Tennis team heads to state tournament

Kai Wainer volleys with an opponent on the first day of the Region 15 Championship Tournament hosted by Grand County High.
Photo by Anthony Militano

The Grand County boys tennis team hosted the Region 15 Championship on Thursday, May 2 and Friday, May 3, in Moab. The team finished fourth in the tournament that included Richfield, Manti, South Sevier, North Sanpete and San Juan. Manti won the tournament. Every Red Devil who played in the championship qualified for state.

Senior Cody Johnston kicked off the tournament with an exhausting performance. He sparred with a powerful player from the South Sevier Rams for over two hours. Johnston was on court four for his first singles match and won 6-3, 7-5.

Senior Kai Wainer, on court two, won the first match of the day 6-0, 6-0 over a San Juan Bronco. Kasey Kemp and Braxton Pierce took court two and won their first doubles match 6-2, 6-0 over a San Juan Broncos team.

Soren Indergard lost his second singles match 3-6, 0-6 to a player from South Sevier. Hayden Lance and Jamey Mascaro dropped their second doubles match 1-6, 4-6 to a team from the North Sanpete Hawks.

After the first day of competition, coach Skylar Johnson said: “We played good … we got our three higher-seated positions into the semi-finals, so it will be good. Our other players will be playing for fifth, but either way they qualify for state.”

The second day of the tournament was intense for Grand. Johnston lost a two-plus hour match to a player from Manti, 6-4, 2-6, 3-6. Wainer on court two lost 6-3, 4-6, 2-6, to a Richfield player in a nearly three-hour contest.

Kemp and Pierce lost their first doubles match to Manti 2-6, 6-4, 2-6 in an over two-hour duel. Indergard, in less than 50 minutes, won his second singles match 6-3, 6-0 against a South Sevier Ram. Johnston took to the court a little more than an hour after he lost his grueling first singles match and won. According to Johnson, Lance and Mascaro also won their last second doubles match.

“I’m looking forward to state.” Johnson said at the end of the tournament. We finished good. We didn’t lose any position. Everyone played as well as they could.”

Overall, Johnston placed third in third singles. Wainer was fourth in first singles. Indergard was fifth in second singles, Pierce and Kemp earned third in first doubles and Lance and Mascaro landed in fifth place in second doubles. All Grand players who participated in the regional championship qualified for the state tournament at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City, Thursday through Saturday, May 9-11.