With spring weather being so unpredictable, the Havre High boys and girls tennis teams caught a break.
The Blue Ponies moved the annual Havre Invitational from Saturday to Monday, and the tournament went off without a hitch. Hosting Cut Bank, Conrad and Lewistown, 90 matches were played on the Bill Vaughey Memorial Tennis Courts on Monday, and the Blue Ponies did quite well.
And while Havre head coach George Ferguson was pleased with the final results, he was more pleased with the fact his kids competed for just the second time this season.
“It was a good day weather-wise and we played a ton of tennis,” Ferguson said. “It is still so early in the year for us, yet it’s also crucial that we get as many matches as possible. So having the tournament on Monday was huge for us. And for all the teams who participated. Our kids were very enthusiastic about playing, the effort from every single one of them was great, and as a whole, I thought we showed a lot of improvement, and that’s what we were looking to do this week.”
The Ponies crowned several champions on Monday, including senior Justin Jensen, who became the most recent Pony to win a Havre Invite boys singles title. Jensen bested Cut Bank’s Isaac Matt in the 1-2’s bracket finale. Fellow senior Bill Wagner also went 3-0 on the day, and beat Blue Pony freshman Noah Landgraf for the No. 3’s singles title.
ON the girls side in singles, the Ponies got a first-place finish from sophomore Shannon Herring in the No. 3’s bracket. Herring bested teammate Tatianna Ralph in the championship match. In the 1-2’s bracket, sophomore Brandy Lambourne placed fourth, playing as Havre’s No. 1 singles player this week.
“We did really well in singles,” Ferguson said. “Justin (Jensen) is starting to show the form he’s been looking for, and I thought Ned Malone did a great job in moving up the number one bracket. Ned really hit the ball well and showed a lot of heart in his three matches, and that’s more important to me than the wins and losses right now. Bill Wagner also looked really sharp and Noah (Landgraf) played really well for his first high school tournament.
“We did well on the girls side of things too,” he added. “Shannon Herring has really made a huge jump in her game this season and so has Brandy Lambourne. And both of them are sophomores who have only been playing tennis for a little over a year. And Tatianna is learning really fast and having success and she’s only been playing tennis for about six weeks. So that’s really encouraging.
Havre’s young girls team also racked up wins in doubles.
Juniors Jade McCormick and Jennifer Cichosz wound up meeting sophomore teammates Breck Don and Ellery Bresler for third place in doubles, though the match watches completed due to an injury. Don and Bresler really showed signs on Monday, knocking off the top-ranked Lewistown team in the consolation semifinals. Haley Graham and Morgan Jappe also won a match for the Ponies before being ousted by Cichosz and McCormick.
“I was really proud of all our girls doubles teams,” Ferguson said. “That was a bracket that was pretty tough because Cut Bank and Conrad have some of the best doubles teams in Class B, and Monger and Neilsen from Lewistown are really good too. So for us to win as many matches as we did, with six girls doubles players, none of whom are seniors, that’s very exciting.”
In boys doubles, HHS is still experimenting, and the senior duo of Brayden Grimson and Blaine Grisak did well to finish third overall. The younger tandem of Nick Rhines and Zach Hellegaard battled back from a first-round loss and came within one match of placing, while senior John Gardipee and junior Jacob Holden won a first-round match, before losing two straight to teammates.
As a whole, I thought both our teams, and all of our kids did very, very well,” Ferguson said. “I thought they all did the things we asked of them, which was to focus on every match, to work on the things we’ve been practicing and make a point to get the most out of their time on the court. I felt like all of our boys and girls achieved that on Monday and I’m really pleased with how we did.
“We’re also very thankful we got to play the entire day,” Ferguson added. “This is the only chance for all of our varsity and all of our JV kids to play together and our only chance to play on our home courts, so we are very excited and happy we got play. We needed all those matches because they were very important to our future progress this season. And on top of that, we’ve never had a Havre Invite cancelled in my 10 years of coaching here, and we’re very fortunate to have gotten this one in. So I’m really pleased with all of our kids. They did a great job, they played well and they represented out school and our community exactly how we hoped and expected they would. So it was a great day for Havre High tennis.”
The Ponies will have a short turnaround before heading to the Class A Duals Friday and Saturday in Cut Bank.
Havre Invitational Tennis Tournament
Monday, April 9, 2012
Teams: Havre, Cut Bank, Conrad, Lewistown
No Team Scores Kept
Championship: Justin Jensen, HAV def. Isaac Matt, CB, 8-5; Consolation: Austin Zomer, CON def. Andrew Bruno, LEW, 6-0.
Championship: Bill Wagner, HAV def. Noah Landgraf, HAV, 6-2; Consolation: Che’ Little Dog, CB def. Blaine Berg, CON, 6-3.
Championship: Schlosser/Janzen, CON def. Martin/Peters, CON, 8-2; Consolation: Grimson/Grisak, HAV def. Butcher/Songer, LEW, 6-3.
Championship: Kristine Warlick, CON def. Paige Larson, CB, 8-2; Megan Fetters, CON def. Brandy Lambourne, HAV, 6-3.
Championship: Shannon Herring, HAV def. Tatianna Ralph, HAV, 6-4; Consolation: Hannah Thomas, LEW def. Skylar Shirley, CON, 6-0.
