SALT LAKE CITY — Ridgeline’s Madi Brenchley was glad her coach and teammates didn’t say how important her match was at Liberty Park Saturday afternoon.
Going up against Park City’s Brooklyn Thompson in the 4A singles match, Brenchley was locked in a difficult duel knowing that her team was still in a fight for the team title. After the second game, which she lost decidedly, coach Josh Hinkle approached her and tried to think of some simple advice.
“I really didn’t know what to tell her,” Hinkle said. “She’s just so consistent. She doesn’t let anything bother her.”
Brenchley, a sophomore, had a different memory of the conversation.
“I’m just glad he didn’t say how important the match was to the team. That would have made me so nervous.”
Her teammates knew, but they stayed quiet, too, and just kept cheering. After a quick drink of Gatorade, Brenchley regained the momentum she had in the first game and defeated Thompson to earn the decisive points that allowed Ridgeline to win the team title after two consecutive second-place finishes. The Riverhawks finished with 17 points, while Park City and Desert Hills had 16. Logan and Uintah tied for fourth place with seven points.
“Before the tournament, I was thinking of all the scenarios that we needed for us to win,” Hinkle said. “If I had to bet, I thought Desert Hills would have done it, but we had several players come through.”
Despite having to deal with Cache Valley winters, Ridgeline, just a third-year school, has become a tennis power thanks to having access to the Sports Academy’s indoor tennis courts in North Logan. Hinkle, who also works there, said his players spend many hours at the club during the colder, wetter months, and it has helped them learn to compete against their opponents from warmer climates.
“Most of them have to drive 30 minutes just to get there,” Hinkle said “They’ve put in the work.”
Brenchley and Naya Tillitt, of course, are among them. Tillitt had one of the most-impressive efforts of the tournament. After an undefeated regular season, Tillett easily sailed through state and only lost two games — ended her high-school career with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Livi Rockwood of Park City in the No. 1 singles division.
“Naya’s the real deal,” said Hinkle.
Park City got a first-place finish from Livi’s twin sister, Gabby Rockwood, at No. 2 singles. Logan’s Heather Roskelley and Annie Spach captured the No. 1 doubles crown, and Lyndsi Graf and Averee Beck combined to take No. 2 doubles under warm, sunny, but occasionally windy weather conditions.
4A state tennis tournament
At Liberty Park, Salt Lake City
- Final Team Scores
1, Ridgeline 17. 2, Park City, Desert Hills 16. 4, Logan, Uintah 7. 6, Salem Hills 5. 7, Orem, Pine View 4. 9, Dixie, Green Canyon, Ogden 3. 12, Payson, Spanish Fork 2. 14, Stansbury 1.
- No. 1 singles
Semifinals – Naya Tillitt (Ridgeline) def. Taylor Parsley (Pine View) 6-0, 6-0. Livi Rockwood (Park City) def. Morgan Behymer (Desert Hills) 6-0. 6-0
Championship – Tillitt def. Rockwood 6-1, 6-1.
- No. 2 singles
Semifinals - Mackenzie Telford (Desert Hills) def. Lucy Lyons (Ridgeline) 6-4, 6-2. Gabby Rockwood (Park City) def. Alli Phillips (Green Canyon) 6-2, 6-1.
Championship – Rockwood def. Telford 6-2, 6-1.
- No. 3 singles
Semifinals – Brooklyn Thompson (Park City) def. Tia Turley (Desert Hills) 6-1, 4-6, 6-2. Madi Brenchley (Ridgeline) def. Madi Poorman (Ogden) 6-3, 6-4.
Championship – Brenchley def. Thompson 6-2, 2-6, 6-3.
- No. 1 doubles
Semifinals – Heather Roskelley/Annie Spach (Logan) def. Faith Hess/Cassidy Kohler (Desert Hills) 6-2, 6-4. Kaitlyn Callahan/Kassidy Callahan (Uintah) def. Ali Wolford/London Crandall (Ridgeline) 7-6 (7-4), 7-5.
Championship – Roskelley/Spach def. Callahan/Callahan 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.
- No. 2 doubles
Semifinals – Lyndsi Graf/Averee Beck (Desert Hills) def. Gabby Bailey/Abby Dunn (Orem) 3-6, 7-5, 6-0. Meg Weeks/Leah DeHart (Salem Hills) def. Sierra Law/Camry Myers (Uintah) 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.
Championship – Graf/Beck def. Weeks/DeHart 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.