Region 9 tennis: Thunder look to region, state after perfect regular season

Desert Hills went 21-0 this season. | Photo courtesy Dave Smith

ST. GEORGE – The dominance displayed this season by the Desert Hills girls tennis team is nothing short of staggering.

Desert Hills’ Mo Behymer, Region 9 Girls Tennis Tournament, St. George, Utah, Oct. 1, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

Following Desert Hills’ 5-0 win over Snow Canyon Wednesday, the Thunder completed a perfect season – winning every team match played –  finishing with an impressive 21-0 record.

Pretty dominant, right? There’s more.

Desert Hills didn’t drop a single set the entire season, winning 60 consecutive sets at the varsity level.

Erica Evans and Abbie Carmack led the Thunder, finishing their senior year going undefeated without giving up a single set in the process at 1st doubles.

“Abbie and Erica won 39 consecutive sets this season through region and three invitationals,” Desert Hills coach Dave Smith said. “Pretty amazing, considering both players were singles players for most of their careers.”

The duo’s only close call came against Park City, last year’s state champions. Carmack and Evans won 6-4, 6-4 in the final of the Stephen Wade Invitational in St. George.

The depth of the Thunder girls tennis team is impressive as well. At 1st singles singles, Morgan Behymer, a sophomore, has an amazing record at 17-4. She’s played the top player from every school in preseason and in region.

At 2nd singles, another sophomore, Faith Hess, has lost only one time (in the finals of the Stephen Wade Invitational to a Park City player). Rounding out the singles lineup, freshman Mackinzie Telford has won 16 consecutive 3rd singles matches, on top of taking home a gold medal at the Stephen Wade tournament, too.

Desert Hills Abbie Carmack, Region 9 Girls Tennis Tournament, St. George, Utah, Oct. 1, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

The depth doesn’t stop there as the 2nd doubles team for the Thunder has Lyndsi Graf (a junior) paired with freshman Tia Turley. The duo has only lost two matches, both in the finals of their two invitational tournaments. Graf and Turley have also gone undefeated in region play without losing a set.

Up next for Desert Hills will be the Region 9 Tournament, where the Thunder will own the top seed in every division, a first for the school.

The Thunder hope to play well this weekend in preparation for a tough state tournament at the 4A level. Even though it’s 4A, two former 3A teams, Park City and Desert Hills, are expected to be the teams to beat. Park City won the state 3A title by a landslide last autumn, and had just one senior on that team. Desert Hills was third, also losing just one senior.

“Park City is a tough team, we saw that last year,” Smith said. “However, we have knocked off their top doubles team as well as their number two singles player in tournament play … and my girls are so ready for them this year.”

The Region 9 tournament is Friday and Saturday at the Tonaquint Tennis Center, with matches beginning at 9 a.m. Championship matches will take place at approximately 11 a.m. Saturday.

The state tournament is Sept. 29-30 at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City.

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