Brighton girls tennis team focused on preparing for region, state
Oct 02, 2017 12:14PM
● By Jana Klopsch
Brighton girls tennis team was 3-3 at press time. (Brooke Hyland/BHS girls tennis)
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Like any team in any sport, the Brighton High School girls tennis team has high hopes for postseason play. And though the Bengals have been on both sides of the results category, head coach Natalie Meyer is pleased with the team’s progress.
At press time, the Bengals were 3-3, picking up wins over West Jordan (4-1), Cottonwood (5-0) and Alta (3-2). On the flip side, Brighton fell to Alta (3-2), Corner Canyon (3-2) and Timpview (5-0).
Meyer is focused on effort and progress rather than stats and numbers.
“In my eyes, this season so far has already been a success,” she said. “We are improving. We’ve talked about going onto the court, giving 100 percent, finding the positives of each match and learning from the mistakes. When they play tennis, it should feel good, and they should have some fun. To me, if the girls love being on the tennis team and they can come off of each match and tell me they’ve done their best for the day, then we have had a successful season. If we are looking at scores and records, then we have more work to do to beat teams that we have lost to and that we may encounter at state.”
Meyer has a nice blend of experience and youth to work with. At first singles is senior Sarah Meitler. She has been the team’s first singles player since her freshman year. As a junior last year, she placed first in region and advanced to the state semifinals.
“She brings great strength to our no. 1 spot and to our team,” Meyer said.
Senior Emma Robb occupies the second singles spot. A transplant from New Mexico last year, Robb is in her second season at the position. She too took first in region a year ago and reached the state semifinals.
“She has been working extra hours on the court to improve her game,” Meyer said.
Carli Elggren, a junior, dominated the junior varsity ranks last season. Now she moves up to the varsity level as the third singles player.
“Carli played the no. 1 JV singles spot last year, was undefeated and was always the first one done with her match,” Meyer said. “She has been a great addition to our varsity lineup in the third singles spot.”
Brighton’s first doubles team is Lauren Clark, a senior, and Brynley Olsen, a junior. Both held the top spots in JV competition last year. Meyer has been impressed with their serves and their net play. At the second doubles spot is the tandem of senior Jessica Hyland and sophomore Lucy Dalgleish. Last season, the two girls competed in singles play in the JV ranks.
“(Hyland) and (Dalgleish) make a dynamic no. 2 doubles varsity team, and both are happy to be in that spot,” Meyer said. “They have great energy together and thoroughly enjoy playing with each other. I’m excited to see where this team will be by the region tournament.”
Beyond the fundamentals and skills required to succeed at this level of tennis, Meyer is pleased with the way her players conduct themselves on the court. She also loves the positive attitude and effort the girls show each day.
“I have great young ladies this year,” she said. “They have great sportsmanship and are willing to put in extra hours to improve their game. This is one of the most teachable groups that I have had. They have great energy and are fun-loving young ladies.”
Though the Bengals have some things to work on if they are to achieve their goals and perform well in the postseason, Meyer is optimistic that good things are in store for her girls.
“So far, we have been performing quite well,” she said. “We have work to do before the region and state tournaments, but I am confident in the ability of my girls. We have a new region this year that brings a high level of competitive tennis with it. Each match has been a test of our abilities and skills.”