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Tennis duo takes their friendship all the way to state title

Nov 01, 2019 01:37PM

Dude we just won! We just won! We just won state! Emilee Nicholls said to teammate and best friend, Megan Mayo. The two hugged in celebration of a goal that they had set earlier this year.

Emilee, a sophomore at Salem Hills High School, started playing tennis in 6th grade, following in the footsteps of her older brother who had taken state in singles.

Emilee said she didn’t like playing tennis until she made the team in 7th grade, and started competing against other teams. Megan Mayo, a Junior at Salem Hills, started playing tennis with her family when she was little and tried out for the team in 7th grade but didn’t make the team.

Both Emilee and Megan had the drive to improve in tennis, which eventually led them to the Salem Hills tennis team, and then to doubles teammates making big goals. 

“Megan and I set the goal to take state as soon as we knew we were going to be partners,” Emilee said.

Emilee agreed that taking state was a goal the two of them had made, but she knew that it would be hard.

“Emilee and I had this goal the whole season and at times it didn’t seem like it would happen,” Megan said. “But we just kept going and I feel like it made it so rewarding!”

The two are teammates, competitors, and friends, who use all three things to make it work.

“I love my teammates, especially my best friend and partner Megan, who makes practice and the season so fun!” Emily said. “Playing against our own teammates is hard because you want to be friends but you have to be opponents. My teammates are so nice and so sweet.” 

Megan also said how important it was to have a teammate who was also her friend. 

“Megan is the sweetest and most genuine girl you will ever know!” Emilee said. “She is the most hardworking and talented tennis player you’ll ever meet. Not only is she a great player but is my best friend! I wouldn’t trade this season for anything else! She knows how to get me pumped up when I am down and give me a positive quote or joke to make me laugh! She honestly is so strong and can get through any setback or hard time. She really is a winner on and off the court.”

Both athletes encourage those who want to try playing tennis to just do it, and say not to give up when things are hard.

“Don’t give up if you didn’t achieve your goal; use it to work harder,” Megan said. “Emilee and I are proof of that. Setbacks are there to make us stronger and make us work harder.”

In the state tournament for 5A, the duo played four teams and won them all. They first played Farmington, winning 6-0 6-3. The second round, they played Timpview and won 7-6 6-4. Third round was Maple Mountain, which they won 7-6 7-5. The final round was against Springville, where they won 6-3 6-1, and the state title. (Brown is a sophomore at Payson High School and lifelong soccer player. He enjoys learning about the athletic journeys of other student-athletes through writing this column.)