The sports rivalry between Waterford and Rowland Hall seems to reach its peak every year at about this time of year.
The two Salt Lake City-area private schools have premier tennis teams and, despite their limited enrollment, compete a level higher with 3A ranks. However, because their non-region schedule is filled with many of Utah’s biggest and talented tennis opponents, the pressure and competitiveness of the state tournament doesn’t faze them.
“It’s been this way for a long time,” said Rowland Hall coach Susan Daynes.
Not surprisingly, the opening day of the 3A boys tourney went as expected with the Ravens and Winged Lions at the top. Officially, Waterford claimed first place with 10 points while Rowland Hall had nine, and that’s only because a pair of rainstorms pelted Liberty Park Friday that forced some events to be moved indoors or to other locations, and not all the results were known at press time.
Grantsville (7), Juab (6), Morgan (5) and Carbon (4) also had their share of high points and are still in the fight for the team title, which will continue Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. with better weather forecasted.
For much of the day, the weather was partly cloudy and cool, but a heavy rainstorm at about 11:15 a.m., and then again at 4 p.m. flooded the courts and forced Utah High School Activities Association officials to be creative. Some matches were moved inside the Liberty Park tennis “bubble,” and others sent to alternative sites, like the Salt Lake Tennis Club a few miles away.
While most of the day’s matches were unaffected, Daynes said one of her players had to wait four hours between his first and second-round match.
On the other hand, the rain didn’t dampen the smile on Waterford coach Ken Wade’s face. The Ravens, who claimed the 2019 state title with “probably our best team in school history,” were on track to do it again after Lalith Suresh and Dawson Jenkins sailed through their matches without losing a single game, and Jeffrey Kulsomphob only dropped one. The doubles teams of Tarun Martheswaran-Omeed Moshirfar and Owen Hammond-Grant Christensen fared nearly as well.
“Can’t complain,” Wade said. “We’re right where we want to be. Our goal is to get five players into the finals and we’re on our way.”
Rowland Hall had Jaiden Handlon and Daniel McNally move forward, with Cole McCartney’s match yet to be decided when the rain arrived. Because Rowland Hall and Waterford are in the same region, and generally earned a No. 1 or 2 seed in each division, they were placed in opposite brackets and are the leading candidates to reach the finals, where the team title will likely be decided.
3A boys state tennis tournament
At Liberty Park, Salt Lake
Team scores: 1, Waterford 10. 2, Rowland Hall 9. 3, Grantsville 7. 4, Juab 6. 5, Morgan 5. 6, Carbon 4. 7, Delta, Manti 3. 9, American Heritage, North Sanpete, Richfield, South Sevier 2. 13, Judge Memorial, San Juan, Telos 1.
No. 1 singles
First round - Tyler Saunders (Richfield) def. Henry Poppe (Judge) 6-1, 7-5. Jaiden Handlon (Rowland Hall) def. Jared Strait (North Sanpete) 6-0, 6-0. Camdin Nelson (Grantsville) def. Brayden Staples (South Sevier) 6-4, 6-3. Kyler Williams (Juab) def. Carter Davies (Providence Hall) 6-1, 6-0. Lalith Suresh (Waterford) def. Lian Knowles (Grand) 6-0, 6-0. Baylor Martinez (Telos) def. Nate Stewart (Gunnison) 6-2, 5-7, 6-3. Parker Stevenson (American Heritage) def. Preston Condie (Carbon) 5-7, 6-4, 6-3. Brian Fowles (Delta) def. Carter Bladen (Morgan) 7-5, 6-0.
Second round - Handlon def. Saunders 6-0, 6-0. Nelson def. Williams 6-4, 6-3. Suresh def. Martinez 6-0, 6-0. Peterson def. Fowles 6-1, 6-1.
No. 2 singles
First round - Quinn Belknap (Juab) def. Josh Barlow (Gunnison) 6-1, 6-1. Ben Hadley (Morgan) def. Konner Jensen (Richfield) 6-7 (1), 6-4, 6-3. Heston Ott (South Sevier) def. Raef Swain (Union) 6-3, 6-0. Jeffrey Kulsomphob (Waterford) def. Charlie Waldron (Telos) 6-0, 6-0. Jack Livingston (Carbon) def. Boden Chell (Judge) 6-1, 6-1. Carter Killian (Grantsville) def. Kason Erickson (North Sanpete) 6-3, 6-2. Luke Prestwich (Delta) def. Bryce Adams (San Juan) 6-0. 6-0. Daniel McNally (Rowland Hall) def. Ammon Jackman (Grand) 6-0. 6-0.
