Desert Hills tennis player Morgan Behymer aims to win 4A state title

ST. GEORGE — Morgan Behymer has made the Class 4A tennis state semifinals in both her sophomore and junior seasons. As a senior, she thinks this is her chance to win it all.

Desert Hills will look to defend their four straight Region 9 championships this season, while also working to make the state tournament, where the Thunder missed the Class 4A state championship by a single point last season. Desert Hills only lost one senior last season and returned a majority of their team.

“We have a really good chance at state this year, and our team looks really solid. It’s my senior year; I just want it to be the best year,” Behymer said. “Every single year I’ve fallen short, and I’ve lost in the semis to the same girl, but she graduated last year, so this is my year.”

Coach David Smith mentioned that sometimes timing is the definition of success and Behymer was going up against three nationally ranked players.

Behymer has developed during her time at Desert Hills, and Smith has seen it first-hand.

“On the court, she has really matured. As a player, she has learned how to be a smarter player over the last two years,” Smith said. “She has become a force in Utah that few players can compete against anymore.”

L-R: Desert Hills High School team captains Morgan Behymer, Tia Turley and Faith Hess at the second annual Utah Valley Ashton Invitational tournament in Utah County, Aug. 17, 2019 | Photo courtesy of David Smith, St. George News

With Behymer being a senior for the Thunder, she has looked to take on a leadership role with her teammates. 

“I’ve tried to, that’s for sure, and I hope the girls see me as that,” Behymer said. “This is my second year as a captain, and I really like it. I like to not necessarily be in charge, but I like to show people how to lead on this legacy after I leave and make this team the best we can be.”

Behymer said the recruitment process has not been as stressful for her as it is for other athletes.

“It hasn’t really been a struggle. It’s been pretty successful. I will be signing this fall to Southern Virginia University. I went out for a visit last spring, and I just adored it out there.”

When asked about how Behymer is as a person, Coach David Smith became emotional.

“She doesn’t know this, but her stepdad told me the other day that she said, ‘I really want to win state for coach,’ and that meant a lot to me. But I want to win it for her.”

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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