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Scott G Winterton,
Gunnison's Tim Stewart battles Rowland Hall's Leif Thulin in the quarterfinals of the High School 2A state tennis championships in Salt Lake City Saturday, May 14, 2016.
You never know how other teams are going to come in and mix things up. State is always exciting because there are so many variables you can’t prepare for. —Waterford coach Ken Wade.

In the four years since sharing the 2A state tennis title with rival Rowland Hall, Waterford has dominated the classification with four additional state championships.

So when Waterford beat Rowland Hall 4-1 in a region meeting earlier this season, naturally the players started to assume 2018 would be another championship season.

That all changed last Friday at the Region 13 championships. With slightly different line-ups in the rematch, Rowland Hall returned the favor with a 4-1 win.

We may have started believing our own hype a little bit after going undefeated and it was a rude awakening to lose all those matches. Hoping it will be a positive for us,” said Waterford coach Ken Wade.

This year’s 3A state tournament will take place this Friday and Saturday at Liberty Park.

Waterford and Rowland Hall are the likely front-runners, but Manti has four No. 1 seeds out of Region 15 and Union has three No. 1 seeds out of Region 15. With virtually no crossover between the regions during the regular season, it’s difficult to project how the top players in each region will fare against each other at state.

“You never know how other teams are going to come in and mix things up,” said Wade. “State is always exciting because there are so many variables you can’t prepare for.”

That played out in first singles showdowns between Waterford junior Lansing Jenkins and Rowland Hall senior Leif Thulin. Jenkins won the first time around in three sets, with two-time first singles champ Thulin returning the favorite in straight sets last weekend.

“They’re both extremely good players, and I think it will really come down to who plays the more consistently, confident-kind of tennis,” said Wade.

Manti sophomore Konner Clark is undefeated this season and the No. 1 seed on Jenkins’ half of the bracket, while undefeated Gunnison senior Tim Stewart is the top seed on Thulin’s side.

Manti’s strength is at singles, with all three players gaining tourney experience last year. As a sophomore last year Connor Bushnell reached the championship at third singles but lost 7-5-6-3.

Manti coach Todd Jorgensen said the experience his singles players gained last year in dealing with the stress of the state tournament is a plus heading into this year’s tourney.

“I believe we’re on the upward trend, we’re improving as each week goes by and that’s one of the best things you can see as a coach,” said Jorgensen.

3A state tournament

Friday at Liberty Park

First singles

Upper bracket

Konner Clark, Manti vs. Josh Christensen, Draper APA

Brian Spencer, Union vs. Luke Pearson, Judge

Lansing Jenkins, Waterford vs. Russell Madsen, North Sanpete

Ashton Lyons, Juab vs. Lyle Palmer, San Juan

Lower bracket

Tim Stewart, Gunnison vs. Josh Hopkin, Morgan

Elton Kunze-Jones, Grand vs. Seth Beckett, Grantsville

TJ Gadd, Richfield vs. Carter Arris, Wasatch Academy

Leif Thulin, Rowland Hall vs. Trenton Howard, Maeser Prep

Second singles

Upper bracket

Tucker Lee, Rowland Hall vs. Jason Fowles, Delta

Kasey Kemp, Grand vs. Carson Martines, Carbon

Peter Kurtz, Grantsville vs. Alexander Stewart, Gunnison

Emmett Hinck, Richfield vs. Dannion Nelson, Draper APA

Lower bracket

Kevin Clark, Manti vs. Kayleb Squire, Juab

Shilp Shah, Waterford vs. William Wang, Wasatch Academy

Tony Robinson, Judge vs. Luke Palmer, San Juan

Reid Price, Union vs. Garrett Jones, South Sevier

Third singles

Upper bracket

Gabriel Jensen, Gunnison vs. Kean Poyer, San Juan

Ford Christenson, Waterford vs. Trevor Ence, North Sanpete

Kai Wainer, Grand vs. Ethan Jorgensen, Union

Porter Whitworth, Grantsville vs. Adam Fu, Wasatch Academy

Lower bracket

Peter Chase, Rowland Hall vs. Ryker Roundy, South Sevier

Jarom Robinson, Juab vs. Jacob Ross, Richfield

Hayden Lee, Delta vs. Brinton Winn, Morgan

Austin Hills, St. Joseph vs. Connor Bushnell, Manti

First doubles

Upper bracket

Joe Garlick/Kendall Grasteit, North Sanpete vs. Simon Briesacher/Carter Titmus, Judge

Teylor Pollack/Ethan Hammond, Gunnison vs. Josh Kesling/Noah Edgar, Rowland

Andrew Dalton/Jase Wilson, Grantsville vs. Dallin Cox/Mason Thompson, Manti

Tanner Mascaro/Braxten Pierce, Grand vs. Canden Stockdale/Jackson Rosier, Carbon

Lower bracket

Evan Percival/Chase Birchell, Union vs. Philip Buttschardt/Arturo Cuesta, St. Joseph

Parker Achenbach/Dillon Blackner, Richfield vs. Brayden Wilkinson/Carter Thackery, Morgan

Ramsey Holliday/Dylan Ivins, San Juan vs. Michael Huston/Wesly Harston, Maeser Prep

Arvind Mudaliar/Tarun Martheswaran, Waterford vs. Nick Abbott/Nick Hansen, Delta

Second doubles

Upper bracket

Weston Tuckett/Max Coon, Grantsville vs. Brock Overly/Spencer Overly, Gunnison

Jason Haywood/Justus Reitz, Richfield vs. Adam Cottle/Jacob Cottle, Maeser Prep

Jack Christensen/Bonham Brewer, Carbon vs. Spencer Norris/Omeed Moshirfar, Waterford

Brigham Lewis/Alex Mower, North Sanpete vs. Dillon Heaton/Caleb Crandall, Summit Academy

Lower bracket

Austin Cox/Grady Thompson, Manti vs. Durango Dodge/Corbin Park, Juab

Soren Feola/Justin Peng, Rowland Hall vs. Ethan Willoughby/Jaxon Sentker, Delta

Holden Welsh/Seth Hadley, Morgan vs. Cody Johnston/Hayden Lance, Grand

Kaleb Lisonbee/Parker Brinkerhoff, Union vs. Dex Dalton/Talmage Smith, South Sevier