HYRUM — This six-day stretch has been a very busy one for Logan’s boys tennis team, but it’s also been very gratifying.
The Grizzlies improved to 5-0 over that timespan after sweeping Region 12 rival Mountain Crest on Thursday afternoon. In the process, Logan beat all five of its region opponents and captured the regular season title.
“Again, it just shows how hard the kids have worked and how much they believe in the process and the strategies that we’ve come up with for each position,” said Logan head coach Kallie Rice, who went on to praise her players for how coachable they’ve been this spring. “This region is really tough. It’s not like it’s a super easy region, so it’s a pretty big accomplishment to win it outright for the (regular) season.”
The Grizzlies were efficient Thursday as they never lost more than three games in any of the sets. Jeff Wang, Logan’s No. 1 singles player, played particularly well. The senior won the first game of his match at love and that set the tone in his 6-0, 6-0 triumph over Zach Fricke.
“It gave me a lot of confidence for the next few games,” said Wang, who was the top singles player for his previous high school in Corvallis, Oregon, last season. “I was hitting pretty well in that first game, as well, so that definitely helped my confidence.”
Wang was especially effective with his forehand Thursday and continually attacked Fricke’s second serve. Fittingly enough, Wang ripped a clean forehand approach winner cross court on match point.
“I was really looking forward to those because it’s nice to be able to attack immediately on someone’s serve,” Wang said of being aggressive on Fricke’s second serve.
At the No. 2 singles position, Logan’s Dylan Jenkins received a pretty good test from Mountain Crest’s James Naser before prevailing, 6-2, 6-2. Jenkins claimed seven straight games during one stretch of the match en route to remaining undefeated against region foes. Jenkins closed out his match in style with two straight winners to set up match point, and a pacey forehand deep in the court to force an error and slam the door.
Logan’s Paul Miller capped off a great week by dispatching of Trevor Jensen 6-2, 6-1 at third singles. Miller did a superb job of mixing up his game as he attacked the net frequently and event threw in a few moon balls to keep Jensen off balance.
“Again, it just throws (my opponents) off their game,” Miller said of his strategy. “It just doesn’t give them a repetitive shot (to return) and it doesn’t let them get used to something, and I like just keeping them on their toes, not knowing what’s going to come next.”
The sophomore, who won six consecutive games at one point, closed out his match with back-to-back volley winners.
Likewise, it was a good day for both of Logan’s doubles teams. At the No. 1 position, Michael Summers and Jack Cliften finished strong in a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Camden Oswald and Kordell Welch.
Logan’s No. 2 tandem of Kimbal Ricks and Monson Brown improved to 5-0 against region foes by reigning supreme against Ethan Olsen and Matt Barber, 6-0, 6-1.
“I think they really brought the energy today,” Rice said of her doubles teams. “That’s something that we wanted to work on, especially after the Green Canyon match. I kind of spoke to them the last time about how well Green Canyon did right out of the gate with their energy, and so that’s something that we were really trying to work on today.”
Thursday marked the end to an even busier stretch for the Mustangs, who have played six matches since last Saturday. Mountain Crest went 3-3 in those duals and came really close to defeating Sky View. MC’s second doubles duo of Olsen and Barber went 4-2 during that timespan.
The Region 12 Tournament will take place next Wednesday and Thursday at Green Canyon High School.
Jenkins will be a No. 1 seed for the Grizzlies, as will their No. 2 doubles squad. Other top seeds will be Green Canyon’s Ryan Jeppson at No. 1 singles, Ridgeline’s Landon Brenchley at No. 3 singles and GC’s first doubles tandem of Jason Broadbent/Isaac Olsen.
All five of the No. 1 seeds went undefeated against region opponents this season.