Byline: Josh Loftin
The Girl’s Tennis team sent two players, Sarah Roston and Dany Jallath, to the state tennis tournament in Salt Lake City on Friday.
Roston qualified after placing 3rd in the #1 singles in the Southern Region last week, while Jallath placed 4th at #2 singles in the region.
At the state tournament, Roston opened with a hard-fought victory over Vici Barrera of St. Joseph, 6-3, 7-5. St. Joseph eventually won the team crown, despite Barrera’s loss. Jallath, meanwhile, lost to Tanisha Martheswaran of Waterford in the first round of the #2 singles bracket.
In the second round, Roston forced Mary Royer of San Juan into a three-set match. Roston lost the first set, 6-3, but stormed back to take the second set 6-4. Roston lost the third set, 6-3.
Royer eventually won the state #1 singles title, but Roston gave her the toughest match. “I was pretty drained after the second match,” Royer told The Salt Lake Tribune.
Update: Coach David Roth filed this summary of the tournament:
In her first tournament match in the #1 singles bracket, Sarah Roston (4–2 season record at #1 Singles, senior) beat Vici Barerra (4–1 season record), a well-trained and experienced sophomore from St. Joseph’s, 6–3, 7–5. Sarah had Vici reeling from the start with deep ground strokes and serve returns, and frustrated Vici with passing shots and lobs when she rushed the net. Sarah stayed even in the second set, then broke serve in the final game to end the match and earn a re-match in the semi-finals with Mary Royer, a senior phenom with unorthodox strokes from San Juan.
Sarah got off to a slow start against Mary and lost the first set 3–6, then stormed back to win the second set 6–4. After a break between sets, Sarah came out firing, but so did Mary, and long backcourt exchanges slowly wore down both players. Mary fought off cramps late in the third set, then broke Sarah’s serve to win 6–3 and earn a hard ride to the finals, where she beat Amanda Naylor (Manti) 6–2, 6–4. Sarah put up a better fight in the semis than Amanda did in the finals, and we are proud of Sarah’s fighting spirit, fine season and leadership throughout the season!
At the #2 Singles position Dany Jallath (2–4 season record, sophomore) got a tough draw and had to play the very physical #1 seed Tanisha Martheswaran (Waterford, freshman, 5–1 season record), and lost in 2 sets. Dany was nervous from the start, and Tanisha was relentless with hard serves, deep ground strokes, and flawless net play. Dany tried passing shots, lobs, and firing the ball at Tanisha, but couldn’t take a game off the eventual finalist.
Overall this season the Tigers showed tenacity and much improvement. We knew in advance it would be a building year, and we saw many new players rise and gain skills and competitive experience that will benefit us next year.