In its first duals as a Class AA program, Belgrade’s tennis teams each notched victories Saturday at the Anderson Tennis Courts.
The boys swept all four singles matches en route to defeating Missoula Sentinel 6-2 to begin the season, and then beat Missoula Hellgate 5-3 later in the day.
The girls only competed against Sentinel and won 5-2.
It was the first competition for the program in nearly two years following the cancelation of the 2020 campaign, and conditions couldn’t have been better with players enjoying plenty of sunshine and temperatures in the 70s.
“Everyone was just excited and nervous. They were all ready to go for sure,” Panthers head coach Justin Arndt said. “Even the coaches were (excited). It was just so nice to be back out there by the courts.”
Belgrade’s boys did not lose a singles match on the day. Dawson Brooks, Coulter Thorn, Quinn Gannon, and Jarek Carlson won at No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, and No. 4, respectively.
While Brooks and Carlson won in straight sets against Sentinel, Thorn and Gannon needed tie-breakers to emerge victorious. Thorn posted a 7-6, 6-2 (7-2) win against Nathan Zimmerman and Gannon rallied to defeat Jason Firtn 3-6, 6-3 (10-8). Thorn also won in three sets against Hellgate’s Sebastian Silverston, 5-7, 6-1, 11-9.
“It was great to see our top players playing right along with their top players,” said Arndt. “So that was fun to see for sure.”
Scott Poppe and Eric Lee were the only doubles team to win twice on the day. They won tie-breakers in both matches at No. 1 doubles.
The tandem of Dalton Mattson and JD Hoppe won a tie-breaker at No. 1 doubles against Sentinel’s Andrew Hauser and Maiden Crews 7-5, 6-7 (2-7), 10-5. Arndt noted they “buckled down” to win the match.
“They deserved it too,” he said. “They did very well and they pulled it together when they needed to.”
On the girls side, Bella Anderson and Alexa Dryer notched victories at No. 1 and No. 2 singles, respectively. Anderson defeated Sentinel’s Mia McLennen 6-2, 6-2, while Dryer beat Jayden Johnson 6-4, 6-1.
“Both Bella, at number one singles, and Alexa were quite evenly matched with their Sentinel counterpart,” said Arndt. “They fought hard and did well to get those wins.”
Belgrade’s other three victories were in doubles action. Alianza Zwang and Taylor Thomas needed a tie-breaker to win their match at No. 2 doubles, while Halle Tolley and Payton Mancoronal won in straight sets at No. 3 doubles and Talia Gilpin and Shae McCauley at No. 4.
“Both of the teams, both Sentinel and Hellgate, they’re evenly matched with us as well, which was great to see,” said Arndt. “Especially since this is our first official year in double A, it was great to see that our players are pretty evenly matched with them.”
Belgrade returns to action Saturday with duals against Billings Skyview and Billings West in Billings.
“There’s a lot of poise and maturity even with some of the younger kids,” said Arndt. “There was a lot of good confidence out there and it was great to see because they deserve it. They’ve worked hard, they’ve work hard over the past few years.”
Belgrade 6, Missoula Sentinel 2
Dawson Brooks, Bel, def. Noah Nelson, MS, 6-4, 6-1.
Coulter Thorn, Bel, def. Nathan Zimmermann, MS, 7-6 (7-2), 6-2.
Quinn Gannon, Bel, def. Jason Firtn, MS, 3-6, 6-3 (10-8).
Jarek Carlson, Bel, def. Finley Warder, MS, 6-3, 6-4.
Dalton Mattson/JD Hoppe, Bel, def. Andrew Hauser/Maiden Crews, MS, 7-5, 6-7 (2-7), 10-5).
Scott Poppe/Eric Lee, Bel, def. Kiefer Lorenzen/Sam Phillips, MS, 5-76-3 (15-13).
Jacob Bishop/Martin Henrey, MS, def. Caleb Bergstrom/Andrew Simon, Bel, 6-1, 6-3.
Luke Olson/Hudson Tauver, MS, def. Cayden Gorrell/Kaden Jensen, Bel, 6-1, 6-1.
Belgrade 5, Missoula Hellgate 3
Dawson Brooks, Bel, def. Ethan Schroecker, MH, 3-6, 6-3 (1-8).
Coulter Thorn, Bel, def. Sebastian Silverston, MH, 5-7, 6-1 (11-9).
Quinn Gannon, Bel, def. Bryson Jay, MH, 6-3, 6-4.
Jarek Carlson, Bel, def. Liam Vetter, MH, 6-3, 7-5.
Chris Ledyard/Colton Quirk, MH, def. Dalton Mattson/JD Hoppe, Bel, 6-1, 6-1.
Scott Poppe/Eric Lee, Bel, def. Griffin Richlen/Zach Johnson, MH, 6-4, 2-7 (10-8).
Quinn Hagen/Rohan Fortunafi, MH, def. Caleb Bergstrom/Andrew Simon, Bel, 6-1, 6-0.
River Folkins/Mile Schroeden, MH, def. Kaden Jensen/Kody Jensen, Bel, 6-0, 6-2.
Belgrade 5, Missoula Sentinel 2
Bella Anderson, Bel, def. Mia McLennen, MS, 6-2, 6-2.
Alexa Dryer, Bel, def. Jayden Johnson, MS, 6-4, 6-1.
Grace Hurteau, MS, def. Riley McMahon, Bel, 6-1, 6-2.
Malone Ingram/Brooke Stanley, MS, def. Fiona Collins/Ava Wagner, Bel, 4-6, 6-2 (10-8).
Alianza Zwang/Taylor Thomas, Bel, def. Anisa Spaulding/Marina Kashirels, MS, 6-1, 7-6 (7-0).
Halle Tolley/Payton Mancronal, Bel, def. Opel Murray/Brynn Begleu, MS, 6-1, 6-0.
Talia Gilpin/Shae McCauley, Bel, def. Ryan Mowell/Megan Prentice, MS, 6-2, 6-3.