By Kim Staudinger
The Havre High School tennis team faced numerous Class AA schools at the two-day Helena Invitational Thursday and Friday, and then finished up the weekend with a strong showing in Great Falls.
Five out of the six Havre boys placed in Helena, with Jeremy Heninger and Seth Maristuen taking first in No. 1 boys doubles, and Marc Mariani and Ian Spencer placing second in No. 2 boys doubles. In the No. 3 boys singles, senior Andrew McLain placed third.
"I was real surprised," Havre coach Sam Dierman said. "I knew this would be great for Jeremy and Seth in doubles, but I didn't think everyone else would do as well as they did. Jeremy and Seth had a great tournament. They beat the best. With a little more discipline, they would have finished first."
Mariani and Spencer had never played together so placing second was amazing, Dierman said.
Only one Pony girls team placed. Jennifer Gorder and Casey Peterson finished third in No. 2 girls doubles.
"I was amazed that Jennifer and Casey did as well as they did," Dierman said. They've never played together and they looked as if they've played together forever."
Both of the top singles players for the Ponies did not place, but Dierman said they are improving and will continue to get tougher as the season goes on.
In Great Falls on Saturday, the boys and girls swept both Great Falls schools and Lewistown.
The boys beat Lewistown 5-2, Great Falls High 5-2 and CMR 6-1.
"We had our best day of the year on Saturday," Dierman said. "Considering that we were missing four varsity boys players and we still dominated is a credit to our program. The CMR boys team went 5-0 in duals in the recent Billings Invitational, so that was a big win for us. Both teams were missing key players but it shows our depth."
The girls defeated Lewistown 6-1, Great Falls High 6-1 and CMR 5-2.
"The girls singles played the best that they've played this year," Dierman said. "They finally played with some patience and consistency. I've been waiting all year for that."
Next up for the Ponies is another trip to Great Falls on Friday and Saturday.
"Hopefully, for the first time this year, the tennis team will be at full strength when we go to the Great Falls Invitational," Dierman said. "We are in a very tough pool which features the defending state AA champs in both boys and girls (Bozeman) along with CMR, Billings West and Billings Senior. We couldn't have a tougher field."
Cody McLain boys singles No. 1 bracket
lost to Yates, Missoula Big Sky, 6-8
def. Larson, Bozeman, 8-6
lost to Gray, Great Falls, 8-9 (3-7)
Andrew McLain boys singles No. 3 bracket
def. Duffy, Billings Senior, 8-2
lost to Bentley, Butte, 8-9 (4-7)
def. Bailey, Missoula Big Sky, 8-1
def. Olson, Helena, 8-1
def. Fritz, Missoula Sentinel, default
def. Winston, Billings Skyview, 6-4, 7-5 (3rd place)
Jeremy Heninger/Seth Maristuen boys doubles No. 1 bracket
def. Cooney/Skueltich, Butte, 8-2
def. King/McDermott, Billings West, 8-4
def. Rubie/Wilson, Missoula Sentinel, 6-0, 6-4
lost to Buer/Horton, CMR, 0-6, 6-3, 6-7, (4-7) (2nd place)
