SALT LAKE CITY – Heading into day two of the Utah 3A state tennis tournament, Ken Wade's Waterford Ravens had a slim, 10-9 lead over Manti. In the morning's semifinals at Liberty Park, Waterford advanced all three singles players and both doubles teams to the afternoon finals.
With the team title clinched by noon, the Ravens just kept rolling, claiming two singles titles and both doubles titles, rolling to a team score of 28 points. Manti was a distant second with 13 points while Grantsville was third with 10.
“I'm really proud of them for playing steady today and Thursday,” Wade said. “They prepared well and each of them had moments of adversity and overcame them and I'm just so proud of everyone.”
The fuel for the 2019 state tennis title likely came from the crushing blow of losing the 2018 title to Rowland Hall by one point. It may also have come from 2018 Class 3A first singles champ, Lansing Jenkins, a senior, choosing to play first doubles with his younger brother, freshman Dawson Jenkins.
“It was a tough loss last year to Rowland Hall. They played great and got us in the state tournament so that was extra motivation to finish this year,” Wade said. “Lansing's leadership has been very important to show kids he can play doubles with his brother but still come out every time and work hard for the team and not just himself.”
The 2019 Waterford machine won state titles at second singles (Lalith Suresh) and third singles (Arvind Mudaliar), along with first doubles (Lansing and Dawson Jenkins) and second doubles (Tarun Marthweswaran and Lars Thulin).
Waterford junior Shilp Shah reached the finals before being bounced by Judge Memorial junior Luke Pearson. The Bulldog survived his morning semifinal, 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 over Peter Chase of Rowland Hall. In the finals, with his Judge Memorial teammates and classmates echoing Pearson's frequent "come on" shouts, Pearson prevailed with a tricky 6-2, 6-4 win over Shah.
“Even though none of my teammates made it to the second round, they all came and were there to support me,” Pearson said.
With frequent trips to the net, Pearson felt extra redemption for knocking off a Waterford player in the finals.
“It feels great,” Pearson said. “I lost in the semifinals to Waterford a year ago so this one feels really good.”
The battle for second place came down to old foes Manti and Grantsville. The schools paired off in three morning semifinals with the Templars taking two of three.
“This reminds me of the olden days when Manti and Grantsville played a lot,” Manti coach Todd Jorgensen said. “Two of those semifinal matches went three sets, we won two of three and that kind of put us in the forefront.”
Manti junior Kevin Clark reached the second-singles final while the sophomore tandem of Austin Cox and Grady Thompson reached the second-doubles final.
“We didn't lose anyone from last year so the whole varsity was back,” Jorgensen said. “They are all good friends, they give each other a good ribbing sometimes and they cheer each other on and they want each other to do well.”
Class 3A State Tournament
Saturday semifinals at Liberty Park
Shilp Shah, Waterford def. Seth Beckett, Grantsville 6-2, 6-2
Luke Pearson, Judge Memorial def. Peter Chase, Rowland Hall 6-0, 4-6, 6-1
Pearson def. Shah 6-2, 6-4
Lailth Suresh, Waterford def. Emmitt Hinck, Richfield 6-0, 6-2
Kevin Clark, Manti def. Porter Whitworth, Grantsville 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
Suresh def. Clark 6-3, 6-3
Arvind Mudaliar, Waterford def. Parker Achenbach, Richfield 6-0, 6-3
Camdin Nelson, Grantsville def. Connor Bushnell, Manti 7-5, 3-6, 6-1
Mudaliar def. Nelson 6-2, 6-2
Noah Edgar/Auden Bown, Rowland Hall def. Justus Reitz/Luke Robbins, Richfield 6-3, 6-1Comment on this story
Lansing Jenkins/Dawson Jenkins, Waterford def. Mason Thompson/Dallin Cox, Manti 6-1, 6-2
Jenkins/Jenkins def. Edgar/Bown 6-3, 6-1
Tarun Martheswaran/Lars Thulin, Waterford def. Nate Presler/Taggart Curtis, Morgan 6-0, 6-0
Austin Cox/Grady Thompson, Manti def. Max Coon/Joseph Kurtz, Grantsville 7-6, 7-5
Martheswaran/Thulin def. Cox/Thompson 6-2, 6-0
Team points: Waterford 28, Manti 13, Grantsville 10, Rowland Hall 9, Judge Memorial 7, Richfield 7, Morgan 5, North Sanpete 4, Union 3, Delta 1, Grand County 1, South Sevier 1, Wasatch Academy 1