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The last few years have been challenging for Mountain Crest’s girls tennis program, which placed fifth out of six teams at the region championships in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

The Mustangs are a lot more experienced this season, though, and they’re starting to make some significant strides. Case in point: Through the first two weeks of Region 11 action, Mountain Crest has won three of four duals, including both of them this week.

With six seniors and one junior in their varsity lineup, the Mustangs appear to have what it takes to finish in the top half of the region in 2020. Mountain Crest dispatched of Sky View, 4-1, Tuesday in Hyrum, and then earned a hard-fought 3-2 road victory over Logan two days later.

The Mountain Crest-Logan showdown came down to a third-set tiebreaker at No. 1 doubles, with MC’s duo of Kate Hardy and Brooklyn Clark prevailing 7-5.

“It was a tough match (Thursday) against Logan,” MC head coach Jackie Oswald said. “Every position put up a fight. ... Earlier in the week we had a competitive match with SV. We have a tough region with a lot of close competition. I hope we can all stay healthy and have a great season. It will be fun to watch the teams push each other to prepare for state.”

Hardy and Clark won both of their matches this week, as did Mountain Crest singles players Rachel Powell (No. 1) and Sidney Nielson (No. 2). The Mustangs’ No. 2 doubles tandem of Abbie Murray and Raegan Taylor went 1-1.

Like Mountain Crest, Green Canyon and Ridgeline won both of their duals this week. The Wolves improved to 4-0 and have won 18 of 20 individual region matches so far. Green Canyon swept Logan Tuesday on the road, and was triumphant over Bear River by a 4-1 scoreline two days later.

“We feel fortunate to have started off the season so well,” GC head coach Holly Haslem said. “The girls have been working really hard. We need to stay focused. The season is still young. We were really impressed with how much Bear River has improved this last year.”

Singles players Halle Kendrick (No. 2) and Ava Checketts (No. 3) didn’t lose a set for the Wolves this week, as did their doubles teams of Olivia Phillips/Alice Wilkinson (No. 1) and Maren McKenna/Kate Anderson (No. 2).

Alli Phillips, Green Canyon’s top singles player, went to three sets in both of her matches this week. The senior was victorious against Logan and lost to Bear River’s Erika Olsen, who improved to 4-0 against Region 11 opponents.

Meanwhile, Ridgeline outpointed Bear River, 4-1, Tuesday at home, and swept Sky View two days later on the road. Meera Gardner (No. 2 singles), Myriam Anderson (No. 3 singles) and the No. 1 doubles squad of Emma Hansen/Ellie Carlston didn’t drop a set for the Riverhawks. Lauren Ellis teamed up with Kaitlyn Horsburgh on Tuesday and Alicia Smith on Thursday to reign supreme in straight sets at the No. 2 doubles spot.

Madi Brenchley split matches at No. 1 singles for Ridgeline.

“Going 2-0 this week is a result of hard work,” RHS head coach Ryan Cheney said. “We have struggled at a few positions early in the season, but the girls have made small improvements every day. I can see them getting better and they are playing more confidently every match.”

Kennedy Jenkins went 1-1 this week at No. 2 singles for Logan, as did the team’s No. 2 doubles duo of Staeli Ellis/Norah Perry. Sky View’s Rachel Chipman went 1-1 at No. 2 singles.

Jason Turner is a sports reporter for The Herald Journal. He can be reached at jturner@hjnews.com or 435-792-7237.

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