors Scott Gill and Tanner Giles defeated Waterford’s entry 6-1, 2-6, 10-7 in a match for third place overall.
The Wasps' second team of doubles with senior Jaren Hunsaker and junior Kameron Baird took second place with a hard fought defeat by a good Judge Memorial pair, 6-7, 6-4, 10-5. Theirs was the last match of the day, and even though Wasatch knew it was ahead in overall points before the conclusion, it was an exciting finish.
Wasatch head tennis coach Corey Lange smiled proudly while basking in the sunshine and his team’s victory. “It turned out to be a beautiful day for tennis and we’re very proud of our guys today,” he said. “It’s great to host these invites and see such good competition from other schools,” Lange said. “We can look forward now to Juan Diego next week and regionals after that.”
Kenny Bristow is the staff sports writer for the Wasatch Wave and contributes to the Deseret News high school coverage for the Wasatch region. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. To contribute to DNews Preps for your area, enquire at 801.237.2143.