Jordan Tennis Ready to Make Run at Region, StateOct 07, 2015 12:57PM ● By Bryan Scott
Senior Allison Pferdner is one of this year’s mainstays in the singles side of Alta’s girls tennis team.
By Ron Bevan
High school tennis programs usually have one or two good athletes to build around. The individual players will do well for themselves, but the team aspect doesn’t get realized but for a lack of a strong corp.
Jordan has seen its share of those types of years. 2015, however, is shaping up to be something special.
“We have been building up for a year like this one,” Jordan tennis coach Matt Bell said. “We have the right combination this year of talented, athletic girls who chose to put in the necessary hard work to improve in the off season.”
A perfect example of this work ethic lies in senior Jenni Milne, who leads the team as the number one singles player. Milne was also number one last year, where she had a lackluster year that produced a 7-7 record. She finished third in region play and was knocked out in the first round of the state 5A tournament.
“Milne has come back very strong this year,” Bell said. “She had gone all in during the off season and worked very hard to improve her game. The results are great this year. She is currently tied for first in the region.”
Also working hard on her game is Jillian Holley, a junior who sits at the number two singles spot. Holley was in the same position last season and posted an identical record as Milne. This year is different for her as well, because of her work ethic in the off season. She has only two losses this year.
But it is a sophomore coming up in the third singles that has helped solidify this team. Makena Terry continues to hold on to the same position she had as a freshman, but with a different attitude and approach to the game this year.
“Terry is the one anchoring our team and keeping them focused, even though she is one of the youngest members,” Bell said.
Perhaps the most athletic of the group is the number one doubles pair of Tabytha Jones and Hannah Dutson. Both girls are three-sport athletes. Jones, a senior, is also a starting player for the Beetdigger basketball team and throws heat as a pitcher for the softball team. Dutson, a junior, runs cross country while playing tennis, and then competes on the track team in distance races in the spring.
“They are just two great athletes who love competition,” Bell said. “They have only one region loss thus far.”
Pulling in the final doubles team is Sol Jones and Eliza Bennett. Jones, a senior this season, competed last year on the team with senior Kjerstin Jones. The loss of Kjerstin Jones to graduation made room for Bennett to be the only newcomer to the varsity Beetdigger squad.
It is the consistency from last season that makes Bell believe his team can go far at State this year. With only one girl added to a team that has held the same position for at least one season, the experience and the additional work is beginning to mold the Beetdiggers into contenders.
“This team is hungry,” Bell said. “They are looking to make a lot of damage this year.”
It isn’t just the title the girls are looking for, but also to help build a tennis legacy at Jordan. Most of the girls are giving back by helping to coach younger tennis players through local programs at various recreation centers or through clinics.
“It is helping this team stay focused on tennis and also building players for the future,” Bell said.