2008 Muterspaw Wrap
by Julie Wrege, 2 May 2008
Players from all over the country converged on the Darling Tennis Center in Las Vegas, Nev. for the 8th annual Muterspaw Championships. High winds had plagued the valley prior to the tournament, but the early days of the event featured pleasant spring weather.
The winds reappeared for the title matches on Tuesday, but the tennis was fantastic. (For action photos from the tournament, click here.)
Girls 16 Singles
The first championship out was the Girls' 16s that featured top-seeded Mary Anne MacFarlane (Ogden, UT) and unseeded Blair Shankle (Comfort, TX). MacFarlane had cruised to the final without dropping a set, while Shankle, only a 7th-grader, had upset #2 seed Chrissy Uriarte in the first round and survived several three-set matches.
Girls 16s Champion Blair Shankle
© Julie Wrege, TennisRecruiting.net
In the finals, Shankle started off better in the wild winds, winning the first set 6-3 and going up 5-1 in the second set. At that point, MacFarlane buckled down, holding, breaking Shankle's serve, and holding again to bring the set to 5-4. Shankle went back out after the change-over to serve for the match a second time.
"It was my serve going back on court, and I felt very confident because I was playing with the wind. It was hard, and she made me work for the final game."
Shankle did hold to win the match 6-3, 6-4. Shankle was pleased to have won her first 16s national.
"It feels really good. The wind today was very unpredictable. I caught some balls late, and she missed a couple because the wind interfered. You just had to adjust and not go for so much."
MacFarlane was gracious after the loss.
"Blair just played better today. I did what I could in the wind, and I did not make the adjustments that I needed to make."
After the trophies were awarded, MacFarlane, a 5-Star sophomore, was surprised to learn that she won the Sportsmanship Award. Another Intermountain sophomore, Casey MacMaster (Ft. Collins, CO) received the boys' Sportsmanship Award after placing sixth in the 18s.