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Three weeks into the season, the Bear River girls’ tennis team is finding its footing and using the experience of some close losses to push through a long stretch of competition on the road over the next couple of weeks.

After opening the season with solid showings at home against Carbon High and on the road at the Cache Valley Invitational, the girls traveled to a tournament in Spanish Fork for the third year in a row, coming away with their best finish yet in a contest featuring strong competition from around Northern Utah.

In each of their first two trips to Spanish Fork, the team finished last out of six teams. But this time around, they topped three other teams and won the third place match.

“It felt really good for us,” Head Coach Robert Epling said.

That trip gave them some momentum heading into last week, where they were able to stay home and host fellow Region 11 squads in Mountain Crest and Logan.

Against Mountain Crest, the Bears felt strong on their home courts but ended up falling 1-4 to the Mustangs, as the visitors stayed persistent and were able to keep the ball in play.

Epling said his squad has been working on the finer points of the game, and just needs to find more consistency to start racking up wins.

“No team can come to our school and say we don’t look better than any other schools we play,” he said. “We’re out there to win.”

After Tuesday’s loss to Mountain Crest, the Bears came back out to host Logan on Thursday. After several close matches, the visitors emerged on top, 2-3. Earning wins for Bear River were Erika Olsen at first singles, and Carissa and Shannon Epling in doubles.

“It was a fun match,” Epling said. “Logan is a fun team to play.”

The team is now heading into a long stretch away from home, with duals at Ridgeline and Green Canyon this week, then at Sky View and Mountain Crest next week, followed by a tournament in St. George Sept. 10-12. After another road contest at Logan, the girls return home to host Ridgeline on Thursday, Sept. 17.

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