Consistency from its veterans and a strong showing from a relative newcomer helped the Hurricane tennis team make a clean sweep of Cedar on Thursday, a 5-0 victory in the final regular season match for both clubs.
Madison Farish and Paige Maag needed three sets to finish off Lindsey and Alyssa Olsen in doubles action and Brianne Cahoon handled Emmaline Smith in just her second varsity match to help send the Tigers cruising into the postseason with six consecutive wins.
“I felt pretty good,” said Cahoon who proved herself well in a solid straight-set (6-3, 6-3) victory. “My shots were falling and it was just a good match.”
Cahoon made the switch to varsity earlier this week for the Tigers’ match against Canyon View and said so far it’s been a pretty decent ride
“I love varsity,” she said. “It’s fun. It’s been a great experience.”
The Tigers made things easy on themselves by getting ahead early and keeping the Lady Reds in check for most of the cold, wind-blown contest.
Four of the five matches were finished in two sets and Farish and Maag completed the sweep with a three-set marathon to end the day.
“I expect it every time from them and sometimes they give it to me,” Hurricane coach Mark Manuele said jokingly after the match. “In this wind I’ve never seen better playing. Both teams were on their game, they were making their shots and they had to hit winners to get the point. They weren’t making a lot of mistakes.”
Emily Wilson and Sarah Wilson got things started for Hurricane with a 6-1, 6-1 doubles win that seemed to set the tempo for everyone else.
The pair has played well together all year and said the key to their success is as much a mental effort as it is physical.
“We have to learn each other’s thoughts,” Sarah Wilson said. “We (each) learn how we think and how we hit.”
The continuity was apparent as the duo opened the first set with a 3-0 lead and won six straight games in the second set to come away victorious.
Stefani Stratton extended the Tigers’ lead by beating Karina Marchant in straight sets (6-2, 6-0) and was followed by Shayde Williams who bested Tess Oldroyd by the same score: 6-2, 6-0.
With the regular season now over the teams set their sights on next week’s region tournament, something the Tigers feel they are ready to face.
“We’ve done really well together,” Emily Wilson said. “I think we’ve done all we can (to prepare). We’ve put ourselves in a good spot. We have some strong players. It will be fun to see how it turns out.”
Manuele echoed Wilson’s confidence and said he sees good things in his players that make him believe they will continue to be successful.
“I see it every day,” he said. “They stay an hour after practice because they just want to get better. I just see the desire to play hard and compete.”
DIXIE 3, SNOW CANYON 2: No. 1 singles — Francesca Ecklund (SC) def. Kennedi Cooper (D), 6-2, 6-2; No. 2 singles — Bergen Nelson (SC) def. Shellbe Watson (D), 7-5, 7-6 (6); No. 3 singles — Amy Jensen (D) def. Sarah Waddoups (SC), 6-3, 6-3.
No. 1 doubles — Savannah Topham/Kelli Stovall (D) def. Jill Boyce/Amanda Lindsey (SC), 6-4, 2-6, 7-5; No. 2 doubles — Savannah Ream/Moriah Spainhower (D) def. Brielle Nielsen/Talleigh Frazier (SC), 7-6 (6), 6-1.