Prep girls tennis: Bountiful captures 4A state crown
Although the Bountiful Braves had locked up the Class 4A tennis team title more than an hour before, they were getting a bit anxious.
Their singles players all had lost their finals. Would they not win any event? It certainly would've taken off some luster.
But in the last event of the day, Sara Bennion and Cloe Stocking delivered, wrapping up a 6-1, 6-1 victory in second doubles that gave Bountiful all the more reason to celebrate its second state championship in three years Saturday at Liberty Park.
"We just tried to be consistent, and I think we played our best," Bennion said, fighting through tears. "It's amazing."
Bountiful ultimately had won the championship before any finals even took place by getting finalists in four of the five competitions. Only Bennion and Stocking won their event, but the Braves got a number of other gutsy performances.
Perhaps no one played stronger than top singles player Kanela Adamson, who cracked her ankle in her first match of the day before struggling through a final against chief rival Erica Valimaki of Orem. Valimaki prevailed for the second straight year to earn her second title, but coach Desi Stewart said she hardly could've asked for more from the Braves.
"They did what we asked of them," she said. "I have no idea how Kanela played out there. They all stepped up."
Unaware of Adamson's injury, most of the crowd gravitated toward the match-up between the two players, who had met each other in the previous two years. Valimaki's win in first singles allowed Orem to finish runner-up in the team standings, and Valimaki acknowledged she was sad to see the rivalry end.
"I mentally prepared myself to be out there on a grind, and I knew I had to be focused because she's such an amazing player," she said. "I'm going to miss this."
Valimaki wasn't the only senior to go out on top. Skyline's Sydney Monson helped her team to a third-place finish with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Mariah Miller. It was Monson's second individual championship, but the first time she played without Skyline winning the overall title.
Sarah Koelliker of Highland claimed the third singles crown by getting a win over Bountiful's Sara Jones. And Hannah Wallin and Ruby Parkin, who won a second singles title in 2010 as a pair, closed out their partnership in championship fashion with a first doubles title.
"We're like sisters, I guess you could say that," Parkin said. "It's a good way to end off."
Bountiful • 18 points
Orem • 13 points
Skyline • 12 points
East • 12 points
Semifinal • Erica Valimaki, Orem, def. Alexandra Wallin, East (6-1, 6-1)
Semifinal • Kanela Adamson, Bountiful, def. Katie Cusick, Timpview (6-2, 6-4)
Final • Erica Valimaki, Orem, def. Kanela Adamson, Bountiful (6-2, 6-3)
Semifinal • Mariah Miller, Bountiful, def. Carol Foote, Highland (6-2, 2-6, 6-4)
Semifinal • Sydney Monson, Skyline, def. Laura Hartle, East (6-4, 7-6)
Final • Sydney Monson, Skyline, def. Mariah Miller, Bountiful (6-2, 6-2)
Semifinal • Sarah Koelliker, Highland, def. Brynn Peterson, East (3-6, 6-4, 6-1)
Semifinal • Sarah Jones, Bountiful, def. Caroline Cantera, Skyline (4-6, 6-3, 6-2)
Final • Sarah Koelliker, Highland, def. Sarah Jones, Bountiful (7-6, 6-4)
Semifinal • Kristee Rowley and Beth Ann Crane, Orem, def. Kalani Kau and Jen Farnsworth, Timpview, (6-4, 6-3)
Semifinal • Hannah Wallin and Ruby Parkin, East, def. Hannah Choi and Megan Rimmasch, Hillcrest (6-2, 6-1)
Final • Hannah Wallin and Ruby Parkin, East, def. Kristee Rowley and Beth Ann Crane, Orem (6-1, 6-2)
Semifinal • Emily Watts and Hannah Durham, Olympus, def. Anne Bitter and Cami Craig, Orem (6-3, 7-6)
Semifinal • Cloe Stocking and Sara Bennion, Bountiful, def. Noel Bell and Sarah Cassell, Skyline (6-2, 3-6, 6-4)
Final • Cloe Stocking and Sara Bennion, Bountiful, def. Emily Watts and Hannah Durham, Olympus (6-1, 6-1)