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2A boys' tennis: Rowland Hall's Thulin gets revenge to win state title

Published May 13, 2017 7:49 pm

2A boys' tennis • Waterford captures the team title.
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Keeping positive and emotions in check weren't just catchphrases for Rowland Hall's Leif Thulin on Saturday.

Although the score of the Class 2A boys' tennis No. 1 singles championship might indicate that Thulin didn't need to resort much to any sort of motivational device, he offered that his second straight title at No. 1 singles might have been just a bit different than the first.

"This time, I think I'm a little more satisfied because I had lost the time before," Thulin said. "Last time, I had come in [to state] undefeated."

Thulin had dropped a match in region to a freshman from Waterford just before the state tournament this time around.

That same ninth-grader, Shilp Shah, was opposite Thulin in the title match at Liberty Park.

Although Shah had brief moments of accurate, tough shot-making, Thulin's consistency overwhelmed his younger opponent in a 6-1, 6-1 victory for the Winged Lions' junior.

"I'm pretty happy because I had just gotten back from being sick," Thulin said. "It's the first day I'm off of my antibiotics."

Thulin said he was suffering from the flu when he lost to Shah in the region tournament.

After both players held serve to start the match, Thulin tore off five straight games for the first set.

The second set began with a split of the first two games as well, this time each player breaking the other's serve, but Thulin closed out Shah with five in a row once again.

"I wanted to focus on being positive rather than being angry when I miss," Thulin said. "Being older and having more maturity, I think, was important in keeping composure and keeping focus the entire match."

Since the 2A state tournament lasts only one day, both Thulin and Shah were in their third matches of the same day when they encountered each other.

Thulin dropped only one game in a quarterfinal win over Manti's Konner Clark then shut out Timothy Stewart in the semis. Shah likewise went 6-0, 6-0 over Wasatch Academy's Dheven Duenwald to start the day then went into the finals with a 6-1, 6-1 win over St. Joseph's Ian Armstrong.

Shah didn't think that the two earlier matches made a physical impact on him entering the championship.

"I had pretty easy first and second matches. If I had played the way I played the first two matches, it would've been a lot closer," Shah said. "I just kind of fell apart.

"You have to force him to miss, and that's what I was doing in my other matches."

Shah's trek to the No. 1 singles championship helped Waterford win the team championship. The Ravens won the title with 18 points. Lansing Jenkins (No. 2 singles), Jackson Sponaugle and Xander Priskos (No. 1 doubles) and Ford Christensen and Arvind Mudaliar (No. 2 doubles) all won titles for Waterford.

Rowland Hall, in addition to Thulin's finals victory, also claimed first at No. 3 singles with Ishaan Krishnan. —

Class 2A state title matches

No. 1 singles • Leif Thulin, Rowland Hall, def. Shilp Shah, Waterford, 6-1, 6-1

No. 2 singles • Lansing Jenkins, Waterford, def. Peter Chase, Rowland Hall, 6-7, 6-1, 6-1

No. 3 singles • Ishaan Krishnan, Rowland Hall, def. Conner Bushnell, Manti, 7-5, 6-3

No. 1 doubles • Jackson Sponaugle/Xander Priskos, Waterford, def. Kaden Kirkman/Kevin Clark, Manti, 0-6, 6-4, 6-3

No. 2 doubles • Ford Christensen/Arvind Mudaliar, Waterford, def. Kylan Christensen/Sam Tiatia, Manti, 6-3, 6-3

Team standings • 1. Waterford 18; 2. Rowland Hall 14; 3. Manti 10; 4. St. Joseph 3; 5. Gunnison Valley 2.




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