In its brief history, Stansbury High has never been known for its prowess on the tennis court, but the times may be changing at the corner of Bates Canyon Road and Stallion Way.
The Stallions, who put up a strong showing in Tuesday’s Region 11 loss to perennial powerhouse Park City, figure that they’ll be able to make some noise when the region and state tournaments roll around later this month.
“We had a really good preseason and got a ton of matches in,” Stallions coach Jacob Jones said. “We learned a lot. I feel like our region as a whole is down as far as competing at the state level. If you look at it, Park City took state last year, and the rest of us won one match (at state) between us. Right now, I’m hoping for second (place) — that’s my goal, but I’m thinking that we can do better if we get help.”
Stansbury already owns convincing wins over Juan Diego and Bonneville in region play, and their doubles teams have been particularly strong. Maddie Johansen and Hannah Anderson are the Stallions’ top doubles pairing, with Mia Thurber and Kenzi Knudsen at No. 2 and Alyssa Pritzkau and Shauna Graves at No. 3.
“Mia and Kenzi just started a month and a half ago, and now they’re playing second doubles and doing well,” Jones said. “That just goes to show how much our whole team has grown.
Victoria Fidler has performed well at No. 1 singles for Stansbury, as have Kally Smith at No. 2 and Chanda Bigelow at No. 3, Jones added.
Tuesday’s match against Park City was a good test for the Stallions both mentally and physically. The Miners are the defending Class 3A state champions, and have several key players returning from last year’s squad.
“We talked to the girls about just getting on the court and competing with (Park City),” Jones said. “We talked about not letting it get in their head, ‘oh, this is the state champion.’ They’ve got to play tennis just like we’ve got to play tennis. They’ve got to hit a ball just like we’ve got to hit a ball. If we can compete at this level, we can compete at state and compete with anybody. Hopefully, that’s something we learn from it as we go forward.”