At the beginning of the 4A state boys tennis tournament at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City on Friday, 28 local athletes from Region 10 were ready to take to the court and see how they could do.
After hours of serving, volleying, ground strokes and overheads, only one of those tennis players to stay alive and make it to Day 2 was Salem Hills sophomore Sam Sorensen.
The Skyhawk No. 2 singles player controlled his first round match against Canyon View senior Cooper Robinson, winning 6-1, 6-3.
Things got a little more challenging for the talented sophomore in the quarterfinals as he took on Stansbury junior Nathan Leary.
The first set was a battle with neither player being able to pull away, forcing a tiebreaker. Leary was able to emerge victorious and get the set, putting the pressure on Sorensen.
The Skyhawk player didn’t let that loss get to him.
Instead, he simply overwhelmed Leary the rest of the way, only dropping a single game as he came back with the 6-7 (5), 6-1, 6-0 win.
That victory earned Sorensen a spot in the No. 2 singles semifinals on Saturday, where he will face Bonneville senior Andrew McCall with a spot in the championship on the line.
Five of the other Region 10 singles players were able to win through to the quarterfinals: Salem Hills junior Booker Ward (No. 1 singles), Payson junior Jacob Montgomery (No. 2 singles), Orem sophomore Wilson Greer (No. 2 singles), Orem senior John McCann (No. 3 singles) and Salem Hills senior Andrew Thomson (No. 3 singles).
Three doubles teams also picked up first-round wins: Lehi juniors Braden Francom and Tanner McAllister (No. 1 doubles), Orem freshman Sal Jones and junior David Holme (No. 1 doubles), and Orem senior Zach Thorpe and freshman Christian Buss (No. 2 doubles).
In many of the second-round matches the Tiger, Pioneer, Lion and Skyhawk players pushed their opponents, either winning a set or forcing tiebreakers.
In the end, however, all of the matches ended up in losses except for Sorensen.
As a team, Salem Hills and Orem had the best showings as the Skyhawks and Tigers each scored four points. That put them in a tie for fifth, while Bonneville and Park City are leading the way with nine points apiece.
The final day of the 4A state boys tennis tournament will begin at 8:45 a.m. on Saturday at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City.