Bulldogs tennis fields four in state tournament

Print Article

MISSION HIGH School tennis player Arianna Rossi delivers an offering Thursday afternoon at the Class-B Ronan tennis regionals. (Jason Blasco/Lake County Leader)

RONAN — Mission High School tennis coach Kimimi Ashley began the season with a roster filled with mostly inexperienced players.

The majority of Ashley’s team wasn’t that they were just new to the game, they were brand new with several of them never picking up a racket prior to the start of the 2017 tennis season.

All season, Ashley’s confidence didn’t waiver in her inexperienced squad. Her perseverance and her ability to shuffle rosters paid dividends when four members of her team qualified for state at the Class-B Divisionals Thursday through Saturday at Ronan High School.

The Bulldogs, Lady Bulldogs that qualified were Warren Castor, Tine Toemkoa, Beau Peterson and Elsa Kylen, who will participate at Playfair Park and the Peak Health and Wellness Club Thursday in Missoula.

The lack of experience of her players, specifically Kylen, didn’t phase Ashley.

“I knew she was going to state,” Ashley said. “I wasn’t surprised at all. I expected it. I don’t know if she expected it, but I did. She very much earned her bid.”

In the middle of the season, Ashley shuffled her lineup trying to find the right combinations of doubles teams to counteract some of her team’s weaknesses and lack of experience.

The combo of Castor and Toemkoa worked and though they’ve only been a doubles team for a couple of weeks, they have compiled an 8-1 record as a tandem.

“I am so proud of them both and this is their first year picking up a racket,” Ashley said. “Elsa had never done lessons and never competed before. This was all new stuff and her last two matches she had were not fun for her. She played so well and they’ve all played the best they’ve played all season.”

Castor, who is the only person with state experience having qualified last year as a singles player, will lead a team that doesn’t even know the magnitude of the achievement.

“Warren has been to state as a singles player but that was under a whole different realm,” Ashley said. “Tyne and Elsa don’t have a clue what the state tournament is. I am excited to see how Warren and Tyne do because they are 8-1 since they were put together a doubles team at the tournament. They haven’t come up against a next level of play or a level higher.”

Ashley said she expressed “confidence” in her team’s ability headed into the state tournament.

“I think my biggest goal for them is to not freak out,” Ashley said. “I just want them to enjoy going out there and playing tennis every day, and just having fun in what they are doing, and to not get freaked out by the status of state.”

A portion of the state tournament will be played indoors and according to Ashley that will change how players perceive things versus the outdoor courts they are mostly accustomed to playing.

“In an indoor court, it is a lot more confined and it’s just a different atmosphere,” Ashley said. “The lighting is different and it adds to the game. That really adds to the enormity of the event. That is where you are and there are mind games there too.”

Print Article

Read More

Pirates capture District title, get ready for showdown with Frenchtown

February 23, 2018 at 7:04 pm | Lake County Leader RONAN –Polson High School boys basketball coach Randy Kelley approached the Class A Northwestern District like a Divisional Tournament. Kelley knew with the expansion of the teams for 2017-2018, the...

Comments

Read More

Scarlets survive challenge scare with Lady Tigers to punch their ticket to divisionals

February 23, 2018 at 7:03 pm | Lake County Leader The Arlee Scarlets didn’t earn their bid to Divisionals the way they had envisioned but at the conclusion of the Western 14-C District Tournament, they eventually ended up wit the desired result...

Comments

Read More

Lady Vikings return to divisionals

February 23, 2018 at 7:03 pm | Lake County Leader PABLO – The Charlo Lady Vikings punched their ticket to the Class C Divisionals for the first time since 2011 with clutch victories over Arlee and St. Regis to capture the District Championship tit...

Comments

Read More

Flourishing Chiefs hope to carry momentum into Divisionals against Dillon

February 23, 2018 at 7:02 pm | Lake County Leader Two weeks ago the Ronan Chiefs were far from the flourishing team they transformed into during the Class A Northwest District Tournament. The Chiefs couldn’t have envisioned finishing second and kno...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 883-4343
PO BOX 1090
Polson, MT 59860

©2018 Lake County Leader Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X