Thursday morning, the boys played against Gunnison, where they won in the No. 2 singles and both doubles divisions to earn the victory. Senior Kris Kemp rejoined the team for his first full match of the season, playing in the No. 1 singles slot.
“His timing was still kind of off,” said head coach Ed DeFrancia, “but he’s starting to get back into it again. But he lost that one.”
In No. 3 doubles, freshman Tommy Dewitt lost his match as well, although DeFrancia noted that nerves were likely the culprit, as Dewitt played exceptionally well.
Sophomore Elijah Stock won in No. 2 singles, and senior Macrae Olsen and sophomore Alec Tatton won in the No. 1 doubles division, which DeFrancia noted was “really fun to see.”
In No. 2 doubles, freshmen Mack Sherryll and Derek Johnson “easily won their match, and they did an amazing job of it, too,” DeFrancia said.
The three wins were enough to give Grand a slim victory. Grand’s luck ran out later in the day against Manti, though.
“Manti is crazy good,” said DeFrancia. “I mean they’re just really, really good.”
Kemp lost his No. 1 singles match to his opponent, who played the best match of his season, according to the Manti tennis coach. Dewitt also lost in No. 3 singles, but DeFrancia noted he was proud of Dewitt, saying, “Tommy’s opponent was really tough, and he was up against a senior, so even though he lost I’m really proud of how well he played, how well he held his own.”
The doubles teams kept the same lineup from earlier in the day, but lost their matches. DeFrancia said they also played exceptionally well.
“I think both our doubles teams played really well, and they were actually quite pleased with themselves after,” he said. “They did a good job of keeping the ball in play and keeping the match moving.”
Stock was the only player to win, pulling a “really exciting” victory during “a really tough match,” according to DeFrancia.
“We also had our JV players get some time on the court,” he said. “They won some, lost some, but JV is really about getting experience and improving the team.”
DeFrancia added that he was astonished by the improvement in their play during practice the next day, and expressed enthusiasm at the improving quality of all the team’s matches.
The Red Devils will next travel to Parowan on Thursday, April 18, and will host Richfield, Gunnison and San Juan at home the week after that before heading into region competition.