Jordan Tennis sends seven to state
After a regular season where several newcomers to the court emerged as potential leaders, Jordan High School’s girls tennis team achieved the feat of qualifying every varsity player for the state tournament.
“This is the first time since the ‘90s that we have qualified the entire team,” head coach Matt Bell said. “I’m very proud of them for this accomplishment.”
The region tournament, held at Cottonwood High School Sept. 26-27, saw each of Jordan’s seven varsity players earn third- or fourth-place finishes in their divisions.
Heading into the state tournament, however, each of the players, when matched with a higher-seeded opponent, failed to advance further and exited in the first round. Three out of the five defeats were to opponents who would eventually win the championship at the tournament.
The state 5A tournament was held at Liberty Park on Oct. 4 and 6.
Junior Carly Greer, who placed third at region, lost in two scoreless sets, 6-0 and 6-0, in the tournament’s first singles bracket.
Merenda Smith, one of only two seniors on the varsity team, also fell in two scoreless sets against Lone Peak’s Leah Heimuli, who would go on to take second place in second singles.
In third singles, junior Kim Pickrell lost in straight sets to that bracket’s eventual champion, freshman Morgan Hall from Lone Peak.
In first doubles competition, teammates Sydney Jensen and Larissa Butler, both juniors, lost in 6-0 and 6-1 sets to another set of Lone Peak players, Megan Call and Electra Cochran, who would move on to win the first doubles championship at the tournament.
Senior Bailey Toone and freshman Jenni Milne faced off against Bingham’s Molly Reeder and Jean Noh in second doubles. Though Jordan lost in two sets scored at 6-3 each, that would prove to be the biggest challenge for the Bingham team who would then move easily through the following rounds to win the championship.
Despite the early exits from the tournament, Bell is happy about what his team was able to accomplish and is looking forward to how the experience will help the players in the future.
“I hope that having experienced this tournament now, they will work hard to make it back as a higher seed next year,” he said.
Though Jordan will lose graduating seniors Smith and Toone next season, Bell is still confident about next season’s prospects.
“It is pretty clear already who will replace them,” he said. “Things are looking good for next year with all the experience we will bring back, coupled with some graduations happening at other schools.”