Prep tennis: Juan Diego dominates, Flyers take fourth at state

Desert Hills' Austin Hardy, 3A State Tennis Championships, Boys Tennis, May 14, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – During Dixie’s run to the Region 9 tennis title, the Flyers were both lucky and good.

“We won every close match we were in,” said Flyers’ coach Eric Christensen as he coached his team during the state Class 3A tournament at Tonaquint Park on Saturday. “Of 35 matches, we were 30-5.”

Dixie's Carsen Bottema, 3A State Tennis Championships, Boys Tennis, May 14, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Dixie’s Carsen Bottema, 3A State Tennis Championships, Boys Tennis, May 14, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

That was until Friday, Christensen said, when Aren Balians and Noah Featherstone, up 5-2 in the third set and at match point in the first doubles quarterfinals, fell to Park City’s Spencer Kunkel and Charlie Lambert. Kunkel and Lambert ended up triumphing 6-7, 6-4, 7-5.

Saturday, it appeared the Flyers might have gotten their mojo back when Taylor Bottema and Danny Bethers trailed Grantsville’s Andrew Dalton and Parker Wyatt 4-1 in the second set of their semifinal match at second doubles after winning the first set. They came back to win and took the first set of their finals match with Brennen French and Jack Lecher of Park City, but then lost 6-2, 6-3 to finish second.

“Region was really even this year,” Christensen said. “I don’t think people expected us to win region.”

But the Flyers did and had an outside shot at the state title before settling for fourth with nine points. Juan Diego won the championship while Park City was second and Grantsville third. “Nine is the most points we’ve had since we tied Desert Hills for second five years ago.

“I’m pleasantly surprised,” said Christensen, whose team consisted of two seniors, three juniors and two sophomores.

Juan Diego captured the team crown by winning at second singles with Connor Kempin, third singles with Ben Argilius and by garnering points in first singles (finalist) and first doubles (semifinalists).

Bear River’s Brennen Rigby captured the first singles title when Juan Diego’s Ryan Kempin withdrew in the second set with an injury.

3A State Tennis @ Tonaquint/Dixie High
1st singles — Steffen Rigby (Bear River) def. Ryan Kempin (Juan Diego), 3-6, 5-1 withdraw
2nd singles — Connor Kempin (Juan Diego) def. Matt Waldron (Grantsville), 3-6, 6-1, 6-0
3rd singles — Ben Argilius (Juan Diego) def. Connor Burke (Park City), 6-2, 6-1
1st doubles — Kunkel and Lambert (Park City) def. Beckett and Hamm (Grantsville), 7-5, 6-4
2nd doubles — French and Lecher (Park City) def. Bottema and Bethers (Dixie) 2-6, 6-3, 6-3
Juan Diego wins team title, Park City second, Grantsville third, Dixie fourth

Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.