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South Valley Riverton Journal

Riverton girls tennis battling to repeat as region champs

Sep 11, 2023 11:43AM ● By Josh McFadden

Senior Addie Hansen is holding down the first singles spot for the Riverton girls tennis team. (Photo courtesy of Ronald Ence)

Last season, the Riverton girls tennis team won the Region 3 championship, beating out opponents Bingham, Herriman, Mountain Ridge, West Jordan and Copper Hills. Things look a little different this year, as the Silverwolves have moved to Region 2 and have a new foe: Corner Canyon. 

Riverton lost some key players from last season’s team that qualified all its varsity competitors for state. The Silverwolves were 11th at state a year ago. This season, Riverton has a good blend of returning players and newcomers. 

“I am always excited to see the returning players mix with the new players to make friendships and become a team,” head coach Ronald Ence said. “The expectation is to once again compete for the region title.”

Riverton lost five seniors from the 2022 team. Replacing them are some players who haven’t seen the court much in varsity action. What the Silverwolves may be lacking in game experience, they make up for in their work ethic and mindset. Ence is pleased with how the girls have responded to challenges. 

“Thus far into our season one of the strengths is the girls have shown great attitude and effort in practice on a daily basis,” he said. 

Riverton does have a pair of players who have been integral team members for multiple seasons. Senior Addie Hansen, at first singles, and senior Hailey Johansen, at second singles, have both been varsity competitors for three years. 

Though Ence believes his team can repeat as region champions, he isn’t necessarily going to determine the team’s success by how many wins and losses the squad accumulates. However, he is eager to see how each individual player fares throughout the year. 

“Success can be measured in different ways, depending on the talent,” he said. “I hope all players can have a winning record and the varsity players can all qualify for the 6A tournament at Liberty Park.”

The season runs through the end of September, followed by the Class 6A state tournament Oct. 9 and 10. 

Beyond the varsity team, Ence is dedicated to developing the program by improving the junior varsity squad. He is impressed that other region coaches take the same approach. At the end of the season, the coaches host a JV tournament and alternate player tournament. 

“Our region has good coaches that care and give extra time to each player to help them elevate their tennis skill level,” he said.  λ