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Home Court Fun: Pony netters shine

 

April 16, 2018

Havre Daily News/Collin Thompson

Havre High senior Baylee Miller hits a volley during Saturday's tennis action between the Blue Ponies and Hardin Bulldogs at the Bill Vaughey Memorial Tennis Courts.

One week ago, Havre High head tennis coach George Ferguson expressed how much playing on the Bill Vaughey Memorial Tennis Courts meant to his Blue Pony teams. And while it took seven days longer than expected, the Ponies got a chance to show just how much they love playing at home.

Friday and Saturday, Havre hosted Lewistown and Hardin for a revamped Havre Invitational, one week after the original Havre Invite was called off due to bad weather. The Ponies were supposed to play the Class A Duals in Cut Bank over the weekend, but that meet got moved to Polson, so Havre opted to stay home and make the most out of a turn for the better in the weather.

"It was a crazy week, from canceling the Havre Invite to playing indoors in Cut Bank, to not being sure if we'd get to play this weekend, anywhere, and then to finally get to stay home and play on our own courts," Ferguson said. "I think it all shows the resiliency in our kids. Spring sports have been put through the ringer so far this season, but our kids have stayed the course, they've stayed focused and motivated, and met all these challenges head on. And I'm super proud of them for that, and the payoff was getting to play on our courts this weekend."

And play the Ponies did. Havre took on Hardin in a short dual Friday afternoon, then battled the Bulldogs and Lewistown in full duals and a handful of exhibition matches Saturday. And while the results were up and down, the playing, Ferguson said, was the most important thing.

"The matches, the on-court experience, finally being able to play and hit the tennis ball in actual spring weather," Ferguson said. "That was huge for us, and very exciting. Beyond that, what I really liked the most was the progress we made throughout the weekend. We kind of started slow, against two very good Hardin teams on Friday, but I saw us get better and better with every match we played Saturday. We grew a ton this weekend, and, our kids' effort and attitude on the court was phenomenal. So we got exactly what we were hoping for this weekend."

Saturday, the Havre boys fell to Hardin 5-2 in the dual, before beating Lewistown 4-3. In singles, Tommy Brown, Brady Ophus and Josh Warp all recorded wins, while Trey Murphy and Kennedy McKay were dominant in their win over Lewistown. Ophus and Tyrel Kjersem teamed up for the dual clinching point against the Eagles.

"Hardin has a really strong boys team this season," Ferguson said. "I was really impressed with them. So they took it to us at times over the weekend, but I also thought on Saturday, our boys played some really good tennis. We stepped up our game, and battled in a lot of really tough matches.

"Overall, we have a younger boys team, mixed with some great veteran leadership, and some inexperience," he continued. "So, we're still figuring things out right now with our boys. But two things I love about this team, they compete, they really get after it. And they have great chemistry. They really pull together and have each other's backs. And that's going to take them a long way this season."

The Havre girls also fell short against a tough Hardin squad Saturday, but like the boys, the Ponies rebounded to beat Lewistown 5-2 Saturday evening. McKenzie Tommerup was perfect in singles for the Ponies, as was Megan Lindbloom and Baylee Miller at No. 1 doubles. Marcee Murphy and Devyn Solomon and Teagan Fee and Tiffany Ralph also won in doubles, as did Cassidy Acor, Marca Herron and Brynn Nault in singles.

"Kind of opposite our boys team, our girls team has a ton of experience," Ferguson said. "For them, it's more a matter of continuing to knock the rust off and get into form. And on Saturday, I saw a lot of progress. Our girls played well, and they're not far off. They all did great, and this team is turning into a force very quickly."

And at the end of the day, progress is exactly what Ferguson was looking for. His teams played a lot of tennis, and he says, they improved through it all. So, with that, and playing at home, as well as a chance to honor Havre's 11 seniors, Ferguson said, the weekend was a big success.

"We have great kids in this program," Ferguson said. "They work hard, they represent Havre High the right away, and they love tennis. So I was really happy that they got the chance to play at home at least once this season. That's something I didn't think would happen a week ago. So from that standpoint, and from a standpoint of how much I thought we improved from Friday afternoon to Saturday night, this was a great weekend. I'm proud of all our kids. They did a great job."

