Familiarity laid a foundation for success for MaryAnne Macfarlane going into her championship match on Monday. Macfarlane reached this stage only a year ago as a freshman. And she drew an opponent in Aubrey Paul, whom she played several times previously.
The Weber sophomore liked her chances in the final match, simply because she knew what she could expect from the Alta junior beforehand.
"You know what you're coming up against," Macfarlane said. "It's not a guessing game."
The end result had a familiar feel to it as well. Macfarlane withstood a strong showing from Paul and won 6-1, 6-3 to claim her first state championship at first singles Monday afternoon at Liberty Park.
It was a satisfying payoff for all the extra work Macfarlane put in while preparing for the season after last year's runner-up finish. She came into Liberty Park with a goal of controlling her matches from the start.
Setting a winning tone even in the first game was important to her. Macfarlane did not want to play from behind against anyone.
"I can come from behind, but I feel more comfortable if I can get the lead early," Macfarlane said.
She did not need to worry about mounting a comeback. Macfarlane used her powerful forehand to grab a 4-1 lead in both sets and shut the door on Paul's attempted final-set rally.
Paul did not return home empty-handed though. Alta easily claimed its first-ever girls tennis team title, finishing with 17 points — five ahead of second-place finishers Skyline and Lone Peak.
Ashley Tanner also claimed an individual title for Alta, defeating Spanish Fork's Kelley Argyle 6-2, 6-2 at second singles. It was Tanner's first state title, coming a year after she reached the 5A semifinals in first singles.
It also capped an undefeated run that began with her first Region 2 match. Tanner credited her time at first singles with preparing her for stiff competition this year.
"It was good," Tanner said. "I got a lot of good matches last year. Got used to the whole high school tennis atmosphere."
Lone Peak forged a second-place tie with Skyline after Cameryn Call surprised Alta senior Mandie Divino for the third singles title 7-5, 7-6 (7-3). Call's victory also prevented Divino from mirroring Tanner's undefeated finish.
The Eagles climbed to second with a sweep in doubles. Anna Adondakis and Kara Douville defeated Brighton's Bristal Jacobsen and Jessica Osterloh 6-2, 6-3, for the second doubles crown. In first doubles, Katie Johnston and Hillary Hays survived a tough challenge from Lone Peak's Whitney White and Bailee Henneman for a 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory.
It was Johnston's third state title and the first for Hays. Johnston also ended her high school career with a 62-0 record in 5A matches. She never worried about getting one last victory, even after she and Hays dropped their first set.
"We knew we just had to kick it up a notch," Johnston said. "We knew we could do it. We just weren't used to playing a really tough team."