By George Ferguson/Havre Daily News Sportsemail@example.com
Girls tennis kicks off the 2004 Montana High School spring sports postseason today in Havre with the Northeast B-C tennis divisional tennis tournament at the Bill Vaughey Memorial Courts.
Teams from Chinook, Chester, Big Sandy and Fort Benton will all converge on Havre over the next two days. At stake will be berths for next week's B-C state tournament in Missoula. Five doubles teams and six singles players from the divisional tournament will all advance to the state tourney.
"This could be a pretty wide open tournament," said Chester head coach Dustin Gordon. "I think that Fort
Benton and Chinook are the favorites and we're not out of it either.
"But Fort Benton has two very good singles players who could potentially go one and two this weekend,"
Gordon added. "And Chinook may have the two best doubles teams in the tournament."
Indeed, if things go according to form this weekend, the divisional singles champion will most likely be a Longhorn. Abby Kelly comes into the tourney as the No. 1 seed and teammate Carly Squires will be seeded fourth. That means the two would not meet until the finals, which could give the Longhorns more than enough points to claim the team title, especially since their top doubles team will also provide some points as well.
As far as the Beeters go, they too could be in the driver's seat for a team title come Saturday afternoon.
The duo of Melanie Overcast and Lacey Sargent will be the favorites to capture the doubles title this weekend.
Teammates Monica Thackeray and Lacey Tollefson have the potential to battle them for the top spot heading to the state tournament.
Chinook also has a very strong singles player in Neele Leske and that combination makes the Beeters very capable of scoring enough points to bring home the divisional crown.
And while it sounds like this tournament is a two-team race, it definitely is not. Chester has a
very solid No. 1 singles player in Amanda Hofer and a very capable doubles team in Sierra Munfrada and Mary DeVries.
"I think that we need one big upset in either bracket and we could be right in the hunt," Gordon said. "We are probably the most balanced team in this tournament and we should pick up a lot of extra points that way.
"I think in singles there are going to be three or four girls fighting for the last two spots," Gordon
added. "But I think that doubles is where things might be a little more wide open. It should be a pretty exciting two days."
Big Sandy will also be in attendance this weekend, but the Pioneers may struggle to keep up with the other
three teams in the field. Big Sandy has just five roster players and all are virtual newcomers to divisional play, which will most likely make this weekend somewhat difficult on the young Pioneer players.
The Northeast B-C girls divisional tennis tournament will get underway today at noon and continue through Saturday afternoon. All off the action will take place at the Bill Vaughey Memorial Tennis Courts in Havre.