Region 10 girls tennis: Crimson Cliffs prevails in hot matchup at Desert Hills

Crimson Cliffs tennis player Averee Beck and teammates prepare for their match against Desert Hills, St. George, Utah, Sept. 7, 2021 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Region 10 girls tennis teams reached their regular season’s midway point on Tuesday, with Crimson Cliffs defeating Desert Hills 4-1 in a marquee matchup on the Thunder’s home courts.

Desert Hills tennis players prepare for their match against Crimson Cliffs, St. George, Utah, Sept. 7, 2021 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

With the players enduring blistering temperatures that topped 110 degrees, the Mustangs prevailed over the rival Thunder in all three singles matches, in addition to the first doubles match. 

In No.1 singles, Crimson’s Averee Beck defeated Malika Maxwell of Desert Hills in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1. 

“The thing that really helped her this time is that she’s been working on her serve,” Crimson Cliffs head coach Colin Brown said of Beck. “And that earned her a lot of what I call free points – just because if you’ve got a good serve you get a lot of points that way. She did an awesome job in that regard.”

In No. 2 singles, Crimson’s Camryn Stanger dropped the first set to Kasia Wittwer, 2-6, but then bounced back to win the next two, 6-1, 6-1.

The third singles matchup featured Brianna Hartman of Desert Hills versus Mandy Beckstrand of Crimson Cliffs. Beckstrand prevailed in three sets, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.

Desert Hills head coach Afton Balderree told St. George News the two rivals are good friends off the court.

“Brianna beat her in a tournament two weeks ago, but Mandy just beat her tonight. Mandy just made more shots,” Balderee said. “That’ll be a good matchup to look for at the end of the year, for sure.”

Crimson Cliffs tennis players prepare for their match against Desert Hills, St. George, Utah, Sept. 7, 2021 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

In first doubles, Crimson’s Gabby Hafen and London Wunderli, the reigning state 4A champions, defeated Brooklyn Price and Megan Lewis, 6-2, 6-2.

Desert Hills’ lone victory on Tuesday afternoon came in second doubles, where Taylee Anderson and Ella Pulsipher teamed up to defeat Bailey Speakman and Whitney Matheson in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2.

“They just struggled today and couldn’t get it together,” Brown said of his No. 2 doubles team.

Both coaches commented on how the extremely hot weather was a factor.

“We usually practice at night,” Balderee said. “It’s still hot at seven o’clock at night, but the sun’s a whole other factor at three o’clock in the afternoon. My girls definitely felt the heat today, but they did really well handling it.”

In other Region 10 action Tuesday, Snow Canyon edged Hurricane 3-2, while Dixie defeated Pine View, also by a score of 3-2.

By next Thursday, each of the seven Region 10 teams will have played the other six once each, setting the stage for the region tournament at Tonaquint Tennis Park on Sept. 24-25. That event will determine the seedings for the 4A state tournament in Salt Lake City the following weekend.

Even though his team is undefeated in region play and sits atop the standings, Brown said the Mustangs still have plenty of work cut out for them if they hope to repeat as state champions.

“There’s some teams up north that are very, very strong,” he said. “Green Canyon is who I expect to be the team to beat, and Bear River has a No. 1 singles player who’s almost unstoppable.”

Thursday, Sept. 2 results

  • Desert Hills def. Snow Canyon, 5-0.
  • Crimson Cliffs def. Cedar, 5-0.
  • Dixie def. Hurricane, 4-1.

Tuesday, Sept. 7 results

  • Crimson Cliffs def. Desert Hills, 4-1.
  • Snow Canyon def. Hurricane, 3-2.
  • Dixie def. Pine View, 3-2.

Thursday’s scheduled matches (Sept. 9)

  • Pine View at Cedar, 4 p.m.
  • Crimson Cliffs at Hurricane, 4 p.m.
  • Dixie at Snow Canyon, 4 p.m.
  • Desert Hills (bye).

Region 10 girls tennis standings (as of Sept. 8)

  1. Crimson Cliffs 3-0
  2. Desert Hills, 3-1
  3. Dixie 2-1
  4. Hurricane 2-2
  5. Snow Canyon 2-2
  6. Pine View 0-3
  7. Cedar 0-3

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