Pine View’s Hattie Erekson has something not a lot of the girls in the field at this week’s 3A Tennis State Tournament can boast. She’s already won.
Erekson is a former state champion at No. 3 singles in 2014. In that run, only her final match went to three sets. Some things have changed since then, and some haven’t.
Erekson, a senior, rolled through Region 9 this season, not losing a set in any match and coasting to the championship at last weekend’s Region 9 tournament. She’s hoping the momentum carries over into the state tournament.
“I’ve played the most tennis I ever have and I feel really prepared. I think I still look at my matches the same,” Erekson said. “I’m stronger now and I’m more consistent.”
Erekson has played around 2-3 hours a day in the weeks leading to the tournament. Erekson’s main weapon is her first serve, which is both fast and flat, making it hard for returners to pick up. But she thinks her biggest advantage comes on the mental side.
“I think it’s a big advantage for me because I know how to cope with those emotions and stay calm and not feel pressure,” Erekson said. “I’ve learned how to deal with those emotions a lot more having done it before.”
She’s also taken advice from Lacey Hancock, the former four-time Pine View state champion at No. 1 singles who now plays No. 1 singles at Dixie State as a sophomore.
Should Erekson advance to the semifinals, she’d likely meet Bailee Sandberg from Grantsville, one of the teams that’s a perennial contender in the state tournament. A likely finalist is Livi Rockwood from Park City. Rockwood and her twin sister Gabby burst onto the scene last year and are two of the highest-ranked girls tennis players in Utah USTA Junior rankings.
If Erekson advances that far, she’ll need to conjure up a special performance to bring home another individual trophy.
First-round matches for Region 9 players
No. 1 singles: Hattie Erekson vs. Laren Sorge (Juan Diego), Brielle Nielsen (Snow Canyon) vs. Sara Ortiz (Logan), Erica Evans (Desert Hills) vs. Sage Earl (Morgan), Angela Crooks (Dixie) vs. Naya Tillit (Ridgeline).
No. 2 singles: Mo Behymer (Desert Hills) vs. Chanda Bigelow (Stansbury), Brielle Callahan (Pine View) vs. Lyndee Miller (Union), Candice Gubler (Hurricane) vs. Lexi Colson (Grantsville), Shayli Habibian (Snow Canyon) vs. Gabby Rockwood (Park City).
No. 3 singles: Abbie Carmack (Desert Hills) vs. Larissa Beatty (Canyon View), Katie Werrett (Hurricane) vs. Marinda Everitt (Juab), Julia Meyer (Pine View) vs. Nicole Day (North Sanpete), Annie Heaton (Dixie) vs. Kristen Morgan (Richfield).
No. 1 doubles: Alani Plumb and Allie Beck (Desert Hills) vs. Taylor Uno and BreeAnn Mason (Juan Diego), Hannah Obray and Charisse Snow (Pine View) vs. Lydia Francom and Maddi King (Bear River), Ashley Gadani and Ashley Stevens (Dixie) vs. Lucy Lyons and Emily Pehrson (Ridgeline), Charlotte Apple and Addy Southam (Snow Canyon) vs. Bethany Olsen and Cambrie Anderson (Logan).
No. 2 doubles: Lyndsi Graf and Jocelyn Kennedy (Desert Hills) vs. Kiersten Allred and Tricia Allred (Union), Kiralyn Mulloy and Ryann Blaser (Pine View) vs. Molly Johnson and Ashley Thompson (Stansbury), Tess Larkin and Kalli Beckstrom (Dixie) vs. Caleigh Lydon and Marissa Zanetti (Park City), Rani Puriri and Ellie Ericksen (Snow Canyon) vs. Marissa Linares and Maci Jackson (Granstville).
Matches are at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City and begin at 9 a.m.
The state tournament bracket can also be found by clicking this link.
Contact reporter Patrick Carr on Twitter @PatrickCarr_ and on Facebook at Facebook.com/PatrickJosephCarr1/ or call him at (435) 231-3834.