Championship: Altenburg/Kraft, CB def. Weisgram/VanDyke, CON, 8-3; Consolation: Jade McCormick/Jennifer Cichosz, HAV and Ellery Bresler/Breck Don, HAV DNF.
Full Havre Individual Results
Justin Jensen (1st Place, 1-2’s)
1st rd – def. Spencer Czech, CB, 6-1; Semifinal – def. Austin Zomer, CON, 7-6 (7-4); Championship – def. Isaac Matt, CB, 8-5.
Ned Malone (1-2’s)
1st rd – lost to Jordan Snap, LEW, 6-2; Consolation 1st rd – def. Steven Peters, CON, 6-4; Consolation 2nd rd – lost to Austin Zomer, CON, 7-6 (7-4).
Bill Wagner (1st Place, 3’s)
1st rd – def. Cody Wandler, CB, 6-2; Semifinal – def/ Zach Hould, LEW, 6-1; Championship – def. Noah Landgraf, HAV, 6-2.
Noah Landgraf (2nd Place, 3’s)
1st rd – def. Che’ Little Dog, CB, 6-4; Semifinal – def. Blaine Beeg, CON, 6-1; Championship – lost to Wagner, HAV, 6-2.
Jamie Lieberg (3’s)
1st rd – lost to Zach Hould, LEW, 6-0; Consolation 1st rd – lost to Cody Wandler, CB, 6-2.
Josh Emge (3’s)
1st rd – lost to Blaine Berg, CON, 6-0; Consolation 1st rd – lost to Che’ Little Dog, CB, 6-2.
Blaine Grisak/Brayden Grimson (3rd Place)
1st rd – def. Winters/Padilla, CON, 6-0; 2nd rd – def. Gardipee/Holden, HAV, 6-1; Semifinal – lost to Martin/Peters, CON, 6-3; Consolation semis – def. Kraft/Pittman, CB, 6-4; Consolation final – def. Butcher/Songer, LEW, 6-3.
Nick Rhines/Zach Hellegaard
1st rd – lost to Kynett/Irish, LEW, 7-6 (7-3); Consolation 2nd rd – def. Gardipee/Holden, 6-2; Consolation 3rd rd – def. Armour/Petersen, LEW, 7-6 (7-2); Consolation semis – lost to Butcher/Songer, LEW, 6-4.
J.J. Hovet/Brian Smith
1st rd – lost to Kraft/Pittman, CB, 6-2; Consolation 2nd rd – lost to Armour/Petersen, LEW, 7-6 (7-4).
John Gardipee/Jacob Holden
1st rd – def. Kloos/Jennings, CB, 7-6 (7-3); 2nd rd – lost to Grimson/Grisak, HAV, 6-1; Consolation 2nd rd – lost to Rhines/Hellegaard, 6-2.
Brandy Lambourne (4th Place, 1-2’s)
1st rd – def. Kayla Olson, LEW, 6-3; Semifinals – lost to Paige Larson, CB, 6-4; Consolation semis – def. Kodi Hoffman, CB, 6-2; Consolation final – def. lost to Megan Fetters, CON, 6-1.
Shannon Herring (1st Place, 3’s)
1st rd – Bye; Semifinals – def. Skylar Shirley, CON, 6-2; Championship – def. Tatianna Ralph, HAV, 6-4.
Tatianna Ralph (2nd Place, 3’s)
1st rd – def. Donelle Novak, CB, 6-3; Semifinals – def. Hannah Thomas, LEW, 6-1; Championship – lost to Herring, HAV, 6-4.
Rylee Valdez (3’s)
1st rd – lost to Skylar Shirley, CON, 6-2; Consolation 1st rd – Bye; Consolation 2nd rd – lost to Thomas, LEW, 6-3.
Dani Jeffery (3’s)
1st rd – lost to Thomas, LEW, 6-1; Consolation 1st rd – lost to Novak, CB, 6-4.
Jennifer Cichosz/Jade McCormick (T3rd Place)
1st rd – def. Allen/Backer, LEW, 6-0; 2nd rd – lost to Kraft/Gobert, CB, 7-6 (7-5); Consolation 2nd rd – def. Johsnton/Schilling, CB, 6-2; Consolation 3rd rd – def. Graham/Jappe, HAV, 6-2; Consolation semis – def. Kraft/Gobert, CB, 6-4; Consolation final – DNF.
Breck Don/Ellery Bresler (T3rd Place)
1st rd – def. Cox/Bailey, CON, 6-2; 2nd rd – lost to Altenburg/Kraft, CB, 6-4; Consolation 2nd rd – Bye; Consolation 3rd rd – def. Olson/Thomas, LEW, 6-3; Consolation semis – def. Monger/Neilsen, LEW, 6-3; Consolation final – DNF.
Haley Graham/Morgan Jappe
1st rd – Bye; 2nd rd – lost to Monger/Neilsen, LEW, 6-2; Consolation 2nd rd – def. Allen/Backer, LEW, 6-2; Consolation 3rd rd – lost to Cichosz/McCormick, HAV, 6-2.
Julie Kadrmas/Megan Passon
1st rd – lost to Kraft/Gobert, HAV, 6-0; Consolation 1st rd – lost to Allen/Backer, LEW, 6-4.