By Tiffany L. Rehbein
Only the rain was powerful enough to stop the Havre Blue Pony tennis players from claiming championship titles at the Helena Invitational during the weekend.
"We qualified five different individuals or teams for the semifinals which was excellent," Havre head coach Sam Dierman said.
No. 1 boys' singles' player Kellen Malone defeated two players from Class AA Missoula Sentinel and CMR, before falling to Tyree of Helena, 2-6, 6-3, 6-1 in the semifinals.
No. 2 boys' singles' player Nick Heninger defeated players from Bozeman and Missoula Hellgate before falling to Witser of Billings Senior, 3-6, 3-6 in the semifinals.
The ensuing matches for both boys was rained out.
"Kellen and Nick both lost their semifinal matches, but played well enough to know that they can be contenders for the State A championship," Dierman said.
Teri Sherrill, the No. 1 girls' singles' player, defeated Kaempf of Missoula Big Sky 8-6, defeated Hanson of Bozeman 7-5, 7-6, (7-4), and was leading Sutton of Billings West 3-1 when her match was rained out.
Sherrill was en route to facing Ristine Olson from Missoula, the No. 1 singles' player in the Class AA.
"That would have been a great match," Dierman said.
Nos. 2 and 3 girls' doubles (Breyon Briese/Sam Velk and Nikki Baltrusch/Jana McPherson) each qualified for the semifinals, also.
Briese and Velk lost to a duo from Kalispell before having their other match rained out.
"It was good to see them play a lot better," Dierman said.
Baltrusch and McPherson were leading 5-0 and were en route to the championship match before the rain started.
"They had a great weekend and will continue to improve," Dierman said.
No. 3 boys' singles' player Terrance Wells split four matches, and defeated Tassevigen of Helena Capital and Hartman of Missoula Sentinel.
"He is going to be an outstanding singles player one day," Dierman said. "He is so close to becoming very, very good."
The boys' doubles' teams won just two matches among the three teams.
Mike Frey and Seth Maristuen, the No. 1 doubles' pair, defeated Bentley and Huang of Butte, 8-3.
Tyler Croft and Levi LaPrath, the No. 2 doubles' duo, downed Burke and Edelen of Helena, 8-2.
"Those boys' doubles' teams looked solid at times and they just need more volley work and they will be ready for anyone," Dierman said.
No. 2 girls' singles' player Lauren Malone won two matches at Helena.
"She played her best tennis of the year," Dierman said.
Nichole Borst defeated Tiechert of Billings Senior, 8-3.
"She also played well at times, and just needs to get more confidence in her serve," Dierman said.
No. 1 girls' doubles' team of Kirsten Kuka and Tiffany Shrauger defeated Strand and Hoover of Kalispell, 8-5.
"When you're the No. 1 doubles' team at the Helena Invitational, every match is tough. This experience will help them down the road."
The Blue Ponies will compete at the Great Falls Invitational next weekend.
Results Helena Invitational
Singles Kellen Malone def. Disbrow, Miss. Sent., 8-4; def. Buer, CMR, 6-1, 6-4; lost Tyree, Hel, 2-6, 6-3, 1-6 (semifinal); rained out. Nick Heninger def. Wallace, Bozeman, 8-3; def. Childress, Miss. Hell., 6-2, 7-5; lost Witser, BIll. Sen., 3-6, 3-6 (semifinal); rained out. Terrance Wells def. Tassevigen, Hel. Cap., 8-2; lost Imsande, Bill. Sen., 4-6, 4-6; def. Hartman, Miss. Sent., 8-3; lost Carmony, Boz., 4-8.
Doubles Mike Frey/Seth Maristuen lost Rupert/Henkel, Bill. West, 2-8; def. Bentley/Huang, Butte, 8-3; lost Shieflo/Kinniburgh, Kal., 6-8. Tyler Croft/Levi LaPrath def. Burke/Edelen, Hel, 8-2; lost Fulton/Hogan, Bill. Sen., 4-6, 1-6; lost Dahl/Kambak, Bill. Sky., 7-8 (6-8). Jeremy Heninger/Cody McLain lost Lard/Heiter, Kal., 4-8; lost Snepenger/Franklin, Boz, 1-8.
Singles Teri Sherrill def. Kaempf, Miss. Big Sky, 8-6; def. Hanson, Boz, 7-5, 7-6 (7-4); was leading Sutton, Bill. West 3-1 when rained out. Lauren Malone def. Biskupsak, Hel, 8-5; lost Bishop, CMR, 0-6, 0-6; def. Loeb, Miss. Hell., 8-3; lost Ford, Boz, 7-8 (4-7). Nichole Borst lost Mann, Great Falls, 4-8; def. Tiechert, Bill. Sen., 8-6; lost Durney, Boz, 7-8 (4-7).
Doubles Kirsten Kuka/Tiffany Shrauger def. Strand/Hoover, Kal, 8-5; lost Bausch/Bausch, Liv, 0-6, 1-6; lost Shannahan/Bliler, CMR, 7-8 (2-7). Breyon Briese/Sam Velk def. Topolski/Gee, Hel, 8-4; def. Grissom/Torman, Miss. Hell., 6-1, 6-0; lost Iverson/Iverson, Kal, 2-6, 3-6 (semifinals); rained out. Nikki Baltrusch/Jana McPherson def. Bill. Sky., 8-1; def. Rosenburg/Doward, Miss. Hell., 6-3, 5-7, 6-4; were leading 5-0 when match was rained out (semifinals).
Great Falls/CMR/Lewistown duals
Havre def. Lewistown, 6-1
Singles Sherrill, Hav, def. Rogan 6-0, 6-0; Heggen, Hav, def. Phifer 6-3, 6-2; Malone, Hav, def. Richter 6-1, 6-3; Borst, Hav, def. Brand 6-0, 6-7 (7-9, 7-2).
Doubles Kuka/Shrauger, Hav, def. Hill/Jimmerson 6-2, 6-1; Bakkedahl/Cauffman, Lew, def. Briese/Velk 6-3, 4-6, 7-3; Baltrusch/McPherson def. Brown/Rutledge 7-6 (7-3) 6-0.
Havre def. Lewistown, 7-0
Singles Malone, Hav, def. Rowe 6-1, 6-0; N. Heninger, Hav, def. Horacek 6-1, 6-4; Wells, Hav, def. Luciano 6-0, 6-0; A. Mclain, Hav, def. Wise 6-2, 6-3.
Doubles Frey/Maristuen, Hav, def. Ernst/Bride 6-1, 6-0; Croft/LaPrath, Hav, def. Grensten/Evans 6-3, 6-0; J. Heninger/C. McLain, Hav, def. Ernst/Jenni 6-4, 4-6, 7-5.