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One boy, four girls qualify for state A tennis
In a rebuilding year for the program, the Dillon tennis team still boasted a strong enough foundation to elevate five of its players out of last weekend’s Southwestern A Divisional Tournament in the Bitterroot Valley to the State A Tournament, starting tomorrow in Billings.
With his fourth-place finish in boys singles competition in Hamilton last weekend, Mark Waldrup became the first BCHS boy to ever earn a spot in the State A Tournament.
“When Mark came off court, I said to all the parents and all the kids: this is like our first-born son, our first boy to go to the State Tournament in tennis,” recalled Dillon Tennis Head Coach Lois Woodard, who helped get the BCHS boys varsity program up and running just last year.
Waldrup will be accompanied to Billings by the Beavers top two girls doubles teams—Taryn Judge & Holly Hansen and Rachael Nye & Kodi Ferris.
“We are thrilled to get both our girls no. 1 and no. 2 doubles teams to the State Tournament,” said Woodard, who last year also helped guide Judge and Hansen to the State A Tournament.
“We were sure Taryn and Holly would make it,” commented Woodard of her senior duo, who lost just 5 games while winning 6 sets and 3 matches at the Divisional Tournament before falling to the #1 seeded team of Emma Decker and Annie Sangster, of Corvallis.
“But to also have our no. 2 doubles girls team qualify for State is really great. Rachael and Kodi are just sophomores, so it’s pretty amazing they made it. They were real diggers at the Divisional Tournament and got a lot further in the main draw than anyone expected them to,” added Woodard, who saw her Beaver girls take second place as a team at the Divisional Tournament.
Nye and Ferris won two matches in Corvallis before falling in the front-draw semifinals to eventual champs Decker and Sangerster.
Entering the back draw, they were forced to play Dillon teammates and fellow sophomores Jennifer Womack and Nicole Thompson to reach the consolation final and guarantee a top-four finish, along with a berth in the State Tournament.
“Both teams played the best I’ve seen them play all season, but that was really tough for our girls no. 2 and no. 3 double teams having to play each other for a spot at State,” said Woodard of the match, which Nye & Ferris won, 6-3, 6-4.
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