The Ponies will now return to the road with the scheduled Central A Invite Saturday in Lewistown.

Havre Invitational

Saturday

Hardin 5, Havre 2

BOYS

Singles

Tommy Brown, HAV def. Taylor Lundberg, HAR, 6-1, 7-6(4); Brady Ophus, HAV def. Matthew Bush, HAR, 6-3, 6-3; Caleb Mason, HAR def. Tyrel Kjersem, HAV, 6-3, 6-3; Jace Guptull, HAR def. Josh Warp, HAV, 6-2, 6-4.

Doubles

Noteboom/Noteboom, HAR def. Trey Murphy/Kennedy McKay, HAV, 7-5, 6-0; Lefthand/Old Crow, HAR def. Reese Bulkley/Jake Huston, HAV, 6-4, 6-3; Passes/Storey, HAR def. Vander Swensen/Kendall Holden, HAV, 6-0, 6-0.

Havre 4, Lewistown 3

Singles

Tommy Brown, HAV def. Weston Church, LEW, 6-3, 6-3; Ben Kolar, LEW def. Vander Swensen, HAV, 6-2, 2-6, 10-7; Josh Warp, HAV, lost to LEW 3, 6-1, 6-1; Kendall Holden, HAV def. LEW 4, 7-6 (3), 2-6, 10-1.

Doubles

Trey Murphy/Kennedy McKay, HAV def. Mannin/Farrar, LEW, 6-3, 6-1; Kinderszki/McQuinn, LEW def. Reese Bulkley/Jake Huston, HAV, 4-6, 6-3, 10-5; Brady Ophus/Tyrel Kjersem, HAV def. Phillips/Miller, LEW, 6-4, 7-5.

GIRLS

Hardin 5, Havre 2

Singles

Mekiko Reisig, HAR def. Paige Nelson, HAV, 6-4, 6-2; Katie Murdock, HAR def. Kadyn Acor, HAV, 6-1, 6-0; McKenzie Tommerup, HAV def. Cheyenne Whiteman, HAR, 6-0, 6-0; Kaylee Cummins, HAR def. Cassidy Acor, HAV, 6-3, 6-4.

Doubles

Megan Lindbloom/Baylee Miller, HAV def. Flamm/Noteboom, HAR, 7-6 (2), 7-5; Hardy/Don't Mix, HAR def. Marcee Murphy/Devyn Solomon, HAV, 6-4, 6-3; Tovar/Green, HAR def. Katie Donaldson/Alex Donaldson, HAV, 6-4, 6-1.

Havre 5, Lewistown 2

Singles

Havre Daily News/Collin Thompson

Havre's Reese Bulkley hits a shot during Saturday's Havre Invitational.

Lissy Southworth, LEW def. Paige Nelson, HAV, 6-4, 7-5; Tessa Gatz, LEW def. Kadyn Acor, HAV, 6-2, 2-6, 10-7; McKenzie Tommerup, HAV def. LEW 3, 6-1, 6-1; Cassidy Acor, HAV def. LEW 4, 6-2, 6-0.

Doubles

Megan Lindbloom/Baylee Miller, HAV def. Seifert/Arndt, LEW, 6-1, 6-0; Marcee Murphy/Devyn Solomon, HAV def. Villareaul/Chalmers, LEW, 6-1, 6-3; Katie Donaldson/Alex Donaldson, HAV won by FFT.

Exhibition Matches

Hardin #4 def. Teagan Fee/Tiffany Ralph, HAV, 6-1, 6-1; Teagan Fee/Tiffany Ralph, HAV def. Siefert/Arndt, LEW, 6-1, 6-1; Gatz/Southworth, LEW def. Katie Donaldson/Alex Donaldson, HAV, 6-1, 7-5; Marca Herron, HAV def, Hardin #4 8-3; Hardin #3 def. Brynn Nault, HAV, 8-3; Josh Warp, HAV def. LEW #5 9-7; Brynn Nault, HAV def. LEW #4 8-1; LEW #6 def. Kendall Holden, HAV, 8-2; Marca Herron, HAV def. LEW #4 8-0.

 

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