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Right back to work for HHS netters

 

Last updated 4/25/2019 at 7:45am

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Kassidy Compton hits a backhand during the Havre Invitational earlier this month. The Blue Pony tennis teams are heading to the Glendive Invitational Friday and Saturday, where the Ponies will play six matches against Eastern A rivals.

The Havre High tennis teams have little time to rest right now, and that's exactly the way head coach George Ferguson likes it.

After playing three duals Tuesday in Great Falls, the Blue Ponies will set out for Glendive Friday morning, where they'll get six matches in two days at the Elks Invitational. Havre will see the entire Eastern A, while in Glendive, which, Ferguson said, will be beneficial, not only for the rest of this season but also in the future as the Ponies will join Lewistown, Glendive and Miles City in a new conference next season.

"I'm kind of excited about the change in conferences," Ferguson said. "It's going back to my roots. When I played for Havre High, that was the conference we were in, so it's going to be really cool going back to that. Also, we're losing Belgrade to Class AA, so we would have only had three teams in our division next season otherwise, so I'm looking forward to starting new in that conference next year."

Of course, Ferguson is also focused on this season, and the Ponies have hit the home stretch. They'll play Glendive, Miles City, Billings Central and Hardin this weekend, and Havre will be seeing all but the Bulldogs for the first time.

"We started going to this tournament four years ago, and it's been really good for us," Ferguson said. "You get a lot of matches, and it's a trip we only take once a season. So, not only does it help us get better at a critical point in the season, but it's also a really unique and fun road trip for our kids."

And getting better is the focus. It's something Ferguson said his teams have been doing a lot of in recent weeks. Over the course of their last five duals, the Blue Ponies are a combined 8-2. Individually, Havre is also seeing big strides up and down its lineup.

On the boys side, senior Tommy Brown and sophomore Josh Warp have been on a tear of late, while Reese Bulkley and Jake Huston are growing by leaps and bounds in doubles. But Ferguson also noted that young players like Jack Johnsrud, John South and sophomore Mick Chagnon have also been taking big steps forward.

"Mick Chagnon is a kid right now who is really starting to come on strong," Ferguson said. "He's progressing really, really fast and is playing some great tennis. And we have a lot of kids like that in our lineup. It's really starting to clock for a lot of our boys right now."

Havre's girls are clicking, too. The Ponies just went undefeated in Great Falls Tuesday with the doubles teams of Marcee Murphy/Devyn Solomon, Kadyn Acor/Cassidy Acor and Teagan Fee/Tiffany Ralph leading the way, as well as senior McKenzie Tommerup starting to hit her stride at No. 1 singles. Meanwhile, another Pony senior is also making a lot of noise in Havre's lineup these days.

"Can't say enough about how well Kassidy Compton is playing," Ferguson said. "She's so tough, she's tenacious and she's becoming a really, really good tennis player. Kassidy is a player that, if I was in the girl's singles bracket at divisionals, I would not want to see her across the net from me."

This weekend, Havre will see plenty of players across the net from them in Glendive. The Ponies will dual Glendive, Miles City and Billings Central Friday, followed by Hardin (twice) and Miles City Saturday. The tournament precedes another big change in Havre's schedule, as next week, the Ponies will travel to the Mayfair Invitational in Billings, after learning that the Class AA Helena Invitational was not scheduled for this season.

"This is a big weekend for us," Ferguson said. "It's a big week because, weather permitting, we will have played nine duals in three days, and that's really beneficial for our progress. We are starting to zero in on the postseason now, so the more matches the better, and the trip to Glendive gives us that opportunity. So I'm excited about the trip, and I'm excited to watch our kids play. They're all doing a great job right now, and the great thing is, I think we'll play even better in Glendive."

 

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