Desert Hills, Crimson Cliffs dominate in Region 9 tennis finale

Malika Maxwell of Desert Hills taps rackets with Camryn Stanger of Crimson Cliffs following Maxwell's victory in the No. 3 singles finals at the Region 9 tennis tournament, St. George, Utah, Oct. 3, 2020 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

ST. GEORGE — The Crimson Cliffs and Desert Hills girls tennis teams have been dominant throughout the season, so it was no surprise that the Mustangs and Thunder faced each other in all five finals matches as the Region 9 tournament concluded at the Tonaquint Tennis Center Saturday.

Malika Maxwell of Desert Hills competes against Camryn Stanger of Crimson Cliffs in the No. 3 singles finals at the Region 9 tennis tournament, St. George, Utah, Oct. 3, 2020 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

In the last finals match that was decided Saturday afternoon, Malika Maxwell of Desert Hills dropped her first set, 4-6, against Camryn Stanger of Crimson Cliffs, but Maxwell then came back to win the second set, 6-4.

The third and deciding set went to a tiebreaker, with Maxwell prevailing 7-6 (2) as dozens of appreciative fans watched seated on lawn chairs or on the grass surrounding the court.

That match’s outcome was a reversal of when Stanger had beaten Maxwell exactly one month earlier when the two teams had faced each other during the regular season at Crimson Cliffs. The Mustangs won that Sept. 3 match, 3-2, then went on to finish undefeated in season play.

Meanwhile, Desert Hills ended up 6-1 on the season and took second place, although the Thunder did edge the Mustangs 3-2 on Saturday.

The other two singles bracket finals also saw victories by players who had lost the regular-season matchup. In first singles, Taylor Parsley of Crimson Cliffs defeated Mackenzie Telford of Desert Hills, 6-3, 6-2, avenging her earlier loss to Telford on Sept. 3. Similarly, the Thunder’s Tia Turley, who had lost to the Mustangs’ Averee Beck last month, turned the tables on her rival Saturday with a 6-4, 6-1 victory.

However, in the doubles matches the same pairs won on Saturday that had won during their matchup in the regular season.

In No. 1 doubles, Gabby Hafen and London Wunderli of Crimson Cliffs defeated Kasia Wittwer and Brianna Hartman of Desert Hills, 7-5, 6-0. And in second doubles, Taylee Anderson and Brooklyn Price of Desert Hills defeated Ashtyn Cummins and Whitney Matheson of Crimson Cliffs, 6-1, 6-4.

Following the region tournament, medals were given out to the top three placers in each bracket. Even though Desert Hills won the tournament itself, Crimson Cliffs was awarded the Region 9 championship trophy based on their regular season record.

Crimson Cliffs players and coaches with Region 9 trophy following tennis tournament, St. George, Utah, Oct. 3, 2020 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

All eight Region 9 schools had at least one player qualify for the 4A state tournament, which is scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Salt Lake City’s Liberty Park. Click here to see the full state brackets and here for additional tournament information from UHSAA.

The top six finishers in each of the five brackets, each of whom qualified for the state tournament, are listed below. See the photo gallery for pictures of the final brackets, along with action photos and images from the awards afterward.

Region 9 girls tennis tournament results, top six

First singles

  1. Taylor Parsley, Crimson Cliffs.
  2. Mackenzie Telford, Desert Hills.
  3. Kylie Kezos, Dixie.
  4. Ava Blake, Pine View.
  5. Lily Bronson, Snow Canyon.
  6. Safina Blachly, Canyon View.

Second singles

  1. Tia Turley, Desert Hills.
  2. Averee Beck, Crimson Cliffs.
  3. Sally Fraser, Dixie.
  4. Kayli Hirschi, Pine View.
  5. Haven Healy, Snow Canyon.
  6. Riley Imlay, Hurricane.

Third singles

  1. Malika Maxwell, Desert Hills.
  2. Camryn Stanger, Crimson Cliffs.
  3. Andrea Ginder, Snow Canyon.
  4. Sara Harr, Dixie.
  5. Brionne Dinsmore, Pine View.
  6. Kiera Hunt, Canyon View.

First doubles

  1. Gabby Hafen and London Wunderli, Crimson Cliffs.
  2. Kasia Wittwer and Brianna Hartman, Desert Hills.
  3. Elizabeth Steuhser and Olivia Stewart, Snow Canyon.
  4. Isis Freiberg and Chantell Pearson, Hurricane.
  5. Olivia Stevens and Tava Lutui, Dixie.
  6. Kylie Blaser and Emma Farish, Pine View.

Second doubles

  1. Taylee Anderson and Brooklyn Price, Desert Hills.
  2. Ashtyn Cummins and Whitney Matheson, Crimson Cliffs.
  3. Isabelle Fawson and Katelyn Jennings, Dixie.
  4. Megan Lee and Chelsea Jocelyn, Hurricane.
  5. Mckenna Chandler and Rachel Bolton, Snow Canyon.
  6. Brynlee Cozzens and Jessica Grant, Cedar.

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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