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Blue Pony netters geared up for Northeast A matches

 

Last updated 4/23/2021 at 9:04am

Colin Thompson

Rayna Johnson and the Havre High tennis teams are set to play all of their Northeast A rivals at the Lewistown Invitational Saturday.

By Havre Daily Staff

The Havre High tennis teams are more than halfway into their 2021 season. And, according to head coach George Ferguson, they’ve reached a critical juncture.

“We’re progressing,” Ferguson said. “We now have a lot of practice time and matches under our belt. So we’ve reached the point where we should start taking some pretty big steps forward. Our kids are doing a great job and now it’s time to take that next leap.”

The Ponies will get that chance in what Ferguson also calls the biggest meet of the year thus far — Saturday’s Lewistown Invitational. Weather permitting, the Blue Ponies will dual all three Northeast A opponents in Lewistown, Glendive and Miles City.

“Our season is all about making progress, about getting better and building for the postseason,” Ferguson said. “And this weekend will be no different. But these duals are also used to seed our divisional tournament, so obviously, for a lot of our kids, the matches do carry some weight. Still, to me, the most important thing is making progress. Playing better tennis than we did last week. That’s my number one objective.”

And if Havre can play better than it did in Cut Bank and Whitefish last weekend, the Ponies will be successful because they played quite well on the road.

The HHS boys went 3-1 in duals last weekend, and the tandem of Josh Warp and Trenton Maloughney are still undefeated, while junior Josh Currie continues his impressive run at No. 1 singles. However, while Ferguson knows what he has at the top of his boys lineup, he’s looking at many of his younger players to make big strides.

“A lot of new varsity players this year,” he said. “And in practice, those guys are hitting really well. Now, they just need to continue to bring it to the matches. It’s hard at first, but they are doing it. They just need to do it with a little more consistency.”

Havre’s boys lineup this weekend also includes Jared Rosgaard, Carter Spangler and Gavin Hall in singles, as well as Theron Peterson, Caleb Spangler, Conner McKay and Collin Miller in doubles.

While the Pony boys are young, Havre’s girls are even more so. The doubles teams of Talia Ralph and Grace Crantz and McKenzie Mangold and Destiny Hernandez are Havre’s veteran players, but after that, the Ponies’ lineup, which consists of Rayna Johnson, Kaylee Torgerson, Kate Hemmer, Mylee Schennum, Chloe Bricker and Courtney Burchard are all newcomers to varsity tennis.

Still, Ferguson said his girls team has come along way since March, and he only expects them to get better.

“Our girls have already learned so much,” Ferguson said. “They are working hard, they are starting to really turn a corner in practice. It’s tough because our schedule doesn’t make it easy on a young team like we have, but they’re learning under fire, and that’s not a bad thing.

“We just need to keep playing,” he added. “Both our teams are working very hard in practice. They’re dealing with a lot of bad weather and just the fact that we really push them. So they’re doing great, and I’m proud of all of them. They just need to keep gaining match experience.”

Havre will play Lewistown, Glendive and Miles City Saturday at the Lewistown Invitational.

 
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