The Red Devils played their first matches on Grand’s home courts on Tuesday, March 5 against the Carbon Dinos. Grand then traveled to the St. George Invitational Tournament on Friday, March 28 and Saturday, March 29. The Red Devils handily won most of their matches against Carbon. The varsity team went 4 - 1 in the contest. Many of the team’s junior varsity players were able to play in a more competitive setting and gain experience for the season to come, coach Ed DeFrancia said.
The Red Devil singles players did exceptionally well in their matches, according to the coach. At No. 1 singles, Elijah Stock, a junior at GCHS, won his match in two sets, 6-2, 6-0.
No. 2 singles player Alec Tatton also won his contest with set scores of 6-0 and 6-1. Mack Sherill, who played No. 3 singles for the Red Devils, also won his sets 6-0, 6-1.
Grand’s doubles teams fought through tough matches for their win and loss, with both teams having to play a third set to complete their matches.
No. 1 doubles pair Tommy DeWit and Josh Lawley, both GCHS sophomores, won their match in a third set tiebreaker, ultimately defeating Carbon’s team by the score of 7-5 in that final set. Lawley held his serve for the Red Devils, moving the pair into the tiebreak opportunity that ultimately led to their win.
In No. 2 doubles, GCHS sophomore Derek Johnson and junior Dallen Porter lost to Carbon in the third set, after fighting hard through the first two sets.
Grand’s junior varsity players Austin Aubrey, Cody Jones and River Murdock all received playing time against some of the Dino’s extra players during the contest.
“It was a really good start to the season,” said coach DeFrancia. “We’re still trying to figure out who will be best where. The boys got a taste of competition and some real matches under their belts.”
At the St. George Invitational Tournament, seven teams competed, many from larger 3A and 4A schools.
“We did as well as expected. The teams that we played are able to play year-round tennis, and at tournaments like that you have a lot tougher competition,” DeFrancia said.
One notable performance by the Red Devils was Stock, who won three out of his four matches during the tournament.
The Red Devils lost against Snow Canyon High School, Wasatch Academy and Pine View High School, but won during their last matches of the competition against Summit Academy.
Stock, Tatton, and the No. 1 doubles team of DeWit and Sherill won their matches against Summit Academy for an overall score of 3-2 for the Red Devils.
“We had a lot of fun. It was out biggest tournament of the season, and the boys learned a lot,” DeFrancia said.
The Red Devils were scheduled to play San Juan on Tuesday, April 1, and will play Delta at home in Moab on Thursday, April 3.