Skip to main content

Alta tennis team has a strong year

Dec 02, 2016 03:07PM ● Published by Billy Swartzfager

By Billy Swartzfager | billy@mycityjournals.com


The girls tennis team at Alta High School just wrapped up a strong 2016 season. This year’s group was made up of only 17 girls, a much smaller group than most schools have to work with, but the coach, Lori Sperry, used the small numbers as an opportunity to work with all of the girls one on one. 

“The coaches are able to pay closer attention and tailor our practices for specific needs,” Sperry said. 

The team started practice together late in the summer and worked hard to eventually finish the season tied for fourth place in the state’s 4A tournament. The Hawks finished fourth in their region as well behind Timpview and Orem, who tied for second in the state, and Corner Canyon, who finished far below Alta and the other region 7 representatives in the final standings. 

Alta’s team score was added to greatly by Emilee Astle, a junior, who won the state title for 1st singles. Astle also was a state champion as a sophomore. Astle beat Isabel Brockbank from Salem Hills in the first round, Katherine MacPhail from Judge in the second and second-ranked Anna Findley of Skyline to reach the finals. She beat another top ranked player, Sabrina Longson from Olympus, to hold onto her title as top tennis player of all the 4A high schools. 

The Hawks were also championed by freshman Sarah Ovard, who made it all the way to the semifinal match in 2nd singles, racking up points for Alta along the way. She beat top-seeded Natalie Eyring of Bountiful in the opening round. Ovard then beat Abby Crandall of Maple Mountain, another higher ranked player to reach the semis. Ovard lost to Orem’s Callie Forsyth in that match. 

Another Alta tennis player to compete in the state tournament was senior Emily Bithel in the 3rd singles division. Bithel lost in the opening round to top-ranked Elly Lloyd of Olympus, who eventually played in the final match. Alta’s doubles teams didn’t quite qualify to play in the state tournament, something Sperry hopes to combat in time for next season.

“Most of the girls will be playing all year round, and I feel if we play all year we have a definite shot at getting better,” the coach said.

Alta has a few approaches that seem to paying dividends for the team’s success. In addition to encouraging year-round play at tennis clubs and winter programs, the team has three coaches who focus on various aspects of the team’s needs. Candice Bitheol, the team’s fitness coach, works with the girls every day to enhance their stamina on the court, keeping them in the best possible shape for a deep run late in the year. Sperry and Krista Anderson work with the young ladies on the court, focusing on technique and mental toughness, while Karl Packer works on logistics, getting the team the various things they need to see their goals pursued and achieved throughout the year. 

Having a small young team is seen as a benefit by Sperry. She is able to get younger, less experienced players time on the court with those who have competed at higher levels before during practices. Many of her JV players have played alongside varsity players all season long, learning as they go, gaining skills they may not otherwise have an opportunity to get.

“We saw a large jump in our JV team this year,” said Sperry. “Those are the girls who will be taking over varsity spots in the future.”

The small team also has led to a closeness Sperry hasn’t seen very often in her coaching experiences. According to Sperry, her team is as unified as any she has ever been a part of.

“I don’t know if I have ever coached a group of such close friends,” Sperry said. “They are such an easily coached group.”  

Sports girls tennis Alta High School
  • Freaky Friday's

    10/20/2017
    08:30AM — 09:15AM

    Zombies sing and dance to top Halloween Hits in this THRILLING Halloween show for the entire fami...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    10/20/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • Garden After Dark - Adventures in Wonderland

    10/20/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Join us for an enchanted evening as we journey down the rabbit hole to the whimsical, wonderful w...


  • Halloween Service

    10/22/2017
    10:30AM — 11:30AM

    Join CrossPoint Church for their third annual Halloween service! Children and adults alike are en...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    10/23/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    10/25/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • Aging Mastery Program

    10/26/2017
    01:00PM — 02:30PM

    Join the ten-week health and wellness program, Aging Mastery at Millcreek Senior Center. The clas...


  • Garden After Dark - Adventures in Wonderland

    10/26/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Join us for an enchanted evening as we journey down the rabbit hole to the whimsical, wonderful w...


  • Instruction Classes

    10/26/2017
    07:45PM — 09:00PM

    Has your child, grandchild, friend ever ask you why Catholic believe this or do that? Can you exp...


