Siblings led Mustangs 2018 girls tennis
Dec 11, 2018 09:56AM
● By Greg James
The family atmosphere around the Mustang tennis team comes from more than just the camaraderie. They are a family on and off the court. (Linda Richmond/Herriman tennis)
By Greg James | email@example.com
Herriman High School’s girls tennis team had not one but two sets of sisters competing this year. As it turned out, the sibling rivalry helped them have a fun season and a successful one also.
“I think our season went really well,” Mustang head tennis coach Linda Richmond said. “A lot of our girls did well in state. Tennis is based a lot around family. If one sibling plays, then others will play, and it influences them to compete and play well.”
The Mustangs placed second in Region 3 behind Riverton this season. That qualified them to participate as at the state tournament. At the state tournament, they finished seventh, just ahead of American Fork.
“The sisters were fantastic,” Richmond said. “The older girls were great with their younger sisters. I asked Emily (Swapp) what was your favorite thing about playing this year and she said, ‘Playing with my sister.’ It was very positive with our team.”
As a freshman Emily Swapp made a big splash as the No. 3 singles player. She finished second in Region 3 with a 7-3 overall record and advanced to the semifinals in her bracket. She defeated Fremont’s Reagan Bolos 6-3, 6-1 in the first round and Bingham’s Anna Thomas 6-3, 7-5 to advance to the semifinals. She lost to the eventual state champion from Lone Peak.
“Emily started playing tennis when she was very young,” Richmond said. “She is out there playing really hard, and she works just as hard as any other kid.”
Her senior sister Megan also lost to the eventual state champion (Weber’s Jacque Dunyon). She closed out her career advancing to the quarterfinals. She was named Mountain America student-athlete of the month this fall.
The other sister combo, Lily and Sophie Winder, also had a positive impact on the team.
One of the Mustangs No. 2 doubles players, senior McKaylee Jensen, suffered an injury with only two weeks remaining in the regular season. The team of Madi Hansen and Brittney Richins took advantage of the opportunity. They won the Region 3 championship and won their first round state match 6-2, 6-0 over a team from Granger.
Jensen was also a recipient of the Academic All-State award. She maintains a 4.0 cumulative grade point average and had been a contributor on the varsity team until she was injured.
“We never have academic problems with our student-athletes,” Richmond said. “We have incredible people, and they focus not only on their individual game. They are amazing individuals.”
Junior Sydney Reading finished second in region at the No. 2 singles position. She advanced to the second round at state by defeating Chole Tapacio from Granger 6-0, 6-1. She lost in the second round also to the eventual state champion from Lone Peak.
Richmond said consistent play is important for her team members to progress.
“It can be expensive to play indoors in the winter,” Richmond said. “I have players spend four hours a day playing. The players that are really serious we work on the mental game and how to play matches better. The experienced players have coaches that teach them good technique. With the less experienced players, we work on strokes and development.”
The No. 1 doubles team of Callie Davis and Meg Finlay won a region championship with a 9-1 overall record. They lost in the first round of the state tournament.
“All of the girls did a lot of outside work,” Richmond said. “Our season is pretty short, from about July to October. Most of these kids play year-round, and to be successful, they have to play year-round. It can be a rough season if they don’t put in the extra effort.”