Polson girls, boys tennis teams brave elements against Whitefish, Dillon

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No. 1 POLSON DOUBLES player Olivia Hewston connects in a match with a Dillon player Saturday morning at Linderman Elementary School tennis courts. (Jason Blasco/Lake County Leader)

The Polson boys tennis team experienced something they aren’t used to in this weekends game: a shutout.

“I think the one thing that is interesting is Matt Sitter isn’t playing right now because of a knee situation and we had enough kids to play with them,” Pirates Coach Bob Hislop said. “We had some kids that weren’t playing well. We had a No. 1 doubles tie-breaker and we lost 11-9 in the third set tie-breaker. Colin lost 9-7 in the third set tie-breaker and those are the matches that matter when you get to Divisionals and state.”

Hislop said one of his top doubles tandem, Jaron Morgan and Cadis Chowning, struggled to play up to their normal capabilities.

“Jaron and Cadis had their worst first sets of the year and they were still right in the match,” Hislop said. “That is what the regular season in April is for because you want to get better with your play in April and learn from your mistakes.”

Hislop said he is pleased with the play of his No. 1 player Colin Kenney.

“I thought it was a fabulous day for Colin, who lost the morning match,” Hislop said. “The kid he beat was a nice player. Colin went to work and beat the heck out of him.”

In the game against Whitefish, Hislop praised the play of the doubles tandem Morgan and Johnny Moore.

“They played really well at Whitefish,” Hislop said. “Maybe they played the best match of his career, too. The last couple of years, I wanted to play singles and other teams. We are pretty loaded up and we felt our best shot was to have him play doubles with the seniors. He had big-time success until he got hurt. Kenney was groomed to be a singles player and the Dillon kid barely defeated him. He is a returning state placer and I think there are three or four kids that graduated. Colin is setting himself up to be a state contender. He will have a pretty good chance to have a trophy but in order to do that, (in state) you have to have a pretty good weekend.”

Short-handed Lady Pirates struggle against Dillon, Whitefish

The Lady Pirates competed against Dillon and Whitefish this week short-handed, according to Hislop.

“We had it rough to compete in those because we had three varsity girls gone and we have a little bit better players than some of the kids that we used,” Hislop said.

Hislop said he was “pleased” at the doubles play of Olivia Hewston and Kyler Lundeen.

“They are as good as any of the teams that I’ve seen us play,” Hislop said. “Both kids are very driven in many areas in life.”

In a similar situation to the boys team, the girls are also blessed with a top No. 1 player, according to Hislop.

The Lady Pirates No. 1 Cassie Carlyle continues to emerge as one of the top contributors.

“She had an amazing day and she is working through a lot of little things,” Hislop said. “The Dillon girls finished as the Southern Divisional Champs last year. Cassie isn’t afraid of working. She gets on her opponents and tries to stay on them.”

The Pirates and Lady Pirates will travel to Columbia Falls on Thursday and they will play in the Cut Bank Invitational this week.

“There will be teams from Cut Bank, Troy, Libby, Whitefish, Havre, and Lewistown,” Hislop said. “It’s good stuff and a very nice way to give kids a little jolt.”

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