The doubles teams have to play good for an extended period of time, not just for a set here, a set here. They have to play well the whole time. —Stephen Thurgood
It’s been roughly a decade and a half since Grantsville last won a girls tennis state championship, which is a considerable drought for a school which won 18 titles from 1978 to 2003. The drought might end this weekend at the 3A state tournament at Liberty Park.
While most of Grantsville’s top competitors bumped up a classification in the recent UHSAA realignment, it remained in 3A and instead of competing against teams like Park City and Desert Hills for trophies, it’s now competing with teams like Waterford, Rowland Hall, Richfield, Judge Memorial and North Sanpete.
That’s not to say Grantsville couldn’t compete with the bigger schools. It finished one point behind Park City two years ago for the team title and last year finished fourth.
This weekend though, it’s the favorite.
Grantsville won the Region 13 title by winning individual titles at three of the five positions, with the three champs winning all their region matches.
Leading the way is Marissa Linares and Maci Jackson. They won the 3A second doubles state championship a year ago, but this year Linares is competing at second singles and Jackson at third singles.
Three other tourney contributors from last year, Kayla Johnson, Brooklyn Butler and Lexi Carlson, are also back this season.
Despite the experience, Grantsville coach Stephen Thurgood expects the team race to be “really open.” Consistency will be key for his team.
“Our doubles are kind of up and down. When they played for the region championship they lost 6-1 in the first set and they were kind of all over the place. Second doubles never did recover,” said Thurgood. “The doubles teams have to play good for an extended period of time, not just for a set here, a set here. They have to play well the whole time.”
Rowland Hall finished second to Waterford in last year’s team race, but both face an uphill climb to knock off a Grantsville team that beat them in Region 13 play. When it comes to first singles though, everyone is looking up at Rowland Hall senior Katie Foley and Waterford freshman Sophie Christensen.
Foley is a two-time state champion at 2A first singles and hoping to end her career with a third title. Foley beat Christensen twice during region play, but both matches went three sets.
“Hopefully they’ll meet again in the state final. It’s really good tennis,” said Waterford coach Ken Wade.
Paige Anderson is another strong player for Waterford. She was the 2A second singles champ last year but she’s competing at third singles this year.
Judge Memorial dropped down two classifications this season, and it could make some noise at state, particularly at third singles and second doubles.
Richfield and North Sanpete were the class of Region 15 this season with Richfield qualifying three No. 1 seeds and North Sanpete two No. 1 seeds. Richfield finished seventh at last year’s 3A state meet.
North Sanpete will get an early idea how it stacks up against favored Grantsville in a tune-up match against each other this Tuesday.
Thursday’s first round
Katie Foley, Rowland Hall vs. Jamie Day, Grand
Emily Sanders, Delta vs. Kayla Johnson, Grantsville
Katherine MacPhail, Judge vs. Jordan Ross, Union
Robyn Reese, Richfield vs. Sage Earl, Morgan
Katja Braden, Juab vs. Daniela Messina, Layton Christian
Sophie Christensen, Waterford vs. Jenifer Bailey, Manti
Clista Galeck, Wasatch Academy vs. Jade Warren, San Juan
Hannah Ostraff, North Sanpete vs. Jewelianna Nielsen, Carbon
BreAnna Swapp, North Sanpete vs. Keylla Ortega, Maeser Prep
Tanisha Martheswaran, Waterford vs. Emily Anderson, Delta
Shandyn Harris, Richfield vs. Emily Rougelot, Judge
Mariah Law, Union vs. Breckon Bradshaw, South Sevier
Marissa Linares, Grantsville vs. Kaylee Dyreng, Gunnison
Auri Squire, Manti vs. Violette Truong, Rowland Hall
Lauren Hadley, Morgan vs. Emma Kennedy, Wasatch Academy
Megan Welburn, Juab vs. Kiersten Kimmerle, Grand
Maci Jackson, Grantsville vs. Aubree Robinson, South Sevier
Sadie Cox, Manti vs. Kaylen Lee, Maeser Prep
Kimberly Lebaron, Delta vs. Amanda Johansen, Emery
Taelyn Ballow, Juab vs. Annie Kopell, Grand
Hayden Harris, Richfield vs. Tala Shabib, Rowland Hall
Lyndee Miller, Union vs. Scout Curtis, Morgan
Sunny Anderson, North Sanpete vs. Paige Anderson, Waterford
Amy Robinson, Judge vs. Winnie Li, Wasatch Academy
Paige Peterson/Lexi Carlson, Grantsville vs. Ashley Lowe/Janessa Stewart, South Sevier
Emma Echols/Marinda Everitt, Juab vs. Annie Joseph/Anna Yarema, St. Joseph
Selina Fawson/Taylor Polad, Morgan vs. Savanna Price/Avery Stevens, Union
McKenna Nielsen/Nakiah Taylor, North Sanpete vs. Huxley Ann Huefner/Paige Smaligo, Waterford
Sophie Jessee/Holly Crosby, Wasatch Academy vs. Madeline Keil/Sofia Espinosa, Rowland Hall
Anna Drossos/Olivia Anderson, Judge vs. Kiana Pittman/Reagan Sitterud, Emery
Jaymee Carter/Kaitlyn Tolbert, Delta vs. Katherine Harmston/Miranda Warren, Manti
Kristen Mogan/Audrey Thalman, Richfield vs. Gaby Lambourne/Samantha Barlow, Providence Hall
Kristen Crowther/Ellie Hair, Richfield vs. Makayla Bennion/Sabrina Bentley, Providence Hall
Brooklyn Butler/Brynlee Butler, Grantsville vs. Tenzin Norzom/Raica Kwizera, Wasatch Academy
Whitney Dyreng/Alexis Naylor, Manti vs. Taylor Schmidt/Beth Hammond, Waterford
Jessica Willmore/Keana Williams, Juab vs. Nacie Nelson/Jordynn Wolford, Emery
Ellie McCoy/Veronica Start, Judge vs. Ruth Lyons/Katlynd Leatherhead, Gunnison
Laney Gillins/Alexis Hammond, North Sanpete vs. Grayson King/Kajal Ganesh, Rowland Hall
Erin Bartol/Ashley McMillan, Morgan vs. Tacee Miller/Brinley Gadd, Union
Hallie Ewart/Katey Tolbert, Delta vs. Maara Holyoak/Kyla Jackman, Grand