By Kent Dolezal
LIVINGSTON Just like the Blue Pony coach Sam Dierman predicted, the Havre boys tennis team dominated the Central A divisional meet held here Friday and Saturday, taking first place by more than 30 points.
The boys were even more dominant than I could have imagined. I was hoping we would get around 42 points, and we ended up with 52, Dierman said. I believe that 52 points is the most ever scored by a Havre tennis team. The boys were phenomenal.
The Havre girls squad also turned in solid performance, placing second behind the host school, Park High.
The girls scored 30 points, which is also very good, he said. The only problem was Livingston is so good in girls doubles that we couldnt keep up with them.
Individually, the Blue Ponies also most sweep the medalist honors, winning three out of four first places.
Havre dominated the boys double competition, sweeping the event. Champions Nick Heninger and Eli Sethre downed their first round opponents with two 6-0 games. Heninger and Sethre continued to roll with a 6-1, 6-2 win to advance to the finals, where they met fellow Blue Ponies Michael Frey and Seth Maristuen. Heninger and Sethre wrapped up their title with at 6-3, 6-1 win.
Dierman said the pairing was not challenged during the two day divisional, and now has to be one of the favorite in this upcoming weekends state tournament.
Kellen Malone cruised through the first two rounds, losing only three games. In the final, however, Malone had his hands full with Heinz on Butte Central. Malone need a tie breaker to win the first game, coming away with a 7-6 (7-3) victory. In the second game, Malones conditioning showed as he downed Heinz 6-2.
Kellen is right where he wants to be, and now, he gets his chance to improve on his third place finish at state last year, Dierman said.
Teri Sherrill lost only two games in her first two matches. Sherrill defeated Venturelli of Anaconda 6-1, 7-5 in the semifinal, and continued to control the Central A girls singles players with a 7-5, 6-0 win over Livingstons Beffert in the final.
Teri has an outstanding divisionals, Dierman said. Her strong work ethic and desire is finally paying off for her. She also has to be one of the favorites at state.
The Blue Pony team advances eight boys to the years final event. Bryan Frey qualified with a fourth place showing in the boys singles, while Chris Dorcheus and Rob Gaskill placed third in the doubles competition, with their only lose coming to Havres Frey and Maristuen.
The girls doubles team of Shannon Brantley and Kirstin Kuka will make the trip to Miles City this weekend after they came in fourth behind the strong group from Livingston.
Girls doubles was by far the toughest division. Any of the four teams could win state. It was the best girls doubles I have seen in along time, he said.
Also seeing action for the Blue Ponies were girls doubles players Jana McPherson and Tiffany Shraugher along with the pairing of Breyon Briese and Samantha Velk. Crystal Heggen, Lauren Malone and Nichole Borst represented Havre in girls singles, while Eric Dimou and Terrance Wells battled in boys singles.
The next test for the Blue Ponies is the State Class A tournament in Miles City this weekend. The boys team will be in the trophies and even though the girls only have three members they could also sneak out with a trophy if they play well, Dierman said. It will be exciting to watch.