The Grand County High School tennis team concluded its 2013 season by finishing fifth at the state competition May 11 in Salt Lake City.
The Red Devils only qualified three players this year: sophomore Elijah Stock, who competed in the No. 2 singles division, and sophomore Alec Tatton and senior Macrae Olsen, who filled out the No. 1 doubles division.
Stock won his first round, which head coach Ed DeFrancia said “honestly took a lot of energy out of him.” However, he lost his second round match against the top seed from northern Utah and the eventual state champion.
“He played extremely well,” said DeFrancia. “His second match wasn’t as good as he could have been, but all in all he was OK with it and how he played. He was obviously disappointed, but he was still pretty satisfied with how he played his match.”
In the No. 1 doubles division, Olsen and Tatton lost in the first round.
“Macrae and Alec played probably the best match they have ever played,” said DeFrancia. “They lost badly in terms of score, but actually in terms of the match itself they were on their game. It was really amazing to see. They were relaxed, they were hitting shots they’d never hit before, and with consistency. It was really fun to watch. They really took it to those guys, and basically played them dead even.”
Their doubles opponent also went on to take the state title, so each of Grand’s players competed against the eventual state champion in their respective divisions.
DeFrancia said it was a good way to end the season.
“It was really fun to watch,” he said. “They were laughing, they were smiling, they were going for stuff, they were cheering each other on. They came off the court feeling OK with how they played. You know, it’s OK to lose if you feel like you played your best, and all of them did.”
The Red Devils placed fifth out of 13 teams at the competition despite only entering players in two of the five divisions.
DeFrancia said the team is already gearing up for next year. Several players are planning to attend tennis camps over the summer, and the team has drummed up support from younger students entering high school.
“It was a great way to end the season,” DeFrancia said.