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High school girls tennis: Morgan edges Grantsville 19-18 to clinch its 2nd 3A state title in the past 3 years

Morgan’s Katelyn Steel chases down a ball in the corner during the 3A state championship at Liberty Park.
Morgan’s Katelyn Steel chases down a ball in the corner as she and Grantsville’s Sophie Crosby play for the 3A state championship at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021.
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Morgan High School’s girls tennis program has a long, long way to go to catch up to the Grantsville dynasty, but it chipped away at the trophy gap once again during this weekend’s 3A state tournament at Liberty Park.

Buoyed by a first singles title from Katelyn Steel and then a second doubles title by twins Ryann Jensen and Sydney Jensen, Morgan edged region foe Grantsville by the narrowest of margins, 19-18, during the final day of competition at the indoor facility at Liberty Park.

“The girls are all such competitors and they work really hard. They’ll go out on the court after practice and play on their own and practice on their own. They’ve just put in a lot of hard work and they’re just determined to get better and compete. They love competing,” said Morgan coach Katherine Hadley.

Morgan had never won a girls state title prior to its debut championship in 2019, and now it has won twice in the past three years.

Grantsville’s trophy case is stuffed with 18 girls tennis state championships, but it was seeking its first since 2003 and came agonizingly close to ending that 18-year drought.

The difference on Saturday was in the head-to-head matches. Morgan and Grantsville teams squared off in three different championship matches on Saturday, with Morgan winning twice. Each result was a repeat of the result at region.

Morgan’s emergence as a 3A tennis power is thanks in large part to Morgan assistant coach Heather Dutson, who started a youth tennis program in the area about five years ago. It’s helped raise the interest in the sport, and then Hadley said that recent success has snowballed on itself as more and more girls have come out to compete.

The clincher for Morgan was the Jensen/Jensen win at second doubles over Grantsville’s team of Lauren Holt and Afton Orgill, 6-2, 6-4. That win stretched the team lead to 19-16 and rendered the result of the final match of the tournament at first doubles a moot point in the team race.

“They stayed focused. They are probably the most determined, focused girls that I’ve seen. Those are two of the girls who will go on the court for hours after practice. Thy just stayed focused on each point and they pump each other up. They can win that way,” said Hadley.

Grantsville’s doubles team of Madison Bolinder and Addie Butler captured that first doubles title with the narrow 6-4, 7-6 win over Morgan’s Lucy Tripp and Brylee Adams.

The other individual champs this year were Maeser Prep’s Kelsey Ortega at second singles and Carbon’s Lieke Verweij at third singles.

For Morgan, it was Steel’s win at first singles that set the tone for the day. She had beat Grantsville’s Crosby twice earlier this season, but knew she would get Crosby’s best effort in the final meet of the season between the two juniors.

Steel’s serve helped her power through any tense moments, but more than anything it was her confidence.

“My serve was doing really good and my forehand, but a lot of it was just my confidence. I’ve put in all the time I can and I’ve given all the preparation. I knew I’d done all I can,” said Steel.

Steel has been Morgan’s No. 1 player each of her three seasons and advanced to the 3A semifinals both her freshman and sophomore seasons. Each time she ran into a powerful senior at state and was defeated pretty soundly.

Steel went into each of those state tournament’s hoping she could win, but this year she went in with extreme self confidence nobody could beat her.

“Last year I just wasn’t feeling as good about it but this year I was confident that I could win,” said Steel.

Her coach echoed the sentiment about that confidence pushing her.

“She really is a confident girl. She’s got a really strong head and she stays positive even if she makes a mistake, and she’s very complimentary of all of her opponents,” said Hadley. “She doesn’t get down on herself. She’s a pretty mature girl, and she’s been that way even since she was a freshman, but she’s obviously getting better as she’s growing into her tennis. She’s mentally tough and positive and also has a lot of talent. She works really hard.”


