SALT LAKE CITY — With a tight team race between Timpview and Olympus, Saturday's 5A state tennis tournament at Liberty Park featured some epic battles. Throughout the day, fans from the two top teams in the 5A ranks could be seen scurrying between matches and joining in the raucous celebration that came with each win.
When the dust had cleared after some exceptional tennis, executed under heightened pressure, the Titans and Thunderbirds had both accumulated 16 points, tying for the 5A girls tennis title.
“Our girls really battled, especially with Gwen (Bryson) being hurt,” Timpview coach Amber Callister said. “This year, I thought everyone competed as hard as they could, and we played awesome.”
For Olympus seniors Emma Jewel and Kate Longson, the sharing of the team title didn't dampen the spirits of two athletes who are a large part of why the Titans are now part of five consecutive state titles for the Olympus girls.
“Everyone just works so hard, and everyone comes out and supports us,” Jewel said. “All the girls work hard and have fun and don't let anything else get in the way.”
The co-champ titles didn't come without their share of angst for both teams.
Olympus sophomore Anzley Stohl had a crucial final against Timpview's Avery Pope. Stohl won the first set, 6-0, Pope grabbed the second set, 4-6 before Stohl righted the ship with a 6-2 third set win that sealed a No. 3 singles title.
“I was really nervous, and I knew my opponent was really good so I knew I had to have a good mental attitude,” Stohl said. “That third set, I knew I had to come out and win the first couple games to stay fired up.”
Tied at 14 points and desperately needing a win, the Timpview second doubles tandem of Anna Fellers and Maddie Austin won a three-set marathon, 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 over the Woods Cross duo of Jenna Hinkle and Payton Kossin.
Olympus's Longson, needing a win in the final 5A match of the day, prevailed at No. 2 singles 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 over Highland sophomore Sophie Hastings.
“I just knew I had to keep my attitude together and mentally stay in the match,” Longson said.
Alta's Emilee Astle checked her name into the high school tennis record books, notching her fourth consecutive state title at No. 1 singles. In the semifinals, Astle slipped past good friend and future BYU teammate Jewel from Olympus, 7-5, 7-5. In the finals, Astle, showing an improved serve-and-volley game, beat East freshman Emmi Moore, 6-0, 6-2.
“I knew this year was going to be tough because there are so many good players,” Astle said. “Emma is such a good player and a friend, and Emmi Moore, she's amazing and has a super bright future ahead of her.”
Astle's Hawks finished in third place in the team standings, and after Astle won, she stayed on the court for at least 30 minutes to celebrate the moment with her friends and family.
“Our team is so amazing this year,” Astle said. “All of the varsity and junior varsity cheered me on every match this year, and that was a big factor in this match, so I'm glad they were there.”
Final 5A team standings:
Olympus 16, Timpview 16, Alta 9, Corner Canyon 9, Highland 8, Woods Cross 8, East 6, Wasatch 5, Springville 4, Brighton 3, Skyridge 3, Farmington 1, Maple Mountain 1, West 1.
Emmi Moore, East def. Emma Templeman, Springville, 6-1, 6-0
Emilee Astle, Alta, def. Emma Jewel, Olympus, 7-5, 7-5
Finals: Astle def. Moore, 6-0, 6-2
Kate Longson, Olympus def. Brinley Horton, Alta, 6-3, 6-3
Sophie Hastings, Highland def. Gwen Bryson, Timpview, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1
Finals: Longson def. Hastings, 6-3, 2-6, 6-1
Avery Pope, Timpview def. Brynley Olsen, 6-1, 6-2
Anzley Stohl, Olympus def. Abby Willes, Corner Canyon, 6-0, 6-2
Finals: Stohl def. Pope, 6-0, 4-6, 6-2
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Lucy Collins and Jamie Faux, Timpview def. Laura Baker and Lexi Farnes, Woods Cross, 6-0, 6-1
Lizzie Simmons and Emma Heiden, Corner Canyon def. Anika Boyden and Lucy Carlson, East, 6-2, 6-3
Finals: Simmons and Heiden def. Collins and Faux, 6-2, 6-4
Jenna Hinkle and Payton Kossin, Wood Cross, def. Addie Zimmerman and Abby Harris, Olympus, 6-4, 6-4
Anna Fellers and Maddie Austin, Timpview, def. Emma Berg and Rebecca McGregor, Wasatch, 6-3, 6-3
Finals: Fellers and Austin def. Hinkle and Kossin, 6-1, 3-6, 6-1