Sophie Baker put an impressive finishing touch on her high school tennis career Saturday afternoon and led the celebration for the Rowland Hall girls team with her.

Baker claimed her second straight 3A girls individual No. 1 singles crown, and coach Rich Francey said it was her leadership that also inspired her teammates to roll past their opponents to win the team title on a sunny, warm afternoon at Liberty Park.

Francey said it was another proud moment in his lengthy tennis career. The Winged Lions captured the boys team championship last spring, and the girls avenged a second-place finish in 2022.

Baker led the way, handily winning in straight sets each time in the two-day tournament. Since her matches ended so quickly, she said it gave her time to cheer for the rest of the team.

Rowland Hall’s Elena Owens won No. 3 singles, and the team of Frances Hodson and Ainsley Moore took the No. 1 double title to help accrue 58 points for Rowland Hall.

That was enough to turn back defending champion Morgan, which had 44 points. Judge Memorial finished with 33, Grantsville 28, Juab 26, North Sanpete and Richfield 14, and American Heritage 13.

“We moved into a new region, and had to travel a lot (for region matches in Ogden and Roosevelt, as well as tournaments in Utah County, Cache Valley and St. George),” said Francey, who has been part of the Rowland Hall tennis program for much of the last 30 years. “We’ve also had to battle a lot of injuries. It was a pleasure to watch Sophie put our team on her back and lead in the way she has. She was our motivator.”

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Baker grew up in Chicago. She said she grabbed hold of a racquet when she was three years old and started playing in tournaments at age 8. She moved to Salt Lake with her family two years ago.

The daughter of two University of Utah doctors, she doesn’t know if she’ll play competitive tennis again, but she was happy to end this day on top.

She said the Chicago competition helped prepare her for her 3A opponents in Utah, but she also handled everyone she played at the higher levels, except for Brighton’s Avery Olsen, who was the 5A No. 1 singles winner.

“It was fun. I was cheering for her, and it was also great to see us play hard and be together with my teammates,” she said.

Francey also enjoyed the day. He said when Rowland Hall advanced all of its singles players – Baker, Owens and Jane Borst — into the finals, he was able to relax. Borst, however, had to default (due to injury) in her No. 2 singles finals match against Morgan’s Sophie Rabe. Still, that wasn’t enough to affect the teams’ final results.

It did allow Morgan to capture an individual crown, though, while Judge’s Sophia Valles/Emma Evensen won the No. 2 doubles title.