3A girls state tennis tournament

At Liberty Park, Salt Lake City

Team scores

1. Morgan, 19

2. Grantsville, 18

3T. Carbon, 9

3T. Maeser Prep, 9

5. Rowland Hall, 8

6. Judge Memorial, 6

7. Waterford, 4

8. Manti, 3


First singles

First round

  • Laura Brueggemann, Wasatch Academy def. Reagan Wilcox, Ben Lomond, 6-0, 6-0
  • Noelle Kieffer, Waterford def. Aliyah Hathaway, Canyon View, 6-0, 6-1
  • Katelyn Steel, Morgan def. Mady Costello, Union, 6-1, 6-0
  • Lindsey Snow, Carbon def. Valeria Rico, Juan Diego, 6-3, 6-3
  • Aubrei Jorgensen, Richfield def. Alivia Boe, Rowland Hall, 6-4, 6-3
  • Sophie Crosby, Grantsville def. Ammalee Willmore, Juab, 6-2, 6-3
  • Rachelle Prasthofer, Judge def. Lillian Scott, Grand, 6-1, 6-0
  • Heidi Jorgensen, Manti def. Jill Millard, Ogden, 6-2, 7-5

Quarterfinals

  • Kieffer, Waterford def. Brueggemann, Wasatch Academy, 7-6, 6-4
  • Steel, Morgan def. Snow, Carbon, 6-0, 6-1
  • Crosby, Grantsville def. Jorgensen, Richfield, 6-1, 6-1
  • Prasthofer, Judge def. Jorgensen, Manti, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4

Semifinals

  • Steel, Morgan def. Kieffer, Waterford, 6-0, 6-1
  • Crosby, Grantsville def. Prasthofer, Judge, 6-1, 6-4

Finals

  • Steel, Morgan def. Crosby, Grantsville, 6-1, 6-3

Second singles

First round

  • Abbie Nelson, Juan Diego def. Eliza Beales, Union, 6-0, 6-2
  • Lacy Linares, Grantsville def. Stella McGowan, 7-5, 3-6, 6-2
  • Kelsey Ortega, Maeser Prep def. Hannah Echols, Juab, 6-2, 6-2
  • Kiera Hunt, Canyon View def. Sydney D’Hulst, Ogden, 6-2, 6-2
  • Lizzy Blackburn, Carbon def. Kendra Sandberg, Ben Lomond, 6-1, 6-0
  • Tennyson Seethaler, Rowland Hall def. Emily Nicholson, Wasatch Academy, 6-1, 6-0
  • Savannah Dutson, Morgan def. Jamie Hair, Richfield, 6-1, 6-0
  • Bailey Norris, Waterford def. Natalie Vlam, Manti, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4

Quarterfinals

  • Linares, Grantsville def. Nelson, Juan Diego, 6-2, 6-4
  • Ortega, Maeser Prep def. Hunt, Canyon View, 6-1, 6-1
  • Seethaler, Rowland Hall def. Blackburn, Carbon, 6-1, 6-4
  • Dutson, Morgan def. Norris, Waterford, 6-1, 6-4

Semifinals

  • Ortega, Maeser Prep, def. Linares, Grantsville, 6-1, 6-2
  • Seethaler, Rowland Hall def. Duston, Morgan, 7-6, 4-6, 6-4

Finals

  • Ortega, Maeser Prep def. Seethaler, Rowland Hall, 6-4, 6-0

Third singles

First round

  • Emmy Lovell, Juab def. Molly Knowles, Grand, 6-0, 6-1
  • Mia Parkinson, Maeser Prep def. Sydney Poorman, Ogden, 6-0, 6-1
  • Lieke Verwiej, Carbon def. Hallie Henrie, North Sanpete, 6-2, 6-2
  • Eliza Jaggi, Morgan def. Delaney Huefner, Waterford, 6-4, 5-7, 6-1
  • Audrey Curtis, Grantsville def. Erika Prasthofer, Rowland Hall, 6-3, 6-1
  • Kayla Miller, Union def. Harper Smith, Richfield, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2
  • Rachel Strelow, Juan Diego def. Kathryn Froerer, South Summit, 6-1, 6-0
  • Emily Allen, Manti def. Juleann Valerius, Canyon View, 6-0, 6-0

Quarterfinals

  • Lovell, Juab def. Parkinson, Maeser Prep, 5-7, 7-5, 6-4
  • Verwiej, Carbon def. Jaggi, Morgan, 6-1, 6-1
  • Curtis, Grantsville def. Miller, Union, 6-0, 6-3
  • Strelow, Juan Diego def. Allen, Manti, 6-0, 6-0

