State AA tennis rolls into Kalispell

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Now, if only the weather will cooperate for once this spring.

After a damp, dreary and shower filled April and early May, the Class AA state tennis tournament opens today at 8 a.m. at the Flathead Valley Community College courts.

Glacier has the most qualifiers with 14 followed by Billings Senior with 13. Bozeman and Missoula Hellgate are next with 12 each.

Bozeman’s boys and girls are defending state champions.

“Bozeman has the edge, again,” Glacier coach Josh Munro said.

“They look like they will have a singles champion with Marcos Zelver and return a state runner-up with Heather Sikoski. They have one of the favorites in doubles, both boys and girls. That 1-2 punch gives them the edge.”

Munro said five different teams will be battling on the girls side for a trophy. The Wolfpack are included in that group.

“We need girls doubles to step up and knock off Bozeman and get the girls in the semis to have a chance,” he said.

“Now they have to pull it off. Literally, what it comes down to now is how they play.”

Glacier has qualified three doubles teams for girls and boys state play along with two singles players — Holland Blalack and McKenna Tinseth.

Blalack, a senior, is competing in singles for a third time.

“He could challenge to make a deep run,” Munro said of Blalack.

Glacier seniors Maya Buckingham and Anna Cecil lost in the semifinals a year ago and then in the consolation round to miss out on a shot at placing third or fourth.

This is Buckingham’s third state appearance in doubles and the second for Cecil.

“I’ve looked at the draw, but we have to focus on each match,” Munro said.

“It’s state and everyone is here for a reason. Nothing comes easy here. There are a couple of matchups we like along with potential matchups, but we have to focus on the first one.”

Regarding the boys, Bozeman will be challenged by Billings West, Billings Senior and Helena High.

“Our boys are looking to pick up wins,” Munro said.

“We’ll play it match by match.”

The Glacier boys were fifth last year and the girls were eighth.

Friday’s play will begin with semifinal singles play at 8 a.m. followed by semifinal doubles and ending with the finals.

“Hopefully have a lot of fun and good weather,” Munro said for state.

“It’s really nice to have it here, next year also.”

Flathead did not qualify anyone at divisionals (top four singles and doubles) for state.

Class AA State Pairings

Girls

Singles

First Round

Katie Hooten, SV, vs. McKenna Tinseth, Gla; Maya Nguyen-Haberneski, MH, vs. Pilar Santos, HH; Lucie Marques, HH, vs. Meredith Murdock, MS; Mackenzie George, CMR, vs. Zuzhana Durisova, BW; Olivia Panarella, MH, vs. Ellie Zillis, Boz; Annie Woods, BS, vs. Gail Parambi, CMR; Anna Johnson, GF, vs. Kristen Kraske, BS; Heather Sikoski, Boz, vs. Danielle Buchanan, MB.

Doubles

Gigi Montague/Kenzy Gilsdorf, BS, vs. Abbie George/Lindsey Burkett, HH; Tessa Howe/McKenna Johnson, Gla, vs. Chelsea Bone/Bronwyn McCormick, MS; Holland Small/Kate Koenig, MH, vs. Ally Dube/Erynn Murphy, CMR; Fiona Powers/Bridget Powers, HC, vs. Ellie Kuoppola/Destiny Soennichsen, Butte; Hannah Worden/Peyton Finch, MS, vs. Libby Hill/Megan Gillespie, Gla; Payton Crawford/Leslie Pazmino, BS, vs. Annika Linkenbach/Laurel Ward, Boz; Hannah Hays/Brooklyn Mailey, Boz, vs. Catherine Follet/Allison Johnson, BW; Maya Buckingham/Anna Cecil, Gla, vs. Katie Greybeal/Zoe Nelson, MH

Boys

Singles

First Round

Jay Montague, BS, vs. Clayton Ryerson, HH; Miggy San Pedro, GF, vs. Connor D’Angelo, MH; Liam Johnson, MB, vs. Leonard Ormseth, CMR; Marcos Zelver, Boz, vs. Andy Bough, BS; Jake Treece, MS, vs. Andrew Davidson, GF; Aidan Binau, SV, vs. Ethan Hanley, Boz; Cory Bowlby, HH, vs. Marko Foster, BS; Holland Blalack, Gla, vs. Cody Curtis, MS.

