The NS boys tennis team is halfway through their region play, and they are tied for first place with a 6-0 record so far.
They even defeated their biggest competition, Canyon View, 3-2. With the second match against Canyon View coming today, Tues., April 25, the team members are gearing up for the match.
“We have the capability; we just need to bring our A-game to the court,” said assistant coach Sterling Whipple.
The team has been bringing their A-game the last few matches, including the last game against Richfield where they w
“We all did some great things at the match, and it worked out for us this time,” said senior Benjamin Palmer.
The team needs to keep playing their best to be able to take the region title at the end of the season. This includes working on consistency and being more aggressive out on the court, but according to senior Ryker Ericksen, tennis is also part mental strength.
“If we keep pushing ourselves, and believe that we can win, we will win,” Ericksen said.
Ericksen believes that if the team believes in themselves and prepares, they will be able to beat Canyon View at the next match.
“I’m going to work on keeping mentally strong, and I’m going to focus on my consistency and serves,” Palmer said.
Although the team is undefeated in region matches, there have been challenges in the varsity team, especially among the doubles players.
Second doubles player senior Brendan Blackham was gone for a whole week and ended up missing three matches. This has created a problem for his partner Tanner Morley, also a senior, but Morley and Blackham are working on preparing for the upcoming games.
“We need to stay focused, and hit 75 percent power on our shots and place the ball, instead of hitting as hard as we can every hit,” Blackham said.
If the team does well at the region tournament, they are placed in a better seeding for the state tournament, but if they don’t perform well, they are seeded against the top players in the state for 3A.
“We need to do good at region in order to start off with a chance at state,” Blackham said. “We have the potential to do really well at region, but we have been known to choke under pressure.”
The boys on the team have been working really hard to get ready for the upcoming matches and region tournament by spending at minimum 2 hours on the court 5 days a week. They also have been rehashing the basic and fundamentals of the sport.
“Every time I enter the season I have to relearn the basics, and settle back down and do what I’ve trained my body to do,” Blackham said.
The coaches have been emphasizing the basics and consistency throughout the season so far and are going to continue working on it until the end of the season.
On Apr. 20 the team played Carbon in not ideal circumstances. The boys had to mop and squeegee off the courts, and the matches were stopped in the middle of sets so the rain could pass, but another storm hit a few minutes after they started playing again.
Head coach Matt Braithwaite made the decision to call the matches. Two of the five varsity matches were not able to finish the second sets. They will have to meet another day to finish the matches.
Braithwaite is optimistic for the rest of the region season, and he is proud of how the boys will continue to play individually and as a team.
“They’ve been playing good and will hopefully continue to work hard and play good,” Braithwaite said.