Girls Tennis Smashing Their Season

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Senior Lauren Allen (photo credit to Tanzi Probst/Park Record)

Jack Footer, Reporter

The Miners girls tennis team is optimistic leading up to the state finals. The team has only lost one match in the season, to Highland on September 7th by a score of 4-1. They sit 8-1 overall, and just came out of their region tournament in second place.

 

The team has had many successful matches this season. Two matches standout: September 16th at Skyline, and September 21st at home against East. Both times they won by a score of 5-0. 

 

The Highland Rams have been a weak spot for the Miners, defeating them for their lone loss of the regular season and coming out on top in the region tournament.

 

The team feels confident that they can succeed at state finals, said Junior Singles Player Riley Petersen.

 

“I feel like we are going to do pretty good at states just because of our record this year. As I have said, we have only lost one match so far. We are looking pretty good this year,” said Petersen.

 

The team has many players who could shine at the tournament. One bright spot they have is Junior Elle Martin, their No. 1 singles player. Martin lost in the state quarterfinals as a freshman in 2019, and lost in the semi-finals in 2020.  Martin qualified for the ‘state feed-in’ tournament, a single elimination tournament which will determine who will make state finals.

 

Martin will match up against Box Elder in the state feed-in tournament on Tuesday, October 5th as the third-seeded singles player. Martin has high hopes for the upcoming state tournament for the Miners as a whole.

 

“I am excited for state because I think our team will do well, based on how our team did in the toughest region,” said Martin.

 

Martin also commented on the state feed-in tournament and how it is relatively inconvenient, since it did not exist prior to 5A adopting a fifth region, adding more players to the 16-player state tournament format.

 

“It’s kind of annoying that we have to do the feed-in, but it is good preparation for state,” said Martin.

 

The Miners also have Junior Olivia Tarmina, the team’s No. 2 singles player. Tarmina will also be competing in the state feed-in tournament on October 5th. She will match up against Cedar Valley on Tuesday. Petersen believes Tarmina and Martin are both important leaders for the team. 

 

“They help the rest of the team learn new things, like things to work on their strokes. I’d say they are just super good at the sport,” said Peterson.

 

The Miners relied on the team’s No.1 doubles pair, Lauren Allen and Danny Santos, throughout much of the regular season. Unfortunately, Allen and Santos were knocked out by Highland in their second match of the region tournament. They also have Aly Inglish and Mayme Hansen, the team’s No. 2 doubles pair. Inglish and Hansen have not lost a match this year. 

 

Head coach Lani Wilcox said the reason these players are so successful is that they have played together for a long time.

 

“I think with Lauren and Danny, with them playing together for four years, it has really helped their partnership in doubles for them to be able to stand out,” said Wilcox.

 

At the end of the season, the team will be losing some of their important seniors. The graduating seniors include Kassidy White, Emily Bronstein, Lauren Allen, Danny Santos, Amber Howard, Eden Lord, and Tess Carson. 

 

Coach Wilcox is optimistic that they will fill the void of the departing seniors in the future.

 

“My number one goal is to bring up those girls that are at the top of JV that will be able to possibly and hopefully fill those positions for us,” said Wilcox.

 

The region tournament took place at Brighton High School in Cottonwood Heights on October 1st. The players were re-seeded and some will play in the state feed-in tournament. The feed-in tournament is consisted of third and fourth seeded players in each region to narrow the draw down to sixteen players. It is a single elimination tournament.

 

“There are twenty girls who have qualified, but there are only sixteen available positions at state,” said Wicox.

 

After the state feed-in tournament, the state meet will take place Thursday and Saturday, October 7th and 9th, at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City.

 

According to Peterson, the team feels really connected and they have a good bond with each other, which helps tremendously on the court.

 

“The thing that I like most about the tennis team is, honestly, the bonds I make with the other people on the team. We all just get super close during team season and most of these friendships are really strong friendships that will last a while,” said Peterson.

*Brewster Hutchinson also contributed to this story.