Havre Daily News
The Havre high boys tennis team took a 25-match dual winning streak into Tuesday afternoon's duals with Class AA rivals Great Falls High and CMR in Great Falls.
And while the Blue Pony boys kept their winning streak in tact with a sweep of the Rustlers and Bison, it was HHS sophomore Katie Mariani who wound up making the most noise on Tuesday.
Mariani, who plays No. 1 singles for the Havre High girls rebounded from a close loss to former Class AA state champion Quincy Carter of CMR by defeating GFH No. 1 Sam Selstad in dominating fashion. Mariani dispatched Selstad in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1. What makes Mariani's victory over Selstad even more gratifying is the fact that Selstad defeated Mariani in straight sets just four days ago at the Helena Invitational.
“Katie's win over Sam Selstad is one that cannot be understated,” HHS head coach George Ferguson said. “Sam is one of Class AA's elite girls tennis players and for Katie to go out and beat her like she did is just a tremendous accomplishment. Not only that, but it proves that Katie is well on her way to becoming an elite tennis player herself and this win should really give her a ton of confidence towards the rest of her season and her career.”
Mariani's win was part of a 5-2 dual victory for the Havre High girls over the Bison. Hope Hedges also picked up a win at the No. 3 singles spot despite playing most of the match on an injured ankle. All three of Havre's doubles teams were also victorious in the dual.
The HHS girls lost to CMR earlier in the day, 4-3. In that dual, the Ponies got victories from Hedges as well as the doubles teams of Steph Flatau and Keelie Solomon and Karissa Olson and Alexa Lipp.
“Our girls played well on Tuesday,” Ferguson said. “Hope Hedges won two matches in which she really had to dig deep and win tiebreakers in the third set of each. That is impressive for a freshman that has only been playing for a short while.
“I thought all of our doubles teams played pretty well and Katie and Haley McLain both had two really tough matches which will be good for them in the long run.”
The Havre High boys started the day off with a narrow 4-3 victory over the CMR Rustlers. Once again, it was a mix of Havre's youth and veteran singles player Scott Miller that got the Ponies through. Miller won a critical match at the No. 2 singles spot and Shane Kemmer picked up a victory at No. 3. Havre's No. 2 doubles team of David Zentmire and Ryan Kinholt also won and the No. 3 team of Jordan Croft and Mason Sheppard clinched the victory for the Ponies.
Havre then made it a clean sweep of the Great Falls schools for the second straight season when the Ponies bounced GFH 5-1 later in the day. Miller won another hard-fought match for Havre and the Ponies swept the doubles portion of the dual, including a come-from-behind win by the No. 1 team of John Christian and Billy Wagner as well as another victory from Kinholt and Zentmire.
“Our boys team played well in spots and even in the matches we lost at the No. 1 spots our guys played some good tennis,” Ferguson said. “Scott Miller has been one of our steadiest players lately and he was very solid again on Tuesday.
“I don't think our boys team is quite where we want to be right now,” he added. “But I think the two wins in Great Falls is an indication that we are getting closer.”
Both HHS tennis teams will head back to Great Falls on Friday for the two-day Great Falls Invitational tennis tournament. The Ponies will dual Butte and Billings Senior on Friday and they will take on CMR and Cut Bank on Saturday.
“We are in the tough part of our schedule right now,” Ferguson said. “But I can already see the improvements in our kids just from playing this really tough competition.”
Havre High at Great Falls
Havre 4, CMR 3
Gui Gaudry, CMR def. Billy Wagner, HAV, 6-3, 6-7 (7-5), 12-10; Scott Miller, HAV def. Barrett Bellew, CMR, 5-7, 6-2, 10-8; Jake Skovron, CMR def. Todd Roe, HAV, 8-6; Shane Kemmer, HAV def. Vinnie Gillis, CMR, 8-4.
David Anderson/Josh Tierney, CMR def. Chase Castloo/John Christian, HAV, 6-3, 7-6 (7-3); David Zentmire/Ryan Kinholt, HAV def. Tyler Mortenson/Ty Breuer, CMR, 6-2, 6-2; Mason Sheppard/Jordan Croft, HAV def. Jake Griffith/Slater Bellew, CMR, 6-3, 6-3.
Tim McLean/Brad Hanson, HAV def. Cloten Gibson/Brandon Haynie, CMR, 8-4; Dan Pizzini/Austin Wilson, HAV def. Gavin Marsh/Michael Brien, CMR, 8-0.
Havre 5, GFH 1
Tyler Fangenstrom, GFH def. Chase Castloo, HAV 7-6 (7-5), 6-3; Scott Miller, HAV def. Austin Davis, GFH, 6-0, 6-2; Todd Roe, HAV def. Tom Santin, GFH, 6-2, 6-2; Shane Kemmer, HAV def. Tim Whipple, GFH, 6-0, 6-1.
Billy Wagner/John Christian, HAV def. Kory Alfred/Zach Alfred, GFH, 4-6, 6-2, 10-5; Ryan Kinholt/David Zentmire, HAV def. David Currie/Honza Hlvaty, GFH, 6-0, 4-6, 10-5.
Austin Davis/Tom Santin, GFH def. Jordan Croft/Mason Sheppard, HAV, 2-6, 7-6 (12-10), 10-7.
CMR 4, Havre 3
Quincy Carter, CMR def. Katie Mariani, HAV, 7-5, 6-4; Charlie Murphy, CMR def. Haley McLain, HAV, 6-4, 6-4; Hope Hedges, HAV def. Brytney Scheer, CMR, 6-4, 4-6, 10-5; Sara Palagi, CMR def. Jocelyn Chagnon, HAV, 6-4, 6-4.
Keelie Solomon/Steph Flatau, HAV def. Jordon Skovron/Katie Russell, CMR, 2-6, 6-3, 10-4; Mary Anderson/Lisa Mason, CMR def. Kari Gorder/Kristi Hollingshead, HAV, 6-2, 6-3; Alexa Lipp/Karissa Olson, HAV def. Addison Murphy/Bailey Lagge, CMR, 6-4, 7-5.
Havre 5, GFH 2
Katie Mariani, HAV def. Sam Selstad, GFH, 6-3, 6-1; Sophie Lockerby, GFH def. Haley McLain, HAV, 6-0, 6-1; Hope Hedges def. Brittney Murphy, GFH, 6-1, 4-6, 10-7; Linden Howard, GFH def. Jocelyn Chagnon, HAV, 6-2, 6-1.
Keelie Solomon/Steph Flatau, HAV def. Shelby Robinson/Kim Currie, GFH, 6-2, 6-2; Kari Gorder/Kristi Hollingshead, HAV def. Kaylee Altringer/Jaimee Tierney, GFH, 6-2, 6-0; Alexa Lipp/Karissa Olson, HAV def. Deb Flaherty/Morgan Powell, GFH, 6-0, 6-2.