Doubles

Jordan Gibbs/Jayden Ostler, BW, vs. Logan Hill/Ben Desmul, Gla; Kevin Thomas/Thomas Stevens, MS, vs. Noah Metzger/Henry Stewart, Boz; Alex Seburn/Noah Jakovac, HH, vs. Wyatt Brown/Henry Stahl, MH; Tyler Keller/Kyle Buckingham, Gla, vs. Bo Henderson/Connor Eaton, BS; Sean Ramsbacher/Ethan Violette, MS, vs. Brock Belcher/Alex Hanson, HC; Hayden Pulis/Dylan Burton, BW, vs. Tyler Patrick/Kyle Korb, CMR; Jack Desmul/Morgan Cordell, Gla, vs. George Dyre/Justin Pazmino, BS; Logan Derby/Jackson Pedersen, Boz, vs. Cole Tolleson-Knee/Hendry Leydyard, MH

Class B-C

Libby hopes another trip to Missoula results in another state championship for the boys.

“One of the best trips I’ve ever made (to the Garden City),” Libby coach Kyle Hannah said of the 2016 visit.

“How’s that!”

Libby will be a title contender once again with two doubles teams and two singles players on the courts for the boys.

“I think right now the boys are sitting pretty good as far as matches,” he said.

“Both our doubles teams have byes, which is good in some ways and not so good in others.”

It’s “good” if you win the match after a bye because you get double points.

It’s “not so good” if your lose the first match after a bye. Then you receive no team points.

Libby finished 1-2 in singles and doubles and divisionals.

“I figured that’s where the kids would end up,” Hannah said.

Hannah expects Valley Christian, led by sophomore singles standout Trey Christiaens, to challenge for the main trophy.

“They are taking one more player than we are,” Hannah said.

“They have two doubles and three singles.”

Libby’s Erik Lauer and Braydon Thom were second last year in doubles at state. Libby singles player Jhamaal Sykes was sixth.

“They have a pretty good shot at getting back to the finals,” Hannah said.

“All six boys (at state) are seniors. This is the last hurrah for all of them.”

The Libby girls, second place finishers a year ago at state, will have one singles player and a doubles team competing.

Divisional champion Bigfork has a singles player and one doubles team, boys and girls, at state. Singles player Ellie Berreth, who competed for Flathead and qualified for AA state last year, could push for a medal.

Play starts today at 8:30 a.m. with the girls at Playfair Park and boys at the Peak Health and Wellness Center.

Action resumes Friday with the girls at the Peak and the boys at Playfair Park.

State Pairings

Participating Schools

Anaconda (Ana), Baker (Bk), Cut Bank (CB), Chinook (Chi), Conrad (Con), Darby (Db), Fairfield (Ff), Granite (Gr), Jefferson (Jf), Lone Peak (LP), St. Ignatius (SI), Valley Christian (VCS), Bigfork (Bfk), Broadwater (Br), Clark Fork (CF), Choteau (Cho), Chester/Joplin/Inverness (CJI), Fort Benton (Fb), Forsyth (For), Harlem (Har), Libby (Lib), Loyola Sacred Heart (LSH), Troy (Tr), Whitehall (Wh)

