Rowland Hall’s Katie Foley wins another state tennis title, this time in 3A

Michael Mangum | Special to the Tribune Rowland Hall's Katie Foley hits a forehand shot during the Utah high school state tennis finals at the Salt Lake Tennis & Health Club in Salt Lake City on Saturday, September 30, 2017. Foley defeated Waterford's Sophie Christensen for the 3A 1st singles state championship.

Fist pumps, talking to herself, frequent trips to towel her face off and quick jogs in place to re-energize — these indeed may all be a regular part of Katie Foley’s game.

But spectators at recent state tournaments hadn’t seen much of that until Saturday. That’s because, in Foley’s past two singles championships for Class 2A in 2015 and 2016, the Rowland Hall tennis player never even dropped a set.

But for her senior triumph, now in 3A, Foley was in full self-motivation mode. It was a freshman, Waterford’s Sophie Christensen, who challenged her like no other in the past three years.

Michael Mangum | Special to the Tribune Waterford's Sophie Christensen, right, shakes the hand of Rowland Hall's Katie Foley after Foley won the 3A 1st singles state championship during the Utah high school state tennis finals at the Salt Lake Tennis & Health Club in Salt Lake City on Saturday, September 30, 2017.

Foley, however, came away with 1st Singles title with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 win over Christensen as the 3A girls state tournament finished at the Salt Lake Tennis and Health Club’s indoor courts. The day started with semifinal matches at Liberty Park until rain forced the change of venue.

“I usually try to be as positive as I can. I try not to get as angry as I sometimes want to be,” said Foley of the short talks — and extra gestures — she had for herself. “In close matches, it helps — and I tend to do it more often.”

Class 3A Girls’ State Tennis Finals<br>1st Singles<br>Katie Foley, Rowland Hall def. Sophie Christensen, Waterford 4-6, 6-2,6-2<br>2nd Singles<br>Tanisha Martheswaran, Waterford def. Marissa Linares, Grantsville 6-4, 7-6<br>3rd Singles<br>Maci Jackson, Grantsville def. Hayden Harris, Richfield 6-1,6-1<br>1st Doubles<br>Anna Drossos/Olivia Anderson, Judge Memorial def. Paige Peterson/Lexi Carlson, Grantsville 6-4,6-4<br>2nd Doubles<br>Ellie McCoy/Veronica Start, Judge Memorial def. Kristen Crowther/Ellie Hair, Richfield 6-2,6-4<br>Team Scores<br>1. Judge Memorial, 17; 2. Grantsville,16; 3. Waterford, 12; 4. Richfield, 10; 5. Morgan, 6; (tie) North Sanpete, 6; (tie) Rowland Hall, 6.

For her senior run through the draw, Foley hadn’t even dropped a game until she ran into Christensen. After losing the first set, Foley was in full comeback mode — a situation she hadn’t faced before at state.

“Definitely not,” Foley said. “Sophie’s a great competitor, very impressive.”

On serve, with Foley up 3-2 in the second, the Rowland Hall player broke Christensen and then pulled away to force a third set.

In the deciding set, Christensen threatened to break the Winged Lions’ senior with the games tied at 1. But Foley held on, after the game went to deuce several times. As was the case in the second, Foley finally broke to push her lead to 4-2 and then won the final two games for the match.

Foley, though, was struggling to push through, as evidenced by her faltering service toss. Several times, on one occasion four times in a row, Foley tossed the ball up only to catch it and do it again.

“I’ve never had that much trouble. I don’t know what happened — once it happens once, you kind of think about it more,” Foley said. “You get unlimited tosses, so it doesn’t really matter, but I felt bad for her because it throws her off.”

“I thought it was funny. That was fine,” said Christensen, laughing it off. “She’s really consistent and has a lot of top-spin. I wanted to win state, but she’s really good so I’m happy I got to play her.”

Buoyed by their doubles entries, Judge Memorial took the 3A team championship by a single point over Grantsville.

The deciding factor between the two schools was the final in 1st Doubles as Judge’s pair of Anna Drossos and Olivia Anderson beat the Grantsville duo of Paige Peterson and Lexi Carlson by a 6-4, 6-4 count.

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