Following second-place region finish, Herriman girls tennis looking for moreSep 07, 2023 03:31PM ● By Josh McFadden
The high school girls tennis season got underway before school began, and the Herriman Mustangs started off on the right foot.
On the heels of a runner-up showing in region play a year ago, Herriman should be one of the top teams this season in a revamped Region 2. The Mustangs compete against Mountain Ridge, Bingham, Copper Hills, Riverton and Corner Canyon. Last season, Herriman was part of Region 3, which comprised the same teams as this year’s Region 2, except Corner Canyon has replaced West Jordan, which moved down to Class 5A.
Head coach Linda Richmond said the team was “ready to go” at the outset of the season and had some confidence following a “strong second-place finish last year.”
The Mustangs won their first two matches, nonregion wins over Fremont and Taylorsville. The team also competed in a tournament in St. George Aug. 18 and 19 against some stiff competition.
Senior Eden Blaney is the team’s first singles starter at the varsity level. Fellow seniors Sienna Skousen and Kate Burgess are the second singles and third singles competitors, respectively.
“[Blaney] is a two-time state qualifier, and [Skousen] and [Burgess] have risen up to varsity after being strong JV finishers last year,” Richmond said.
The doubles players are Madison Cannon, Ella Murphy, Makayla Slade and Bella Freeman. Murphy has qualified for state twice, while Cannon has joined the team after previously attending Pineview High School.
Leadership is a big strength for the Mustangs. Richmond chose eight senior captains to serve as examples on and off the court for the team. Murphy, Blaney, Burgess, Skousen, Mila Hanks, Makayla Hanks, Camilha Guipe and Janice Nava are the team captains.
The Mustangs have a full slate of matches in September. The state tournament is set for Sept. 28 and 30 at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City. Last season, the Mustangs tied for ninth place at the class 6A tournament, compiling nine points. Herriman was three points behind eighth-place finisher Corner Canyon. At state, Riverton was the only region foe to fare better than Herriman. Two players advanced past the opening round for Herriman, both of whom graduated. This year’s group of players will aim to improve on last season’s finish and help propel the team higher in the standings. λ