The leaves aren’t quite changing around St. George yet, but the girls tennis season is coming to its crescendo.
The Region 9 tournament begins this weekend at Tonaquint Park, with state-tournament seeding on the line.
Desert Hills won the regular-season team title posting a 5-0 mark in official region matches, after narrowly beating Pine View a couple weeks ago.
One might have thought Desert Hills would struggle based on the fact the Thunder have a new head coach, David Smith, and their lineup changed virtually every match due to injury. But they had plenty of team depth to deal with that.
“You have to be prepared for anything, really, for any lineup,” No. 1 singles player Erica Evans said.
Evans played doubles last season and has since slotted into the top singles spot, as well as seen time at No. 3 singles earlier in the year.
An example of the lineup turnover is Jocelyn Kennedy and Lyndsi Graf, who’ve partnered up in doubles during the region matches and hadn’t played doubles previously.
“It’s been pretty tough for us to kind of work through that because as a doubles team you have to play a lot together to win matches, and so since we’ve been switching lineups so much we’ve had to really come in clutch here at the end,” Kennedy said.
Pine View took down Desert Hills earlier this year in a match that didn’t count towards region tournament standings.
The Thunder narrowly beat the Panthers in the teams’ second match a couple weeks ago as part of a 5-0 region record and a regular-season title.
PV boasts improved doubles teams from years past as well as its normal strength in singles.
“We’re actually in a good spot because all of our singles (players) should be No. 1 seeds,” PV head coach Colin Brown said.
Hattie Erekson cruised to an unbeaten record at No. 1 singles for the Panthers this year. She won the state championship tournament two years ago at No. 3 singles.
Snow Canyon’s Brielle Nielsen and Dixie’s Angela Crooks have also played well at No. 1 singles this season.
If You Go
What: Region 9 girls tennis tournament
Where: Tonaquint Park
When: Friday at 9 a.m., Saturday at 9 a.m.
Contact reporter Patrick Carr on Twitter @PatrickCarr_ and on Facebook at Facebook.com/PatrickJosephCarr1/ or call him at (435) 231-3834.