3A girls' tennis: Pine View's Lacey Hancock dominates on way to title
It now seems inevitable that Pine View's Lacey Hancock, who won her third straight Class 3A state singles title Saturday, would end up being a standout in tennis.
Her father, Clark, runs the Bloomington Country Club in St. George, which Lacey calls her "second home" for as long as the 16-year-old can remember.
Lacy is the youngest of four children. Her older brother, Wes, won state tennis championships four years in a row. Another older sibling, sister Karlie, won two singles crowns in 3A.
But her closest sister in age, Abby, played tennis "more for fun," according to Lacey, and she participated in other sports she liked as well.
When she was 11, Lacey had a forgettable performance at a youth tennis tournament, but she wouldn't let herself forget. Instead of quitting, much to the dismay of future Utah 3A girls tennis players, she stuck with it.
"Nope, that's not me. I don't quit. I just get better," said Lacey Hancock, who beat Park City's Solveig Karlsen 6-0, 6-0 in the No. 1 singles title match at Liberty Park.
"I went to a tournament and I didn't do very good; it was like my first big tournament," she said. "It was the beginning of the summer, and I went out every day of that summer [to practice], and I've been out there ever since."
The junior's shutout of Karlsen on Saturday wasn't her only one of the state tourney. In fact, Hancock didn't drop a game the entire high school season.
"I wouldn't say it's getting old, but nothing beats the first one," Hancock said about her third straight state title. "It's weird because you only see [players like Karlsen] once a year and you think, 'Wow, they've improved a lot.' But I forget that I've improved a lot, too."
Park City won the team championship with the help of first-place finished in Nos. 2 and 3 by Dani Lecher and Jessica Santos.
The Desert Hills duo of senior Taylor Cooney and sophomore Madz Eames triumphed at No. 1 doubles, while No. 2 doubles went to Grantsville's Bailee Sandberg and Becca Toone.
"Being mentally strong was the key," Desert Hills' Cooney said about the state doubles title she earned with Eames.
Eames played singles a year ago and said that Hancock's dominance individually led to a coach's decision to put her in doubles and garner more points in pursuit of a team title.
"I think a lot of teams did that, to tell you the truth," Eames said. "A lot put their best players at No. 1 doubles."
3A state tournament
Team scores • Park City 20, Pine View 14, Desert Hills 12, Grantsville 9, Snow Canyon 6, Juan Diego 5, Payson 5, Hurricane 4, North Sanpete 3, Richfield 3, Dixie 2, Morgan 2, Stansbury 2, Uintah 2, Bear River 1
No. 1 singles
Lacy Hancock, Pine View, def. Maddie Barton, Desert Hills, 6-0, 6-0
Solveig Karlsen, Park City, def. Francessca Ecklund, Snow Canyon, 6-2, 6-3
Hancock def. Karlsen 6-0, 6-0
No. 2 singles
Dani Lecher, Park City, def. Hannah Erekson, Pine View, 6-1, 6-4
Bergen Nelson, Snow Canyon, def. Kambry Jensen, Richfield, 6-3, 6-0
Lecher def. Nelson 6-2, 5-7, 7-5
No. 3 singles
Hattie Erekson, Pine View, def. Hannah Stockwell-Lopez, Uintah, 6-1, 6-2
Jessica Santos, Park City, def. Maddie Linares, Grantsville, 6-3, 6-2
Santos def. Erekson 6-3, 4-6, 6-2
No. 1 doubles
Taylor Cooney-Madz Eames, Desert Hills, def. Keri Jeppson-Shaylynn Riddle, Pine View, 6-1, 6-1
Kylie Schwalbe-Kenna Tychsen, Park City, def. Madison Farish-Paige Maag, Hurricane, 6-1, 6-1
Cooney-Eames def. Schwalbe-Tychsen 6-1, 4-6, 6-3
No. 2 doubles
Caitlin Keenan-Mikela Baird, Juan Diego, def. Maddi Black-Paige Harris, Desert Hills, 1-6, 6-4, 7-5
Bailee Sandberg-Becca Toone, Grantsville, def. Emily Wilson-Sarah Wilson, Hurricane, 6-1, 6-0
Sandberg-Toone def. Keenan-Baird 6-4, 7-6