The Girls JV Tennis Tournment was held on Thursday September 21st.. In most cases we went in to this as #1 seed and in all cases we won or took second.
This was held at Skyridge and Timpanogos high schools. Probably I should entitle all my comments here as to why Abby loves being assistant coach and why she loves your daughters. We had two singles players and five doubles teams all competing for trophies. In addition, because of Abby the other 4 girls played at Timpanogos. I say this because originally it was to be played only at Skyridge. Abby expressed to the chair person that the rest of the girls deserve a chance to play and the Timpanogos coach agreed to host them at their school. What I witnessed today was all of these young ladies had tremendous success and a love for the game and a desire to improve in every way. We no longer teach them the fundamentals of tennis but they have to display this at tryouts. We do teach them the fundamentals of doubles and where the ball is to go and try to improve every level of their game so they can do that. No doubt if you saw your daughters play July 31st and how they play today you were thrilled. We cannot teach them this burning desire to win, refuse to lose attitude, but we can teach and show them what price they have to pay to accomplish this. They come with an attitude that they want to be varsity and represent Wasatch to the best of their abilities. To quote Abby “there is not a lazy butt in the entire group they all want to improve”. They get to witness what hard work will achieve and what they have to do to be successful. As one mother expressed her daughter comes home and states that there is just electricity that exist on the team. What you witness is that tennis not only teaches a lifetime sport but gives you confidence in everything you do. Because there are so many matches I don’t have scores for most of the girls but I do have the results after playing matches all day. In singles, we do have a disadvantage. Catherine Clark and Afton Overton represented us well. They have a tough assignment because most of the year they play doubles and they play against other girls who are fighting to be a varsity player for their teams. For some reason once our ladder is established in singles no one challenges them. This year our singles varsity players have carried us in most matches but we were well represented in varsity doubles this year and will go into the tournament as 2nd and 3rd seed next week. Results:
#1 doubles Kenzie Koehle/Emma Berg. They came in as a #1 seed got to the finals and won 8-0. What is amazing about these two young ladies is it was by coincidence that they got together as partners. This happened because Emma decided to play doubles and we were doing ladder matches Kenzie looking for a partner and they just fit. Kenzie did not play last year and decided to come back as a senior. She listens and executes with a lot of confidence. Just how good are they? Emma got out of the sick bed with the flu knowing that varsity challenges were about to end. They played a two hour match for the varsity spot and barely lost in three sets. They went about business and did not complain but went thru regions and were undefeated. In most cases Abby coached these girls but their practices were against the varsity team. I have to compliment them because every match was one sided in their favor. Thanks Kenzie and Emma for being so special.
#2 doubles: The unbelievable Fenton Sisters. Cicely and Berkleigh have been a delight all year. They go about business. They pay attention and Abby states whenever she gives them instructions Berkleigh says thank you at least 10 times. Again what you don’t know is Berkleigh played her freshman year and felt her efforts should be in academics so she can get into BYU. She has done just that and will be academic all-state this year. Cicely convinced her to come back this year. They started out slowly but they listen and they executed all year. They ended up as #2 doubles for us and went undefeated all year. I just arrived from Timpanogos and Abby asked me to take charge for she needed to look in on another match. They were playing Skyridge in the finals and Skyridge had a big crowd cheering them on. It was 5 all when I got there and you could see the determination in their eyes. I reminded them about the importance of first serves and watching the ball and getting the first two points.. Berkleigh’s first serve was on fire and so was Cicely. If they got her serve back Cicely was putting away the volley or Berkleigh was hitting a two handed backhand for a winner. They broke serve and we served it out for the match. The nicest comment came from Cicely when she said to me it really works when you focus on the short person and that she did. Focus is what we preach all year but what and who they focus on came to reality to Cicely. Rand Clark did the work out on Wednesday because varsity was doing a practice match with Orem. He made several comments about how good the girls were but singled out the Fenton sisters about how special they are.
#3 doubles: Sarah Bradshaw & Lana McNaughton. I got there and we were down but you could see so much determination and refuse to lose in every ball they hit. Sarah is totally a different person from last year. She is full of confidence and hates to lose. Lana is a combination of Abby and Sarah all in one. Lana is a fierce competitor and just loves the game of tennis. Every point that she puts away, she just shows her excitement and thrill. These young ladies fought back and got the match into a tie breaker. Unfortunately, we just made a few errors and lost the tie breaker. The hardest part about being down is you spend all your efforts and heart in coming back. Then when you get there, which they did, then you sort of lose the mindset of moving forward with the same intensity and that happened. What they have to say is we gave it our all and because of this extra effort they got it into a tiebreaker. We are so proud of these two young ladies. Thanks for being such great members of our team. We are proud of you.