Marc Mariani/Ian Spencer boys doubles No. 3 bracket
def. Long/Getz, Billings Senior, 8-2
def. Flamond/Dennehy, Butte, 8-3
def. Flaherty/Gysberg, CMR
lost to Franklin/Furst, Bozeman, 6-2, 2-6, 4-6 (2nd place)
Crystal Pyrak girls singles No. 1 bracket
lost to Lehman, Billings Senior, 6-8
def. Lee, Butte, 8-3
lost to Yeoman, Anaconda, 8-9 (5-7)
Laura Hedstrom girls singles No. 2 bracket
def. David, Butte, 8-4
lost to Spear, Anaconda, 1-8
lost to Thompson, Billings Skyview, 1-8
Justine Erhard girls singles No. 3
lost to Thomson, Billings Skyview, 1-8
lost to Missoula Helgate, 0-8
Jennifer Gorder/Casey Peterson girls doubles No. 2
def. Bartholomew/Hettick, Butte, 8-3
lost to Sands/Wragge-Keller, Bozeman, 4-8
def. Mueller/Munther, Missoula Big Sky, 8-4
def. Laslovich/Colbert, Anaconda, 8-3
def. Missoula Helgate, 8-2
def. Weaver/Johnson, Billings Senior, 6-4, 7-6, (7-3) (3rd place)
Erika Johnson/Brittne Zimmer girls doubles No. 3
lost to Bittinger/Cade, Bozeman, 4-8
lost to Missoula Helgate, 5-8
Havre boys def. Lewistown boys 5-2:
Cody McLain def. J. Ernst 6-3, 6-2
Kyle Baltrusch def. B. Ernst 6-1, 6-3
Andrew McLain lost to Bride 3-6, 3-6
Marc Mariani def. Flentie 7-6, 6-3
Mike Frey/Jeremy Heninger def. Sweeney/Bakkedahl 6-2, 6-2
Lucas Hamilton/Ian Spencer def. C. Byerly/Jenni 3-6, 7-5, 10-8
Havre had to forfeit the No. 3 boys doubles match
Exhibition match Dean Koffler/Marc Mariani lost to Atchinson/J. Byerly
Havre boys def. Great Falls High boys 5-2:
Heninger lost to Greay 3-6, 4-6
Baltrusch won 6-2, 6-4
A. McLain won 6-0, 6-1
Spencer won 6-1, 6-3
Frey/C. McLain won 6-1, 6-1
Hamilton/Mariani won 6-2, 6-3
Havre had to forfeit No. 3 boys doubles match
Exhibition match Dean Koffler/Lucas Hamilton lost to Great Falls
Havre boys def. CMR 6-1
C. McLain def. Buer 2-6, 6-4, 8-6
Baltrusch def. Connor 2-1, default (injury)
A. McLain def. Van Ness 6-1, 6-2
Mariani def. Fagenstrom 6-1, 6-0
Frey/Heninger lost to Horton/Anderson 3-6, 4-6
Hamilton/Spencer def. Gysburg/Gray 3-6, 6-1, 7-5
Both teams had to forfeit No. 3 doubles matches
Exhibition match Baltrusch/Koffler won 6-3, 6-3
Havre girls def. Lewistown girls 6-1:
Crystal Pyrak def. Brand 6-0, 6-2
Amy McLain def. Berg 6-1, 6-0
Laura Hedstrom def. Robertson 6-0, 6-1
Mallory Cresswell def. Bostrom 6-1, 6-1
Jennifer Gorder/Ryan Hamilton def. Jimmerson/Richter 6-1, 3-6, 8-6
Taylor Donaldson/Casey Peterson lost to Conroy/Butler 3-6, 4-6
Erika Johnson/Brittne Zimmer def. Vise/Bush 6-1, 6-1
Havre girls def. Great Falls High girls 6-1
Pyrak def. Lacy Alfred 6-3, 6-4
McLain def. Sepich 6-1, 6-3
Donaldson def. Curry 6-3, 6-1
Zimmer def. Palagi 6-2, 6-3
Gorder/Hamilton lost to Janikala/Walters 2-6, 3-6
Johnson/Peterson def. Bulger/Godwin 6-2, 6-4
Cresswell/Hedstrom def. Robinson/Norbie 6-4, 6-3
Havre girls def. CMR girls 5-2
Pyrak lost to Erwin 6-8
McLain def. DeFransisci 8-5
Donaldson def. O'Connell 8-0
Hedstrom def. Dwyer 8-0
Gorder/Hamilton lost to Bliler/Orcutt 5-8
Johnson/Peterson def. Pacini/Love 8-5
Cresswell/Zimmer def. Gerritty/McCann 8-6