The Skyridge Falcons won their first girls state tennis championship last year. It may take a while before someone can take it away from them.
On a beautiful day at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City, Savannah Johnson and Kylee Sperry cleared the way for another Falcons 6A trophy.
Armed with a narrow lead after the opening day Thursday, Johnson and Sperry survived a tough match Saturday morning from Layton’s Tess Christopolus and Victoria Cooksey in No. 1 doubles, and that proved to be the difference as the Skyridge pulled away and celebrated the rest of the way.
“A wonderful group of girls,” said Skyridge coach Ben Armstrong, who had been a Falcons assistant for several years before taking the head job this year and elevating the school’s tennis tradition. “The competition was tough, but I didn’t see any of the girls get nervous. We had one key match, and it was pivotal.”
Skyridge finished with 20 points compared to Layton’s 16, followed by Lone Peak and West (9), American Fork (7) and Weber and Farmington (6).
“If that match hadn’t gone our way, you might be talking to someone else,” Armstrong added.
Skyridge won both doubles crowns and had three players (Lucy Droubay, Bella Lewis and Payton Carroll) finish second in singles action. Layton was able to pressure the Falcons thanks primarily to the efforts of Tia, Tana and Tess Christopulos, who piled up the majority of the Lancers’ points.
Tana Christopulos was Layton’s lone champion, beating Carroll 6-1, 6-3 in No. 3 singles. Cooksey and Tess Christopolus put up a fight in the No. 1 doubles match but fell 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.
Skyridge’s Johnson said she didn’t feel nervous during the narrow win, but it was clear that the team was able to breathe easier afterward.
“It was a tense situation and (Sperry) started to cry after we won,” she said. “Then my teammates came running onto the court. It was exciting.”
It was also another chapter in Skyridge’s rise to the top in Utah high school tennis. The Falcons finished the season undefeated, handled their tough Region 4 schedule and also won a tournament in St. George with just one senior on the roster.
Armstrong said this year’s squad has three freshmen that made a key impact, and that might make them difficult to dethrone for a while.
“I really have four or five girls who could play anywhere,” Armstrong said. “They have a lot of experience playing in tournaments but, best of all, they are great teammates and represented their school well.”
Top individual honors at this year’s tournament sent to Weber freshman Jane Dunyon, who dominated en route to winning the 6A first singles title. In four matches, she dropped just four games, beating Layton’s Tia Christopulos in the championship match 6-1, 6-0.
A Dunyon has now won four straight first singles state titles, as Jane’s older sister Jaque Dunyon was the 6A first singles state champion from 2018 to 2020.
6A girls state tennis tournament
At Liberty Park
Team scores: 1. Skyridge, 20; 2. Layton, 16; 3. Lone Peak, West, 9; 5. American Fork, 7; 6. Farmington, Weber, 6; 8. Bingham, Davis, 4; 10. Mountain Ridge, 3; 11. Pleasant Grove, Riverton, 2; 1., Granger, Herriman, 1.
No. 1 singles - Jane Dunyon (Weber) def. Lucy Droubay (Skyridge) 6-1, 6-1. Tia Christopulos (Layton) def. Shannon Anderson (Farmington) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. Dunyon def. Christopulous 6-1, 6-0.
No. 2 singles - Riya Soneji (West) def. Bella Lewis (Skyridge) 6-2, 6-4. Juliana Cooksey (Layton) def. Elle Ferguson (Davis) 6-2, 6-2. Soneji def. Cooksey 6-1, 6-2.
No. 3 singles - Tana Christopulous (Layton) def. Brighton Johnson (Farmington) 6-1, 6-0. Payton Carroll (Skyridge) def. Kylie Willardson (Lone Peak) 6-2, 6-2. Christopulos def. Carroll 6-1, 6-3.
No. 1 doubles - Savannah Johnson-Kylee Sperry (Skyridge) def. Tess Christopulos-Victoria Cooksey (Layton) 4-6, 6-3, 7-5. Mia Black-Haley Frame (Lone Peak) def. Ruby Russell-Olivia Leifson (Pleasant Grove) 7-5, 6-4. Johnson-Sperry def. Black-Frame 6-2, 6-2.
No. 2 doubles - Kaia Sperry-Naomi Johnson (Skyridge) def. Rachel Jemmett-Kate Davis (Lone Peak) 6-2, 6-0. Ally Murdoch-Claire Griffin (American Fork) def. Hannah Hafen-Hannah Harmsen (Farmington) 6-3, 3-6, 7-5. Sperry-Johnson def. Murdoch-Griffin 6-1, 6-3.