At the beginning of the season, Grantsville’s girls tennis team was a work in progress, unsure of what its lineup would ultimately look like.
By the end, the Cowboys found themselves in familiar territory, among the elite programs in Class 3A yet again.
Grantsville tied for fourth place at the Class 3A state tennis tournament on Saturday at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City, capping an impressive season that saw both of its doubles teams and one of its singles players reach the semifinals in a challenging classification.
Senior Lexi Colson made it to the second day of the tournament at second singles, cruising through both of her matches on Friday to earn a berth in the semifinals. As the No. 3 seed from Region 13, which saw all four of its state qualifiers in Saturday’s semis, Colson won her opening match 6-1, 6-1 over Delta senior Emily Anderson. She followed that with a 6-0, 6-3 win over Region 15 champion JoLee Gillett of Manti on Friday afternoon, earning her the right to face eventual state champion Olivia Anderson of Judge Memorial in the semis. Anderson won 6-2, 6-3.
The Cowboys’ first doubles team of senior Paige Peterson and junior Brynlee Butler was dominant through its first two matches, as well, before losing to the eventual state champion in the semis. Peterson and Butler, who finished second in the Region 13 tournament, beat Delta’s Hallie Ewart and Katey Tolbert 6-0, 6-1 in the first round, and followed that up with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Whitney Dyreng and Alexis Naylor of Manti in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, they met Wasatch Academy’s Giulia Stocchino of Italy and Ines Schmid of Spain and gave the two Europeans all they could handle before losing 6-3, 6-4.
Senior Zoe Ison and sophomore Hallie Johnson represented the Cowboys in the second doubles bracket, where they, too, reached the semifinals. They beat Ashley Lowe and Morgan Blackburn of South Sevier 6-2, 6-2 in the first round, and then held on for an exhausting 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 win over Wasatch Academy’s Tenzin Norzum and Lucia Villanova in the quarterfinals. Ison and Johnson then met region rivals Emily Wilson and McCall Reid of Morgan in the semifinals, with the Morgan duo prevailing 7-5, 7-6 (2).
Two-time state champion Maci Jackson reached the quarterfinals for the Cowboys at first singles. As the No. 5 seed from Region 13, she upended Region 15 runner-up Nakiah Taylor of North Sanpete 6-4, 6-2 in the first round before a tough 6-1, 6-2 loss to Union’s Lyndee Miller in the quarterfinals.
Freshman Lacy Linares pushed Delta’s Katelyn Tolbert, the Region 14 champion, in their first-round matchup in the third singles bracket. Tolbert, who ended up finishing second, beat Linares 6-2, 6-4.
Grantsville finished in a three-way tie for fourth place with Wasatch Academy and Delta. Judge Memorial rolled to the state championship, with Morgan and Waterford tying for second place.
Stansbury seniors Hailey Brazier and Mikell Angeli had to survive match point in the second set and squandered a couple match points of their own before finally beating Mountain Crest’s Madison White and Tori Henrie 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3 in the opening round of the second doubles bracket.
Brazier and Angeli didn’t get much of a break after their marathon victory on a warm Thursday afternoon, and it didn’t help that they drew the eventual state champions in the quarterfinals. Lyndsi Graf and Averee Beck of Desert Hills beat the worn-out Stansbury duo 6-1, 6-1.
SHS junior Hannah Anderson also endured an intense marathon match in the first round, though Anderson came out on the short end of a 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 loss to Orem’s Cambria Cook. Liz Fidler represented the Stallions at third singles, falling 6-1, 6-0 to Pine View’s Cameron Miner.
Stansbury seniors Mia Thurber and Kenzi Knudsen lost their first-round match 6-3, 7-6 (2) to Spanish Fork juniors Erica Allan and Eliza Bowman. Tooele’s lone representatives in the tournament, the first doubles team of Taya Unruh and Kammy Hamilton, lost 6-0, 6-1 to Orem’s Mimi Bowman and Aspen Jones in the first round.