SALT LAKE CITY — Region 9 teams fared well at the opening day of the state 4A tennis tournament at Liberty Park on Friday, with both Desert Hills and Dixie advancing to the semifinals in all five brackets. The Thunder and the Flyers are tied for first with 10 points each heading into Saturday’s semifinals and finals matches.
First singles senior Morgan Behymer from Desert Hills easily defeated her opponents and made it to the semifinals. She started off by beating Mountain Crest’s Rachel Powell 6-1 and 6-0 and went on to beat Green Canyon’s Alli Phillips 6-4 and 6-2. Behymer’s play was fantastic as she earned her spot in the semifinals where she will be up against Logan’s Yeeke Wang, the second-seeded player from Region 11.
Another first singles player from Region 9, freshman Kylie Kezos of Dixie, fought her way to the semifinals as well. Kezos defeated Sky View’s Rachael Dursteler 6-4, 6-3, and then won against Uintah’s Malorie Luck with scores of 6-3 and 6-4. Kezos will face Region 11’s top seed Naya Tillitt in the semis. Tillitt, a senior at Ridgeline, swept both of her opponents on Friday 6-0, 6-0.
In second singles, Desert Hills junior Mackenzie Telford didn’t allow her opponents to score a point as she swept each of them in both matches. She will next face Madison Brenchley of Ridgeline in the semifinal round. Meanwhile, Mychaella Wisneske of Dixie will face Ogden’s Madi Poorman in the other half of the semifinal bracket.
In the third singles bracket, Brynlee Cardall, a senior from Dixie, made her way to the semis as she defeated the number one seeded player from Region 11, Ridgeline’s Meera Gardener. Cardall will go against Jisung Lee from Logan tomorrow. Tia Turley of Desert Hills is in the other semifinal, having cruised past her opponents from Tooele and Sky View in straight sets on Friday.
As for the doubles teams, No. 1 seeded Faith Hess and Cassidy Kohler, seniors from Desert Hills, raced their way to the first doubles semifinal round as they easily defeated their contenders. They’ll face Region 9 rivals Brianne Leach and Gabriela Mascarenhas in the semifinals. Meawhile, Pine View’s first doubles team also made it to the semis, with Brielle Callahan and Cameron Miner advancing past both Uintah and Ridgeline. They’ll face Dixie’s Kalli Beckstrom and Ashley Kezos in Saturday’s semifinals (all four teams left in the bracket are from Region 9).
In No. 2 doubles, three Region 9 teams are in the semifinals: Callie Kohler and Anjolie Cummins of Desert Hills, Sally Fraser and Becca Little of Dixie and Olivia Obray and Katrina Hafen of Pine View.
Deseret Hills and Dixie will be neck and neck for the state title as the tournament continues Saturday.
Cedar City News reporter Jeff Richards contributed to this story.
— written by Megan Cafarelli
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