#4 Doubles: Katie Henderson and Adie Pope. Take into consideration these young ladies are 14 year old freshmen. They are fierce competitors and just hate to lose. They are as close to tennis junkies as we have. They just have this desire to improve and give it their all. What you don’t see on the court is their countenance and confidence that have grown so much this year. Experience and technique comes with more matches and circumstances. They will learn about what to do when someone is poaching all the time and how to handle this with where to go with the ball and how to adjust your position on the court to counter a person who is poaching all the time. That is exactly what happened yesterday their opponent poached on every point. Experience and playing in competitive matches will help them. When they came off the court, you can see in their eyes how disappointed they were. Coaches cannot teach heart, desire, wanting to improve and attitude. We are so proud of these young ladies. Remember they took second place and they will improve daily.
#5 Doubles: Lexy McKay and Eden Moore: I did not get to see this match so you are getting Abby’s comments here. This is what I know is I met Lexy’s mom at the grocery store in the off season and she expressed some concerns about athletics and where her daughter is going and asked for some suggestions. I don’t know that I was much help here but when Lexy came to tryouts Abby expressed that she was not sure she wanted to be there. She is one of the examples that you can use as the 180 degree change. I think she could visualize others wanting to improve and she had a big attitude change. All of a sudden her volleys started to click her stokes had purpose and she came alive. You can see in her beautiful smile this desire and want to be a success. Let me tell you she did. Eden is a totally different story. She came to tryouts and was not a great success story. Abby said to me this girl is full of potential and we have to keep her. Each day she progressed and you could see in her serve and strokes that her confidence was building. She is a great story of knowing it is not how hard you hit the ball but where you hit the ball. Power comes with improved technique and when to let loose on the stroke. Eden started to improve on a daily basis. These two young ladies have this refuse to lose attitude. You can guess it. They won the first place trophy. Congratulations to these young ladies, we are so glad you chose tennis and we’re excited that you raised your game up.
In summary we won the JV tournament. We either won each group or were in the finals. What is equally important was once again we had more parents, grandparents, family supporting our girls than any other team. Thanks parents for your support. . This was a special group of young ladies and we have to thank the parents for sharing their daughter with us for past seven weeks.
Timpanogos: Over the years we have always allowed all the girls to play a JV tournament. This is a new region and new teams and different coaches. When Abby found out that these extra four girls were done she approached the chair person, Lindsay Rawstorne, about this. Timpanogos agreed to host this. Where the communication failed is we were not told the time just the place. Our girls were there at 7:30 AM and it did not start until 9:00 AM. Once again these four young ladies are definitely a part of the electricity of Wasatch Girls Tennis team.
Brienna Riddle, Lucy Carse, Bailee Kemp and Emma Jones are amazing young ladies. I know why Abby loves these girls so much now. Twenty girls showed up from different teams. They just threw us into a pot with no seeding. The first round all these girls won easily. The second round in some cases we were playing teammates. Each of these girls has this unbelievable desire to excel and do their best. The rallies are long and we are just fighting for each point. Bailee is our leader and been on the team for two years. Probably the best match of the day was Bailee playing Emma her doubles partner. Something happened to Emma the last couple of weeks of the season. She got a new grip and had some privates with Abby and her fire started. Certain things are hard for a coach to teach. You can instruct about running side to side but moving forward and back based upon the height of the ball is hard but some girls just do it naturally. Emma is one of these girls. This match went to eight all and they played a tie breaker. Yep steady eddy and more experienced Bailee prevailed. Brienna got caught here where her skills are more easily displayed in doubles then singles. She is unbelievable and one of the few girls on the team who can take a ball at the net and put it away. However, this part of the tournament they changed to singles only. For six weeks we have been playing doubles and all of a sudden it is all singles. Brienna got caught playing Bailee for one of her losses and outside of Wasatch got to play the girl from Springville who had excellent strokes and just barely beat her. Brienna runs every ball down and has tremendous energy. Her skill level will grow in time and she will develop her skills to equal her determination. The other pleasant surprise was Lucy. She anticipates so well and gets to every ball and just overpowered every girl she played. The way this ends is Lucy has to play Bailee for the championship. Now both girls have been there since 7:30 AM. This was a match all about experience. Both girls are tired and it was more about who can keep the ball in play. Bailee won in a good match. What this means is we took first and second place. There is only one more bracket to win and Emma is playing in this consolation championship. At this point all our girls at Skyridge are playing for the championship and Abby calls complaining that she cannot coach all five teams at the same time. I left but reported to me by Rand Clark and Brienna’s mom that Emma won this. These four young ladies are definitely part of the electricity of Wasatch High School girl’s tennis. When we go home we just crash. The emotional toll on coaches is harder than the physical part. We want for their success equally as much as they do. Congratulations to all and to all a job well done.