On a beautiful Autumn morning, the Bingham girls tennis team took to the courts to compete against the states finest. The Miners had all five positions qualify for the tournament with four #1 seeds and one #3 seed. All with hopes of making it to the second day.
First out for the Miners was junior Olivia Dabo playing at 1st Singles. As a #3 seed, she drew a very tough competitor in the first round playing Victoria Cooksey of Layton. Cooksey was the #2 seed out of Region 1 and a very strong player. Olivia played some great tennis but lost the first set 6-1 as the Layton competitor played almost flawlessly. With the first set done and down 1-3 in the 2nd set, Olivia played with great determination and started her come back. With the score 2-3 and Cooksey serving, Olivia played some extremely great tennis and had several break points that she just couldn’t quite convert finally losing the game to go down 2-4. However Olivia continued to move around the court well and use a combination of topspin and slice backhand shots that pushed Cooksey and made her work hard for every point even coming to to the net to win a point. That wore Cooksey down and Olivia evened up the score at 4-4. Unfortunately, the next two games didn’t go Olivia’s way as Cooksey stayed strong enough to close it out with Olivia losing 1-6, 4-6.
In 2nd Singles, junior Avery Pack won her first match in strait sets over Fremont’s Vanessa Harris 6-0, 6-0 to move on to the 2nd round. There she faced Reagan Harrison of Weber. Reagan is a very strong player playing behind Jacque Dunyon; the current state champion. Avery played well but lost in a very close first set 4-6 as the Weber player played with very few unforced errors and had her confidence riding high. Avery though was feeling pretty good about her game and still had great confidence that she could come back. In the second set, the points were long with both girls stroking the ball very well. The difference was Avery’s unwillingness to give up a point. Time after time, she tracked down what her opponent thought was a winning shot to get it back one more time and make her hit one more ball; swiftly moving back on to the court for another swing and hitting passing shots or forcing the Weber girl to miss. She moved really well and stayed poised as emotions began to filter in to the Weber opponents game taking the 2nd set 6-4 and forcing a 3rd set. In the 3rd set, Avery used her experience over the younger player to stay laser focused on each point as doubt crept in to the Weber girls game and forced her to make some unforced errors. Avery hit her shots with precision hitting corners time and again pushing Weber around the court to win the final set 6-2 and move on to the semi-final match on Saturday against Lucy Droubay of Skyridge.
Senior Lexi Cox with a 12-0 record, playing at 3rd Singles and in her 3rd appearance at the state championships won her first round match 6-1, 6-0 over Mallory Collins of West Jordan. Lexi played with confidence and used her superior all around play to take care of business quickly. In the 2nd round, Lexi faced a tough competitor from always strong Lone Peak. Unfortunately Lexi came up against a girl that just gets everything back. No matter where Lexi hit it on the court, the ball came back as her competitor was very good at moving around the court and making Lexi hit one more ball. Lexi adjusted her game and risked trying to hit tighter angles to move her competitor off the court to create more variation and unpredictability. Lexi fought hard but couldn’t quite find enough winners to push her to victory and ended up losing in a tight match 3-6, 4-6.
In doubles play, the senior team of Eliza Roberts and Malia Hansen won their first round match against a pesky Clearfield team 6-3, 6-2. They played with a lot of confidence and moved to the 2nd round to face a young team from Skyridge HS. With a lot of experience between them, the Miner girls came out with great attitudes looking to give themselves the best chance possible to compete. And compete they did as the first set went back and forth with Eliza and Malia playing some of their best tennis of the year. They served well and hit multiple shot rallies where great ground strokes as well as volley shots found their mark pushing the younger opponents making them work for every point they got. In the end the Skyridge pair was just too solid and the Miner girls lost in what was to be their final high school match 3-6, 1-6. They had a lot of fun though and enjoyed their last experience of playing at state.
Making their first appearance at the state tournament the junior pair of Jacey Robins and Kaitlyn Oniki came in as the #1 seed to face the #5 seed from Northridge. The girls from Northridge played very well with aggressive net play to test the Miner girls but Jacey and Kaitlyn played steady and took the match 6-3, 6-0. In the 2nd round the Miner juniors took on an always tough Davis team. The Davis team came out in an “I” formation which the Miners had not seen or played against this year. They didn’t let that effect their play though as they hit their ground strokes with extreme confidence in to the open courts that were left open by the Davis formation then took care of business at the net winning the match 6-3, 6-2. They get better with every match they play and are playing with more confidence at the net which is helping them elevate their play and find continued success.
The Miners ended the day with 6 team points; tied for 3rd with American Fork and just 4 points off the pace of leader Skyridge. Moving on to the 2nd day and the semi finals for the Miners is Avery Pack at 2nd singles and Kaitlyn Oniki and Jacey Robins at 2nd Doubles. Avery will play Lucy Droubay of Skyridge and Kaitlyn and Jacey will play Reynolds and Story of Lone Peak. It will be a battle of #1 seeds as all players earned that designation from their respective regions. GO MINERS!!