Second round - Belknap def. Hadley 6-4, 6-1. Kulsomphob def. Ott 6-1, 6-0. Killian def. Livingston 6-4, 5-7, 6-1. McNally def. Prestwich 6-1, 6-1.
No. 3 singles
First round - Derrick Jorgensen (Carbon) def. Mark Monette (Judge) 6-0, 6-0. Logan Madsen (Grantsville) def. Nate Bigelow (Manti) 6-2, 6-2. Zack Sentker (Delta) def. Peyton Jackson (Gunnison) 6-1, 6-1. Dawson Jenkins (Waterford) def. Spencer Olson (North Sanpete) 6-0, 6-0. Levi Covington (Juab) def. Joseph Tarkoff (Telos) 6-1, 6-2. Rees Mecham (Morgan) def. Luke Robbins (Richfield) 7-6 (4), 6-4. Cole McCartney (Rowland Hall) def. Conner Montella (San Juan) 6-1, 6-1. Damon Bergfeld (South Sevier) def. Jacob Sasser (Union) 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-4.
Second round - Jorgensen def. Madsen 6-1, 6-0. Jenkins def. Sentker 6-0, 6-0. Other second round results not available.
No. 1 doubles
First round - Leonard Livingston-Branden Scovill (Carbon) def. Brennan Riad-Rhys Runnels (Judge) 3-6, 6-0, 6-4. Noah Edgar-Auden Bown (Rowland Hall) def. Ashton Dye-Owen Cook (Union) 6-0, 6-0. Nathan Millburn-Evan Harris (Morgan) def. Britton Singleton-Cameron Jewkes (Richfield) 6-2, 6-1. Brady Wathen-Casen Christensen (Manti) def. Derrick Atkinson-Seamus McVicar (Draper APA) 6-3, 6-1. Tarun Martheswaran-Omeed Moshirfar (Waterford) def. Jacob Jones-Oran Moore (Grand) 6-0, 6-1. Stephen Belknap-Ryan Allred (Juab) def. Spencer Overly-Brock Overly (Gunnison) 6-4, 6-2. Cameron Jensen-Spencer Jensen (San Juan) def. Elijah Tolman-Sam Hansen (Delta) 6-4, 7-5. Jake Cox-Josh Cox (North Sanpete) def. Hunter Bell-Gabe Hill (Grantsville) 6-3, 1-6, 6-1.
Second round - Edgar-Bown def. Livingston-Scovill 6-3, 6-2. Millburn-Harris def. Wathen-Christensen 3-6, 6-2, 6-1. Martheswaren-Moshirfar def. Belknap-Allred 6-1, 6-1. Cox-Cox def. Jensen-Jensen 6-3, 6-7 (6), 7-5.
No. 2 doubles
First round - Kevin Cox-Dyson Winsor (Manti) def. Liam Clark-Isaac Elison (Grand) 6-1, 6-1. Kacen Helston-Josh Jaggi (Morgan) def. Alex Callahan-Garrett Bryner (Carbon) 6-1, 6-1. Gavin Olsen-Jaxon Demille (Richfield) def. Lafe Finlinson-Isaac Draper (Delta) 7-6 (4), 7-5. Luca Bressloff-Zach Klein (Rowland Hall) def. Carsen Ross-Porter Ross (Union) 6-0, 6-1. Jose Maaz Cortez-Yan Chen (Judge) def. Bryant Shell-Will Jackson (Gunnison) 1-6, 6-3, 6-4. Quinten White-Brennan Harvey (Grantsville) def. Davin Anderson-Kaysen Smith (North Sanpete) 7-6 (2), 6-2. Jake Squire-Jonah Settle (Juab) def. Denim Howell-Bryant Francom (San Juan) 6-1, 6-0. Owen Hammond-Grant Christensen (Waterford) def. Landon Bagley-Hayden Hansen (South Sevier) 6-2, 6-1.
Second round - Cox-Winsor def. Helston-Jaggi 4-6, 7-5, 6-2. Bressloff-Klein def. Olsen-Demille 6-0, 6-0. White-Harvey def. Maaz Cortez-Chen 6-1, 6-1. Hammond-Christensen def. Squire-Settle 6-3, 6-2.