Cottonwood girls tennis completes most successful season in years, places five players at stateNov 03, 2022 07:50PM ● By Brian Shaw
By Brian Shaw | [email protected]
On the strength of a group laden with seniors, the Cottonwood Colts girls tennis team placed five girls including all three of its singles players at the 5A state tournament.
“I feel extremely proud of all the girls this tennis season. They all improved not only on their tennis skills but also a lot of the team had outstanding grades,” said girls tennis coach Teisa Linscott. “Our team also prided ourselves on good sportsmanship. I love seeing the youth sharing my love of this sport, and getting out and playing it.”
Will any of these up-and-comers on Colt Boulevard become the next McKenzie Davis, who was arguably the greatest Cottonwood girls tennis player to have ever laced up the sneakers? From 2008 to 2010, she ruled Utah in first singles, winning two state titles in 2008 and 2010.
These Colts are giving it their best shot under the new head coach Linscott. They started by playing a preseason filled with tough opponents in which the Colts went 2-1. That got them prepared for the Region 7 season.
League play was first served up Aug. 18. The Colts took the short bus ride over the I-215 overpass to Midvale to face crosstown rivals Hillcrest.
At Hillcrest, the Colts got off to a slow start in singles play but picked up the pace in doubles to win the team portion of the match, 3-2. After that, Cottonwood went on a streak and did not lose again until Sept. 9 at Uintah, finishing region play with a 5-1 record.
From that series of region matches, the Colts were able to qualify all of their seven players for the Region 7 tournament where they had great success Sept. 13-14.
In first singles, senior Kaiya Endo won in straight sets over an opponent from Stansbury in the semifinals, but lost in the final to the same player from Hillcrest who defeated her in league play, 4-6 and 1-6.
Second singles saw Amelia Linscott gallop through all of her early-round matches at the Region 7 tournament. The sophomore then won her first Region 7 championship by defeating her opponent from Hillcrest in straight sets, 7-5 and 6-2.
Third singles saw senior Kate Campbell go down, but not without a fight in her final against an opponent from Hillcrest, 3-6, 4-6.
In second doubles, the duo of senior Annie Pinegar and sophomore Isabelle Morris were upset in the first round by a team from Cedar Valley in straight sets, and unfortunately the pair were also the first Colts to be eliminated at the 5A state tournament play-ins, which began on Sept. 23.
Cottonwood had a little better luck in singles play though, as senior Kaiya Endo won her play-in match as a nine-seed against an opponent from Uintah, in first singles. In the round of 16 is where Endo lost to an eight-seed from Timpview, 1-6 and 1-6.
Rounding out the entrants at this year’s 5A state tournament were two singles players. First, senior Kate Campbell, in third singles, ended her career at Cottonwood as the No. 22 seed, falling to an 11-seed from Provo in her play-in match.
Finally, Linscott, the reigning Region 3 champion went straight into the round of 16 as a top eight-seed in second singles. But it was there that this trip to state ended for the promising sophomore, who unfortunately drew the nine-seed from Alta and lost, 3-6, and 1-6.
In all, the Colts sent five players to the 5A state tournament. For coach Linscott, she said she’s building a program here at Cottonwood and would urge the Colts community to come out and watch them in action.
“We love the Cottonwood community and would love to see more support for the tennis team. We are hopefully getting some bleachers so fans have somewhere to sit,” the coach said. “I am looking forward to next year, and I hope some of the younger grades will consider playing on the team, we would love to have them.”