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Rowland Hall rebounds at state

Rowland Hall's Blake Harries made it to the first singles finals and will be back next year.
Rowland Hall's Blake Harries made it to the first singles finals and will be back next year.
Kim Raff, Deseret Morning News

After faltering at region, the Rowland Hall girls tennis team rebounded a week later to tie St. Joseph for the championship.

"We beat St. Joe during the season, and I think we went into region and looked past them, already focusing on state," Rowland Hall coach Tim Sleeper said. "St. Joe really stepped up during region and took my girls by surprise."

Despite losing seven seniors from last year, the Winged Lions headed into state with a veteran team and several experienced leaders.

"My three seniors were unbelievably important headed into state. Abby Bossart and Jessica Hartsell had been there before so they led by example," Sleeper said. "Jessica Grey ... just played awesome."

Grey's win over Alex Montgomery of St. Joseph was one of the defining moments of the tournament for Rowland Hall. A Montgomery win would have given the Jayhawks the state title outright. Instead, Grey rebounded from her region loss to take the third singles title in three sets, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2 to clinch the co-championship for the Winged Lions.

Hartsell and her partner at second doubles, Madison Allred, lost to Kaela Eddy and Margaret Foreman of St. Joseph in the finals, while Bossart and her partner, Madeline Loughridge, claimed the first doubles title, defeating the San Juan duo of Laekyn Shumway and Generra Nielson.

"My first doubles team played the best, cleanest, smartest tennis they've ever played all the way through region and state," Sleeper said. "I couldn't have been prouder."E-MAIL: hbruce@desnews.com