Desert Hills comes up just short as Park City takes 4A title

Faith Hess of Desert Hills, file photo from Region 9 Girls Tennis Tournament, St. George, UT, Sept. 23, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY – Park City won its third straight state girls tennis title Saturday at Liberty Park. But this time, it was no runaway.

Strong team efforts from Desert Hills, Ridgeline and Orem kept fans on the edge of their seats until the final scores were tallied. The Miners, with championships at 2nd singles and 3rd singles, plus a silver medal at 1st singles and semifinalists at both doubles slots, outdistanced their competitors in the end, scoring 20 team points. The Thunder and RiverHawks tied for second with 15 points each and the Tigers scored 13 for fourth. Region 9’s Pine View and Dixie finished eighth and ninth.

Coach Dave Smith with his Desert Hills team and the 4A second-place trophy | Photo courtesy David Smith

“I am so proud of our girls tennis team for coming from behind to take second in state behind a very tough Park City,” Desert Hills coach Dave Smith posted on social media. “Total team effort as every player contributed to this tournament and season success!”

The Thunder came into the state tourney as one of the favorites behind perennial powerhouse Park City after sweeping through their Region 9 slate undefeated. But the competition was much stiffer at the state level, especially with the move up to 4A.

The brightest spot for the Thunder was 2nd doubles team Tia Turley and Lyndsi Graf. The duo swept both matches on Friday in straight sets, then bested previously undefeated Madi Brenchley and Avery Chadwick of Ridgeline in the semifinals Saturday morning.

That put Turley-Graf in the state title match against Orem’s Isabel Adams and Gabby Bailey Saturday afternoon. The Tiger duo took the first set 6-4, but Turley and Graf took over the match from there, winning set two 6-0 and then clinching the gold medal with a 6-2 win in set three.

“Gold medals to Lyndsi Graf and Tia Turley, clinching our team finish by coming from a set down to defeat Orem’s team 6-0, 6-2,” Smith said.

That run for gold got D-Hills six team points and helped the Thunder secure the second-place finish.

The Thunder also got a good showing at 2nd singles as sophomore Faith Hess placed second behind Park City junior Gabby Rockwood. Hess defeated opponents from Mountain Crest and Spanish Fork in the first two rounds Friday, then bested Orem junior Mimi Bowman in two tightly contested sets (6-4, 7-5) in the semifinals.

Rockwood, who won 2nd singles in 3A last season, had only dropped two games in six sets at state heading into the finals. Hess managed to win four games, but was no match for the two-time state champ, who won it 6-2, 6-2.

Morgan Behymer of Desert Hills, Region 9 Girls Tennis Tournament, St. George, UT, Sept. 23, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

Desert Hills had semifinalists at 1st and 3rd singles. Top player Morgan Behymer had straight set wins over competitors from Bonneville and Spanish Fork on Friday, but fell in the semifinals to Park City’s Livi Rockwood. Rockwood went on to lose in the championship to Ridgeline’s Naya Tillitt, who won state for the second straight year at 1st singles.

At 3rd singles, DH freshman Mackinzie Telford also won both her matches on Friday, sweeping past players from Spanish Fork and Ogden. But Telford met her match in the state semifinals, falling 6-3, 6-1 to Orem’s Aspen Jones.

The 1st doubles team of Erica Evans and Abbie Carmack from Desert Hills had a rough go of it at state. Carmack-Evans won easily in the first round, but then were ousted in the quarterfinals in a mild upset by the Logan High duo of Heather Rosklelley and Cambrie Anderson. The Logan pair won by a score of 6-3, 7-5.

Pine View’s Bri Callahan and Dixie’s Angela Crooks both won their opening round matches, but then fell in the 1st singles quarterfinals. Callahan dropped a 6-0, 6-0 match to eventual champion Tillitt, while Crooks lost to Payson freshman Kendra Hancock 6-2, 6-0.

At 3rd singles, Pine View’s Cameron Miner won her first match, then fell in the quarters to Park City’s Taylor Matz 6-2, 6-1. Matz went on to win the 3rd singles title.

Pine View’s Ryann Blaser and Charisse Snow and Snow Canyon’s Charlotte Apple and Addie Southam won first-round matches at 1st doubles. But Blaser-Snow fell 6-1, 6-3 to Ridgeline and Apple-Southam went down 5-7, 6-1, 6-3 to Orem.

At 2nd doubles, Dixie’s Tess Larkin and Callie Beckstrom went 1-1 on Friday, getting eliminated by Orem.

4A State Girls Tennis Championships
Team scores
1. Park City  20
2t. Desert Hills  15
2t. Ridgeline  15
4. Orem  13
5. Logan  8
6t. Payson  4
6t. Spanish Fork  4
8. Pine View  3
9t. Dixie  2
9t. Green Canyon  2
9t. Salem Hills  2

Finals results
1st singles – Tillitt (Ridgeline) def. L. Rockwood (Park City) 6-2, 6-3
2nd singes – G. Rockwood (Park City) def. Hess (Desert Hills) 6-2, 6-2
3rd singles – Matz (Park City) def. Jones (Orem) 7-6 (5), 6-3
1st doubles – Rosklelly-Anderson (Logan) def. Pehrson-Wolford (Ridgeline) 6-4, 6-3
2nd doubles – Turley-Graf (Desert Hills) def. Adams-Bailey (Orem) 4-6, 6-0, 6-2

For full results, click here.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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