SALT LAKE CITY — At the end of a clear and sunny day of tennis Wednesday, Lone Peak and Davis lead the rest of the field at the 5A girls tennis tournament.
Both schools, who have 10 points apiece, were able to advance players in all five brackets, while Bingham treaded lightly to send both doubles teams into semifinal action Saturday.
Lone Peak sophomore Leah Heimuli breezed through her two first-round matches, capped off with a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Jordan senior Carly Greer.
Heimuli is a key member of a Lone Peak squad that has the opportunity to earn a third consecutive girls tennis title.
“We need to make sure our team is ready to compete against the other teams, because I feel the competition is going to be a little better,” said Heimuli of Saturday's decisive final two rounds. “We’ll just have to be prepared to play our best against our opponents.”
Davis junior and two-time second singles champion Breezy Turley also had a solid outing Wednesday. Turley will have a "title-worthy" match first thing Saturday, as the junior will take on Heimuli, having previously met her in last year's second singles championship match.
“I’m feeling really good actually, especially after coming back from a injury,” said Turley. “I’m pretty confident in my game.”
Seniors Sarah Clifford (Pleasant Grove) and Brook Burnside (West) are set to clash yet again in the other first singles semifinal, with the latter taking last year's match in the second round. The winner will have the daunting task of playing either Turley or Heimuli in the title match.
Also representing Davis is second singles freshmen Whitney Turley. A solid 6-0, 6-0 sweep over Pleasant Grove senior Kelslee Amussen in the second round Wednesday gave opponents a glimpse of what to expect come Saturday.
“It’s so much fun to have that family support, as well as them,” said older sister Breezy Turley. “She’s an example to me.”
Meanwhile, Alta junior Mariah Petersen narrowly escaped West sophomore Karishma Shah in a 6-7, 6-2, 7-5 thriller in the second round Wednesday, and is now set to play Turley on Saturday. Petersen was the only player Alta player to reach the semifinals.
Morgan Hall took strides Wednesday in her quest to earn another state title for Lone Peak. Last year's third singles champion, Hall will face Cottonwood senior Cassidy Brown who bested Bingham junior 7-5, 6-4, in a second singles semifinal.
Bingham quietly sent both doubles teams through to the semifinals, along with Davis and Lone Peak, and the Miners now find themselves in a great position to earn valuable points. Defending first doubles champion Jean Noh and new teammate Jaelyn Peterson swept their first opponents, and followed suit with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over the Lehi duo of Amanda Withers and Kasia Colunga.
Bingham juniors Behany Morey and Amanda Balls kept their undefeated record intact Wednesday, and will now wait to face Kendall Sargent and Annie Gardner of Davis for a shot at the second doubles crown.
Lone Peak standouts Haley Schettler and Lauren Allen are poised to return to the first doubles title match after besting the Brighton duo of Amy Johnston and Alyssa Hirschi. Brooke Burningham and Emily Watkins of Davis, who are both seniors, have the tall task of taking them on Saturday.
“We’re just focusing on having fun and supporting each other,” said Heimuli of Lone Peak's strategy. “Our main goal this tournament was just to believe in ourselves and play to the best of our abilities, no matter the outcome”
The 5A girls state tennis tournament will resume Saturday at 9 a.m. at the Liberty Park tennis courts.