  • Freaky Friday's

    10/20/2017
    08:30AM — 09:15AM

    Zombies sing and dance to top Halloween Hits in this THRILLING Halloween show for the entire fami...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    10/20/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • Garden After Dark - Adventures in Wonderland

    10/20/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Join us for an enchanted evening as we journey down the rabbit hole to the whimsical, wonderful w...


  • Garden After Dark - Adventures in Wonderland

    10/21/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Join us for an enchanted evening as we journey down the rabbit hole to the whimsical, wonderful w...


  • Halloween Service

    10/22/2017
    10:30AM — 11:30AM

    Join CrossPoint Church for their third annual Halloween service! Children and adults alike are en...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    10/23/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    10/25/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • Aging Mastery Program

    10/26/2017
    01:00PM — 02:30PM

    Join the ten-week health and wellness program, Aging Mastery at Millcreek Senior Center. The clas...


  • Garden After Dark - Adventures in Wonderland

    10/26/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Join us for an enchanted evening as we journey down the rabbit hole to the whimsical, wonderful w...


  • Instruction Classes

    10/26/2017
    07:45PM — 09:00PM

    Has your child, grandchild, friend ever ask you why Catholic believe this or do that? Can you exp...


  • Freaky Friday's

    10/27/2017
    08:30AM — 09:15AM

    Zombies sing and dance to top Halloween Hits in this THRILLING Halloween show for the entire fami...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    10/27/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • Garden After Dark - Adventures in Wonderland

    10/27/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Join us for an enchanted evening as we journey down the rabbit hole to the whimsical, wonderful w...


  • Garden After Dark - Adventures in Wonderland

    10/28/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Join us for an enchanted evening as we journey down the rabbit hole to the whimsical, wonderful w...


  • Wasatch Symphony's Fall Concert

    10/29/2017
    07:30PM — 08:30PM

    Join us for our 64th season opener! In recognition of the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Ref...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    10/30/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    11/01/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • Aging Mastery Program

    11/02/2017
    01:00PM — 02:30PM

    Join the ten-week health and wellness program, Aging Mastery at Millcreek Senior Center. The clas...


  • Instruction Classes

    11/02/2017
    07:45PM — 09:00PM

    Has your child, grandchild, friend ever ask you why Catholic believe this or do that? Can you exp...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    11/03/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • Orchid Show

    11/04/2017
    09:00AM — 04:00PM

    Join the Utah Orchid Society for a dazzling display of both common and exotic orchid varieties. S...


  • Garden Adventures - Squishy Squash

    11/04/2017
    10:00AM — 11:30AM

    Did you know that squash are actually fruits and NOT vegetables? Learn more about squash and disc...


  • Orchid Show

    11/05/2017
    09:00AM — 04:00PM

    Join the Utah Orchid Society for a dazzling display of both common and exotic orchid varieties. S...


  • Move Over... Amazon, Walmart, Target & others... We are introducing the most powerful, innovativ...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    11/06/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • Move Over... Amazon, Walmart, Target & others... We are introducing the most powerful, innovativ...


  • Leading building industry business coach and educator, The Aspire Institute, will present a one-d...


  • Move Over... Amazon, Walmart, Target & others... We are introducing the most powerful, innovativ...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    11/08/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • Move Over... Amazon, Walmart, Target & others... We are introducing the most powerful, innovativ...


  • Salt Lake City Sales Job

    11/09/2017
    09:00AM — 12:30PM

    Salt Lake City Professional Career Event - Sales & Management Specific HireLive is a national ...


  • Salt Lake City Sales Job Fair

    11/09/2017
    09:00AM — 12:30PM

    Salt Lake City Professional Career Event - Sales & Management Specific HireLive is a national ...


  • Salt Lake City Sales Job Fair

    11/09/2017
    09:00AM — 12:30PM

    Salt Lake City Professional Career Event - Sales & Management Specific HireLive is a national ...


  • Frontiers of Science

    11/09/2017
    06:00PM — 07:30PM

    Frontiers of Science featuring, Francis R. McAllister Thursday, November 9 at 6:00 p.m.


  • Instruction Classes

    11/09/2017
    07:45PM — 09:00PM

    Has your child, grandchild, friend ever ask you why Catholic believe this or do that? Can you exp...


  • Move Over... Amazon, Walmart, Target & others... We are introducing the most powerful, innovativ...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    11/10/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


 

Online Edition
Follow us on Facebook
Online Edition South Salt Lake
Advertise with us

 

City Journals 9500 South 500 West, Suite 205, Sandy, Utah 84070 801.254.5974