Pony netters strong in season opener


The 2003 season got off to a solid start for the Havre High boys and girls tennis teams on Saturday at the Cut Bank Invitational. Not only did the Ponies dominate the four-team dual tournament, but the weather was also spectacular, which is a rarity for this time of year in Cut Bank.

"I was real pleased with how we played this weekend," said Havre High head coach Sam Dierman. "We typically do not perform well at this tournament. We had to mix up the kids some because we had a lot of kids that didn't play, but I liked how the kids performed for the first weekend."

The Havre High girls team went a perfect 3-0 in dual competition. Havre defeated Lewistown 7-0 and Conrad 4-3. The Ponies also went undefeated against the host Wolves, but the dual did not officially count because Cut Bank only had three girls this weekend.

In singles, Amy McLain and Crystal Pyrak were a perfect 2-0. Megan Rice also picked up a pair of victories and Mallory Creswell split her matches with Lewistown and Conrad.

In doubles, the Ponies got three wins from the freshman duo of Steph Flatau and Keelie Solomon. Erika Johnson and Casey Peterson split a pair of matches.

"Amy McLain and Crystal Pyrak both played extremely well this weekend," Dierman said. "And I was really impressed with the play of Steph Flatau and Keelie Solomon. Even though they are only freshmen, I expect that they will grow by leaps and bounds as the season progresses."

The Havre High boys team also had a successful trip to Cut Bank, going 2-1. The Ponies defeated Lewistown 6-1 and Conrad 5-2. Their lone loss came at the hands of the host Wolves as Cut Bank defeated Havre 5-2.

Leading the way in singles for Havre was Cody McLain, who went 2-1 overall. Havre also got singles victories from Daine Solomon, Marc Mariani and Chase Castloo.

In doubles, the Ponies got wins from several different teams including the likes of Jeremy Heninger and Solomon. Both Heninger and Solomon also teamed up with Mariani to win doubles matches as well. Heninger also dropped a tough singles match to Keithan Gregg of Cut Bank by a score of 8-4.

"We really mixed up the boys team this weekend and I thought they played well for this early in the season," Dierman said. "Jeremy played really well against the best player in the state, and when he and Daine played their doubles match they only lost two points."

"I was also really pleased with the play of some of our younger kids, who really stepped up and won some nice matches," Dierman added.

Next up for the Ponies will be a trip to Conrad on Saturday for the Conrad Invitational.


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