The Lone Peak girls tennis team has emphasized the message, “We are one,” as its theme in recent years.
In 2018, however, that took on extra meaning.
During the 2018 6A state tournament this week, which concluded Saturday afternoon at Liberty Park, the Knights not only sported their “We are one” wristbands, but also larger bright pink wristbands featuring the ribbon that symbolizes breast cancer awareness.
That’s because part of the extended Lone Peak tennis family is facing a tough trial.
“About a month ago, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer,” Knight senior Katie King said. “The team wanted to do something for her, so our coach, Roger Baumgartner, bought us these wristbands so we could show our support. She’s a part of our team family.”
King explained that her mom has had surgery and will require radiation treatment but the overall prognosis at this point is that things will go well.
As the Knights started wearing their support on their arms, King said it drew attention.
“We had so many people coming up to us,” she said. “We had a man who told us that he had lost his wife to breast cancer and that he thought it was awesome we were showing our support.”
It was just another reason for the close-knit Lone Peak squad to come together. That camaraderie along with the Knight depth and talent helped keep the team rolling as Lone Peak won its sixth state championship in eight years.
“We lost four of our players from the team that won last year,” Baumgartner said. “We still got all five spots through the semifinals, which was beyond anything I could’ve imagined. This has been a great group of girls and I’m really going to miss them.”
As a team, the Knights pulled away from second-place Davis with a dominant performance in the semifinals as Lone Peak picked up five wins.
The finals didn’t go quite as smoothly but a pair of Knights did end up as individual state champions with senior Anna Peterson winning the No. 3 singles title and sophomore Mandie Robbins taking first in No. 2 singles.
“It was the first time winning at state for both of them,” Baumgartner said. “This was their first time on varsity, so it was a huge deal for them and for their team.”
Robbins had the best run for Lone Peak, losing three total in four matches.
“I had some mistakes but my serve was on,” Robbins said. “My forehand is also a big weapon for me.”
She said that the significance of finishing off the championship match was hard to grasp at first.
“It was kind of relieving to win,” Robbins said. “I get so nervous before every match, no matter who I am playing. I’m grateful I was able to go out and play well on the court. It doesn’t feel like it really happened.”
Peterson had a solid first set but had a tougher time finishing things off as Layton sophomore Baylee Coleman rallied to tie Set No. 2 at 5-5 before the Knight senior finished off the match.
“I had to focus on playing point by point and not looking at the future,” Peterson said. “It was really exciting. I’ve been wanting to win state for awhile. It’s an amazing feeling.”
Lone Peak also had freshman Marinn Patch (No. 1 singles), King and senior Joslin Seaberg (No. 1 doubles) and senior Zoie Black and junior Sydney Allen (No. 2 doubles) reach the championship round before being eliminated.
That was plenty for the Knights to win the 6A crown as a team.
“I’m really proud of the girls, especially the seniors,” King said. “Everyone came out and did their best.”
Peterson added: “It’s amazing. All these girls are so amazing and so fun to be around.”