By Rich Francey, Head Coach
The 2022 season for our girls tennis team is in the books after a fun and very successful experience. The team started practices on the morning of August 3 at 8 am. The weather was extremely hot the entire season, so it was nice to have some morning practices before school started in late August. We also welcomed three new players to the team, which is always nice to have. More about them later.
The early part of the season was filled with many non-region matches against 3A, 4A, 5A, and 6A schools, including Ogden, Brighton, West, Morgan, Grantsville, Murray, and Manti. It is always good for the team to compete against some of the larger schools, as it gives the players some early challenges and confidence. With the changes in how state is now seeded, it also gave the coaching staff the opportunity to play some of our JV girls in some varsity matches.
The last week of August saw the team starting classes as well as region matches. The team had a quick region schedule, as we had to have our final matches completed by September 15. Our team posted an amazing 7-0 region record, winning 37 matches and dropping only three. The team’s overall record for the season, including non-region matches, was 58 matches won and only 15 matches lost. Our Winged Lions won 12 dual meets and were defeated in only two.
The state championship was held, again, at Liberty Park, but unlike 2021, we had incredible weather. We advanced all positions with two wins each on the first day, allowing all five positions to move into the semifinals. For the finals, we had three positions vying for individual state championships: #1 Singles, Sophie Baker; #3 singles, Alivia Boe; and #2 Doubles, Kate Altman and Frances Hodson. Sophie Baker, at #1 Singles, brought home the state title, while in the other two finals we earned second in state for those individual awards. With the new state scoring system, we took second place as a team, with 47 points, behind Morgan (53 points).
One highlight I would like to bring up is the unbelievable play of our three singles players. Sophie Baker, new to Rowland Hall this season, had an amazing 17-1 record at #1 Singles, losing only to the 5A state runner-up in a non-region match. Jane Borst, who was also new to Rowland Hall this year, had a 14-3 record at #2 Singles. The most impressive season was at #3 Singles, where Alivia Boe had a 16-match winning streak and did not even drop a set during that run, winning all 32 sets. The only disappointment was in the state final, where she lost an incredibly close match in three hard-fought sets. All in all, the three singles players had a combined match win total of 47 matches won and five lost—an amazing feat.
Once again, assistant coach Susan Daynes headed up our JV team this year and did another magnificent job. We had 13 players on the JV team, and while they were considered JV, they were a big part of the team as we were able to letter 18 of our 20 total team members. We also brought back Assistant Coach Cory Levetan, who was a tremendous help with both the varsity and JV teams. The JV players this year consisted of Isabelle Bown, Grace Frazier, Katerina Gianoulis, Marina Peng, Nadia Scharfstein, Kelly Siegal, Paige Timmeny, Aurelie Wallis, Chloe Flanagan, Ainsley Moore, Madilyn Mulford, Nina Martin (new to the team this year), and Angel Wang. The entire JV team played many matches against other schools, which was essential in their growth. The JV season concluded with our annual JV Tournament, with Ainsley Moore winning the tournament as well as a new Head racquet.
Like in 2021, the season concluded with a wonderful team awards banquet, held at the Boe family’s home. As always, it was a very nice event with great food, and was very well attended. It also gave us a chance to give out some awards to the team: MVP to Alivia Boe and Sophie Baker; Coaches’ Award to Kate Altman; Most Improved Player to Frances Hodson; JV MVP to Ainsley Moore; and JV Most improved to Paige Timmeny and Madilyn Mulford. We are also proud to announce that Kate Altman, Maggie Estabrooks, Katerina Gianoulis, and Angel Wang earned Academic All-Region honors, and that Angel Wang was a recipient of the prestigious Utah High School Activities Association Academic All-State award.
Congratulations to the team for a wonderful season. With a great lineup of returning players, the coaching staff is looking forward to what 2023 will bring!