Boys

First Round

Singles

Kyle Wall, Db, bye; Ron Barnhill, Con, vs. Michael Bedford, Bfk; Jhamaal Sykes, Lib, bye; Josh Clark, Ana, bye; Roger Mai, GFC, bye; Bridger Ernsberger, Db, vs. Mason Woods, VCS; Jake Hollenback, LSH, bye, Alex Buenz, Bfk, vs. Tyler Huber, Con; Colin Maloney, Lib, bye; Will Hartzell, VCS, vs. Beau Peterson, SI; Bailey Moss, Rn, bye; Dawson Berg, Con, vs. Austin McCully Tr; Trey Christiaens, VCS, bye; A.J. Faur, Tr, vs. Danielle Asselstine, Cho; Nick Diekans, GFC, bye; Coleman Taylor Rn, vs. Andy Myotte, Ana

Doubles

Erik Lauer/Braydon Thom, Lib, bye; Joe Freze/Leroy Wilson, Ana, vs. Wyatt Walters/Benson Chu, GFC; Warren Castor/Tine Toemkoa, SI, vs. Noah Caballero/Dylan Cummings, Tr; Clint Judisch/Austin Padilla, Con, vs. Caleb Colwell/Aidan McCloy, VCS; Fisher Richardson/David Ramsey, LSH, vs. Parker Larson/Bert Paulsen, Con; Ryan Nagel/Gio Cano, Lib, bye; Dawson Matt/Colby Kraft, CB, vs. Laddie Hawkins/Josh Streit, VCS; Thomas Yellowbird/Garrett Anderson, Rn, vs. Colton Reichenbach/Clayton Reichenbach, Bfk

Girls

First Round

Singles

Cheyenne Jones, VCS, vs. Hailey Mills, Ff; Allie Brown, Tr, vs. Kimber Schlapman, Db; Jamie Roth, Chi, vs. Alyssa Bartsch, Con; Anna Espeland, Bk, vs. Jesse Hamlen, Br; Michaela Gunderson, Cho, vs. Natalie Fullmer, Ana; Alise Ruthford, CF, vs. Isabelle Martineau, Lib; Emily Clotfelter, Ff, vs. Taeshon Schaeffer, Har; Ashley Lundstrom, LP, vs. Kira Thompson, For; Ellie Berreth, Bfk, vs. Imanica Sepulveda, Wh; Melanie Benson, LSH, vs. Naemi Wipf, Ff; Ellen Widell, Bk, vs. Emmy Anderson, Db; Kendahl Knapton, CJI, vs. Megan Barrett, CB; Elsa Kylen, SI, vs. Mehki Sykes, Lib; Vanessa Riphenberg, Cho, vs. Lauren Bodlovic, LSH; Luisa Locker, LP, vs. Tessa Erickson, Bk; Mackenzie Rosenbaum, Ff, vs. Nicole McCracken, Chi

Doubles

Jaden Comings/Sarah Goff, Gr, bye; Jeraca Tempel/Brooke Woods, CJI vs. KP Hoffman/Solae Swenson, LP; Kalie Wicklund/Ahna Fox, Bfk, bye; Amelia Konen/Annie Townsend, Ff, vs. Carley Ries/Hayley Ries, Con; Kara Saltzman/Alexa Olsen, Br, bye; Sheyanne Janeway/Brooklyn Riddenhower, Bk, vs. Jessika Jones/Marissa Wood, Lib; Casey Smith/Jesse Finks, Db, bye; Heather Miller/Hannah Antonsen, Cho, vs. Jazzamyn Benson/Kinsey Cornwell, Har; Dania Jones/Dalayne Van Dkye, Con, bye; Breanna Turpin/Maddy Sevier, Rn, vs. Hailey Rasmussen/Jordy Nelson, Ana; Samantha Smith/Pam Tronstad, Bk, bye; Latrice Vossler/Leah Vossler, Jf, vs. Anna Toon/Megan Clark, Fb; Lexi Giles/Katlynn Giles, Fb, bye; Wilson Vogt/Xaio Xaio Strong, Bfk, vs. Mikayla Weidow/Mariah Lingo, Db; Sierra Swank/Megan Pruttis, Chi, bye; Jacy Job/Mattea Burke, LSH, vs. Hannah Blackwell/Roxanne Keefer, For

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