Semifinals

  • Verwiej, Carbon def. Lovell, Juab, 6-2, 6-2
  • Strelow, Juan Diego def. Curtis, Grantsville, 6-2, 6-4

Finals

  • Verwiej, Carbon def. Strelow, Juan Diego, 6-3, 6-4

First doubles

First round

  • Talia Cluff/Emma Christensen, Manti def. Ellie Maddock/Presley Hester, Ben Lomond, 6-0, 6-2
  • Kate Altman/Agustina Salazar, Rowland Hall def. Lilian Larson/Amy Lee, Canyon View, 7-5, 6-1
  • Madison Bolinder/Addie Butler, Grantsville def. Nicole Matheson/Averee Hatfield, Juab, 6-1, 6-0
  • Megan Grant/Clare Perkins, Maeser Prep def. Kaydance Scovill/Laurie Parry, Carbon, 3-6, 6-1, 6-1
  • Charlotte Poulson/Emrie Sorenson, Richfield def. EmmaLyn Hymas/Nicole Bliss, American Heritage, 1-6, 6-0, 6-1
  • Lucy Tripp/Brylee Adams, Morgan def. Alexis Bradley/Madolyn Mangum, North Sanpete, 6-0, 6-0
  • Isabella Valles/Ava Isaac, Judge Memorial def. Aspen Taylor/Brooklyn Ekker, Emery, 6-2, 6-3
  • Aaralyn Draper/Olivea Howes, Union def. Rally Carver/Ashley Christensen, Ogden, 6-2, 7-5

Quarterfinals

  • Altman/Salazar, Rowland Hall def. Cluff/Christensen, Manti, 4-6, 6-1, 6-0
  • Bolinder/Butler, Grantsville def. Grant/Perkins, Maeser Prep, 6-4, 6-2
  • Tripp/Adams, Morgan def. Poulson/Sorenson, Richfield, 6-0, 6-4
  • Valles/Isaac, Judge def. Draper/Howes, Union, 6-0, 6-2

Semifinals

  • Bolinder/Butler, Grantsville def. Altman/Salazar, Rowland Hall, 6-3, 6-2
  • Tripp/Adams, Morgan def. Valles/Isaac, Judge, 6-7, 6-2, 7-5

Finals

  • Bolinder/Butler, Grantsville def. Tripp/Adams, 6-7, 6-2, 7-5

Second doubles

First round

First round

  • Megan Wade/Michelle Greenberg, Waterford def. Abrianna Benson/Natalya Benson, North Sanpete, 7-6, 6-1
  • Lauren Holt/Afton Orgill, Grantsville def. Sariah Purkey/Echo Pallesen, Richfield, 6-2, 6-3
  • Madeline Frazier/Elena Owens, Rowland Hall def. Shaylynn Hoblett/Azlyn Ristine, Manti, 6-1, 6-3
  • Mya Deaton/Laken Larsen, South Sevier def. Brieanna Bailey/Katelyn Starley, Ogden, 6-3, 6-2
  • Alyssa Ellis/Ella Anderson, Carbon def. Jet Russell/Maya Grajek, South Summit, 6-0, 6-1
  • Justine Nicholson/Audrey Selfridge, Judge Memorial def. Krista Hanke/Sylvia Costello, Union, 6-4, 6-4
  • Ryann Jensen/Sydney Jensen, Morgan def. Seneca Tatera/Payton Gregory, Grand, 6-2, 6-0
  • Kayla Harston/Noureen Salah, Maeser Prep def. Julia Flake/Leah Thorn, Juab, 6-2, 7-5

Quarterfinals

  • Holt/Orgill, Grantsville def. Wade/Greenberg, Waterford, 6-2, 6-3
  • Frazier/Owens, Rowland Hall def. Deaton/Larsen, South Sevier, 6-3, 6-0
  • Nicholson/Selfridge, Judge Memorial def. Ellis/Anderson, Carbon, 6-1, 6-2
  • Jensen/Jensen, Morgan def. Harston/Salah, Maeser Prep, 6-0, 6-3

Semifinals

  • Holt/Orgill, Grantsville def. Frazier/Owens, Rowland Hall, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3
  • Jensen/Jensen, Morgan def. Nicholson/Selfridge, Judge, 6-2, 6-4

Finals

  • Jensen/Jensen, Morgan def. Holt/Orgill, Grantsville, 6-4, 6-2