Corner Canyon tennis pair wins state again; team ties for third
Oct 18, 2018 01:21PM
● By Jana Klopsch
Corner Canyon’s Lizzie Simmons and Emma Heiden successfully defended their 5A state doubles title Oct. 6 at Liberty Park. (Photos courtesy Robin Simmons)
By Catherine Garrett | [email protected]
The doubles team of senior Lizzie Simmons and junior Emma Heiden won their second consecutive 5A state title, this time in the No. 1 slot at the 5A state tennis championships Oct. 6 at Liberty Park.
“Last year, it was really new and really fun to win state,” Simmons said. “This year, while there was definitely a lot more pressure and I didn’t want to end on a sad note, I just started taking in all the moments and was feeling so grateful for my partner, my coaches and everyone that has helped me.”
Heiden also acknowledged the pressure the duo was feeling to defend their title as well as end their high school partnership with their two-year winning streak intact. “To get the opportunity to win with her was unbelievable because we have such fun chemistry together,” she said.
Head coach Mykel Seeborg called his doubles team “the cream of the crop.” “They did a great job,” he said. “It’s neat to see all of their hard work come to fruition.”
At state, the back-to-back Region 7 champions defeated Skyline’s Blair Bowen/Ava Hansen 6-3, 6-1, Maple Mountain’s Emma Taylor/Elle Jewkes 6-1, 3-6, 6-1, East’s Anika Boyden/Lucy Clarson 6-2, 6-3, and Timpview’s Lucy Collins/Jamie Faux 6-2, 6-4 to secure the title.
“The competition was tougher this year and it was just super fun and exciting to beat Timpview for the fourth time this season to win it all,” Simmons said. “It was very stressful playing them again and because we knew each other so well, it became a more technical and strategic match where they knew where to attack.”
“Lizzie and Emma were just a little bit better than the Timpview team and it showed each time they played,” Seeborg said.
Before Simmons and Heiden teamed up as partners, each had taken a break from tennis — for different reasons. Simmons said she began playing when she was 9 because her family had a court in their backyard in California, but she simply hated the sport. Heiden took a three-year hiatus to play competitive soccer. Their return to the court and playing careers began three years ago and has resulted now in two region and two state titles.
“The highlight for me was getting to play with my partner and the friendship we have built through the years,” Heiden said. “I’m so grateful for the supportive crowd that came out to cheer us on. We couldn’t have done it without them.”
At state, the Chargers tied for third place with Alta, with all five varsity lineup spots qualifying for the postseason tournament for the first time in school history.
Junior Abby Willes, playing at No. 3 singles, defeated Farmington’s Kyra Spendlove 6-2, 6-2 and Wasatch’s Cassie Henderson 6-4, 6-4 before losing to eventual state champion Anzley Stohl, of Olympus, 6-0, 6-2.
The No. 2 doubles team of junior Hannah Ashton/junior Grace Poulson also made it past the first round with a victory over Skyridge’s Jenna Merrill/Rachel Greenwood 6-2, 6-2. The duo then lost to Jenna Hinckle/Payton Kossin, of Woods Cross, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Also competing at state were freshman Jane Dorny at No. 1 singles, who lost to eventual finalist Emmi Moore, of East, 6-0, 6-0, in the first round. Sophomore Grace Weichers lost to Springville’s Kelsey Corfield 6-1, 6-1 in the first round at No. 2 singles.
Also on the Corner Canyon tennis team this season were Olivia Didier, Kennadi Olsen, McKinley Pepper, Annie Perriton, Livi Redden, Audrey Stubbs and Brynn Thayer.
Seeborg said it was a good year for his team who had taken third in Region 7. “We beat teams we should have and we lost to teams we should have,” he said. “Third is about where we should have been.”
Seeborg was assisted on the coaching staff by Ray Bachiller; team managers Tristan Buckner, Tyler Easton, Drew Osbourne and Max Roberts; team volunteers Megan Dorny and Adrien Jenkins; and team mom Robin Simmons.