Riverton girls tennis repeat as region champs
Nov 07, 2018 04:01PM
● By Jana Klopsch
Riverton senior Maddi Bruke returns a baseline serve in the region championships. (dsandersonpics.com)
By Greg James | [email protected]
Riverton High School’s girls tennis team players wondered if their DVRs were set to repeat. Their season mirrored that of last year, and they were OK with it.
“In some ways, this year was identical to last year,” Riverton head coach Ron Ence said. “The girls off the court were friends, and our seniors really worked on including everyone in all their activities.”
The Silverwolves captured their second straight Region 3 girls tennis title. Led by four-year varsity players Madelyn Burke and Hailey Anderson, they finished tied for fourth in the Class 6A state tournament.
Burke and Anderson ended their seasons undefeated in region matches. Burke played No. 1 singles, and Anderson competed at No. 2. They both challenged each other to become better players.
“The girls encouraged each other,” Ence said. “They mixed up hitting partners in practice and constantly worked on new things in drills. Then on game day, they followed the other team members and worked together to become better. These seniors held team dinners and worked on becoming a unit.”
Burke completed the undefeated region season and was matched up against Mia Beck from American Fork in the first round of the state tournament. She defeated her 6-3, 6-2. She then lost in the second round 6-0. 6-3 to Juliana Cooksey from Davis.
Anderson advanced to the championship match in No. 2 singles. In the championship match, she lost 6-1, 6-1 to Mandie Robbins from Lone Peak.
“Having Hailey advance to the finals made this year better than last year for positive,” Ence said.
In No. 3 singles, former doubles player senior Lexi Robbins was also undefeated in region matches. She advanced to the quarterfinals at the state tournament..
“She made the transition back to singles fairly easily,” Ence said. “I think singles is a little more comfortable playing position for her.”
Senior Maddi Johansen and junior Brynna Nelson finished the regular season 5-5 and qualified as the Region 3 third seed in No. 1 doubles. They lost in the first round of the state tournament, 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 to a doubles team from Lone Peak.
The No. 2 doubles team of seniors Emily Harris and Ashley Davenport advanced in the first round by defeating a team from Kearns 6-0, 6-0.
Ence noted the teams success came down to the players continued quest to improve in the offseason.
“Those three girls (Burke, Anderson and Robbins) finished the season with a combined regular season record of 52-4,” Ence said. “They are good because they put in the time year-round. That can be hard because of the travel and cost of indoor facilities, but that is the only way to sharpen your skills. This has been a great little run of success for Riverton tennis—led by our experienced and talented seniors.”