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Layton repeats as Region 1 girls tennis champions; Weber freshman wins No. 1 singles

By Patrick Carr - | Sep 21, 2021

Patrick Carr, Standard-Examiner

Layton High's girls tennis team poses with the Region 1 championship trophy on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021 at Mount Ogden Park.

Before last fall, Layton High had never won a girls tennis region championship in school history. Ever.

Now, the Lancers are back-to-back champions after winning two singles championships, one doubles title and placing second and third in the two remaining brackets at Tuesday’s Region 1 girls tennis finals at Mount Ogden Park.

They accumulated 33 points over the two-day tournament, enough for a comfortable win over 26 points from both Davis and Farmington that tied the two schools for second in the team standings.

“(The girls) are putting in 12-20 hours a week to tennis and they do that not just doing our girls season, they do it year-round,” Layton coach Tana Coleman said. “They make the strong core of our varsity team and then we get to add in a couple other great players to make that a strong seven, and kind of an unbeatable seven at times.”

All five finals matches were over in a little more than an hour, a departure from some previous years where there’s usually one marathon finals match that lasts three sets and/or three hours.

At No. 2 singles, Layton’s Juliana Cooksey won 6-1, 6-2 against Davis’ Elle Ferguson. Tana Christopulos notched a 6-1, 6-2 win over Farmington’s Brighton Johnson at No. 3 singles.

Tess Christopulos and Victoria Cooksey teamed up at No. 1 doubles for Layton and won 6-4, 6-1 in their finals match against Davis’ Elle Dunyon and Megan Moody.

Farmington’s Hannah Hafen and Hanna Harmsen won the No. 2 doubles title with a 6-2, 6-2 decision over Davis’ Lauren Cook and Esmae King.

The last remaining finals match on court belonged to No. 1 singles, where two freshmen made the first of what could be multiple matchups at the region tournament in the coming years between Weber left-hander Jane Dunyon and Layton’s Tia Christopulos.

“Playing first singles is a really tough mantle to hold for any player and Tia being a freshman, that’s a huge weight to ask anyone to play, let alone her being a freshman,” Coleman said.

Eventually, Weber freshman left-hander Jane Dunyon beat Layton freshman Tia Christopulos — her and Tana Christopolus are twins — 6-2, 6-4 as yet another Warriors tennis player to win the No. 1 singles championship.

“She may have lost today to a really great player, Jane Dunyon, Jane’s amazing, but she stayed with her point to point, game to game and we’re really proud of that fight there,” Coleman said.

Patrick Carr, Standard-Examiner

From left to right, Davis’ Kyra Spendlove, Farmington’s Shannon Anderson, Layton’s Tia Christopulos and Weber’s Jane Dunyon pose with No. 1 singles medals after the Region 1 girls tennis tournament at Mount Ogden Park on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021.

The two players exchanged dozens of hard-hit groundstrokes in long rallies, hit winners off each other’s serves, and hit winners from the baseline in what became a close second set.

Dunyon will enter next weekend’s state tournament as one of the top seeds and with a shot at winning the 6A No. 1 singles title. If she does, that would be the first step toward potentially winning four state champions.

There have been anywhere from several to a dozen girls tennis players to four-peat as state champions in UHSAA history; however, the state record book only lists six and it hasn’t been updated in that category to reflect recent four-time champs from Ridgeline (Naya Tillitt) or Pine View (Lacey Hancock).

Jane Dunyon is rated a 5-star prospect by TennisRecruiting.net, which ranks her the No. 36 freshman in the country. She has taken unofficial visits to BYU, USC and UCLA, according to her mother, Jen.

If Dunyon’s last name is familiar, that’s because her older sister Jacque — now playing for BYU — won both the Region 1 and 6A state championship three years in a row from 2018-20.

Back on the team side of things, Layton finished in fifth place at the state tournament last year after its region championship win.

“The team to beat is Skyridge … head to head, it’s going to be a great matchup,” Coleman said.

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