Blue Devil Tennis – building a powerhouse
Corvallis is becoming known as a powerhouse when it comes to tennis. With three consecutive state championships for the boys, the team is looking tough already. And when veteran coach Chris Maul-Smith says this year is a ‘year of opportunity’ for his boys team, the rest of the state shudders.
Maul-Smith has 18 boys out for tennis this year. He said they are a committed group of players who work hard and help each other out. Anchored by Bridger Walczynski, who has won the state doubles championship the last three years with three different partners, the team has experience and the exuberance of youth. Walczynski first won the double championship as a freshman with partner Mitchell Decker. He won again as a sophomore with Cody Lengyel. Last year he picked up freshman DJ Pekoc and the two continued the streak. He and Pekoc will be the ones to beat this year as well.
Maul-Smith is fortunate to have players that will push each other at every position. With Alma Powell and Shade Jessop vying for the No. 1 seed at the singles position, every practice match they play against each other makes both better. Right now, Powell is holding the No. 1 position but Maul-Smith said that may change as the season progresses.
“They’ll be playing again oft and on throughout the season mainly because that helps them stay sharp and better. They push each other,” he concluded.
Maul-Smith said with five teams now in the division, the competition is even more fierce. Dillon recently added boys’ tennis and have a team of six players.
“They will improve throughout the season because every time they go some place, they are going to be playing three or four times and get a lot of experience,” said Maul-Smith.
Corvallis is not overlooking any of the teams in their division. Maul-Smith said Stevensville may look a little green right now but thinks they will push the Blue Devils at the end of the season. He wasn’t sure about Hamilton at this point but would have a good idea after the first match, which was last night.
The Corvallis girls are coached by Mike Fehr. This is his fourth year at the helm and he, just like Maul-Smith, is excited about his team. Led by seniors Sydnee Madruga and Megan Lengyel at the No. 1 doubles position, the team is 17 strong and eager to win. The duo finished third last year at state. Last Thursday, the duo defeated a strong doubles team from Dillon, Whitney Southam and Kansas Suenram.
“The match they played was against an opponents they met four times last year including state. We felt like it was a real important match,” said Fehr.
Joining the ranks of the Blue Devil girls this year is Wisconsin transplant Larame McHugh. Although only a sophomore, McHugh is a United States Tennis tournament circuit and Fehr says “she’s the real deal. She’s a fabulous player, a tournament tested player.”
With this kind of line up, the pressure is on the team to bring home hardware at the end of the season. Fehr says the team is ready.
Corvallis defeated Dillon on Thursday. The girls defeated Polson and the boys lost to the Pirates.
Corvallis 7, Dillon 0.
Singles – Alma Powell, Cor, def. Todd Rakich 6-0, 6-1;Shade Jessop, Cor, def. Mark Walldrup, 6-3, 6-4; Ammon Venema, Cor, def. John Bodnar 6-0, 7-5, (6); Jeremy Jessop, Cor, def. Michael Thompson, 6-1, 6-3.
Doubles – DJ Pekoc/Shade Jessop, Cor, def. Todd Rakich/Mark Walldrup 6-3 6-2; Josh Venema/Brock Fehr, Cor, def. Michael Thompson/John Bodnar, 6-4, 6-7, (7), 6-4; Paul Allsop/Jesse Knapp, Cor, def. Austin Finch/Adam Waldorf, 6-1, 6-3.
Corvallis 5, Dillon 2.
Singles – Laramie McHugh, Cor, def. Morgan Peterson, 6-0, 6-1; Janet Moore, Dil, def. Elizabeth Hennessy, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3; Keenan Moore, Cor, def. Morgan Evans, 6-1, 6-4; Lacey Allsop, Cor, def. Taylor Eighorn, 7-5, 7-5.
Doubles – Sydnee Madruga/Megan Lengyel, Cor, def. Whitney Southam/Kansas Suenram, 6-3, 6-1; Holly Hansen/Taryn Judge, Dil, def. Annie Sangster/Roxy Radamacher, 6-1, 6-4; Dakota Vaccaro/Chelsea Reichard, Cor, def. Caitlyn Feldt/Timber McQuiston, 7-5, 2-1 (retired).
Polson 4, Corvallis 3
Singles — Brady Hislop, P, def. Ammon Venema, 6-0, 6-1; Dylan McCrumb, P, def. Jeremy Jessop, 6-1, 6-1; Tyler Dupuis, P, def. Garrett Weidow, 6-0, 6-0; Brady Cheeny, C, def. Quaid Harlan, 6-3, 6-1.
Doubles — Shade Jessop and D.J. Pekoc, C, def. Layne Zimmerman and Hayden Congdon, 5-7, 7-5, 10-8; Tommy Mercer and Sam Kinzle, P, def. Brock Fehr and Josh Venema, 6-1, 6-4; Paul Allsop and Jesse Knapp, C, def. Jared Gallatin and Thomas Crosby, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2.
Corvallis 4, Polson 3
Singles — Laramie McHugh, C, def. Whitney Zimmerman, 6-3, 6-4; Shannon Oakley, P, def. Keenan Moore, 6-4, 6-3; Elizabeth Hennessy, C, def. Taylor Rost, 6-1, 6-1; Megan Lengyel, C, def. Shawna Oakley, 6-1, 6-1.
Doubles — Karly Rochin and Mollybeth Hendrix, P, def. Lacey Allsop and Chelsea Reichard, 6-1, 6-0; Libby Clay and Tegan Bauer, P, def. Dakota Vacetto and Roxy Radamacher, 6-7 (0-7), 6-4, 6-0; Aubrey Gold and Shelby Jessop, C, def. Dylan Quinn and Lauren Dupuis, 6-1, 6-4.
Butte Central 7, Stevensville 0
Singles – Derek Ralph, BC, def. Curtis Liston, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2; Northey Trethway, BC, def. Joseph Fecteau, 7-5, 6-3; Kale Guldesth, BC, def. Michael Tummarello, 6-1, 6-3; Jack Galagher, BC, def. Colton Belcourt, 6-1, 6-3.
Doubles – Jim Joyce/Frank Joyce, BC, def. Josh Schmidt/Walker Weber, 6-1, 7-5. Kolten Lamioux/Kaden Peeples, BC, def. Daniel Bradt/Michael Bradt, 6-1, 6-4; Pat Kenney/Tyler Trudnowski, BC, def. Corbin Disney/Lars Larson, 6-2, 6-4.
Stevensville 5, Butte Central 1
Singles – Mersadiez Leese, S, def. Danee Leary, 6-7, (5-7), 6-4, 6-2; LaKota Brist, S, def. Yi Chin Lee, 6-0, 6-2; Fernanda Clerici, S, def. Yi Chin Lee, 6-4, 7-6, (7-5).
Doubles – Rachel Coyle/Katelin Hancock, S, def. Sara Drew/Kara Crisculco, 6-0, 6-1; Alison Enzler/Daniele Haacke, S, def. Ali Guldseth/Kelsie Quinn, 6-1, 6-3; Sara Drew/Kara Crisculco, BC, def. Jennifer Harthan/Maddie Hebner, 5-7, 6-2, 7-6, (7-4).
Loyola Sacred Heart 5, Stevensville 2
Singles – Kalen Christiaens, LSH, def. Curtis Liston, 4-6, 6-0, 6-2; Matt Roberts, LSH, def. Joseph Fecteau, 7-5, 6-3; Nels Garnaas, LSH, def. Michael Tummarello, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2; Chris Nagata, LSH, def. Colton Belcourt, 6-3, 6-2.
Doubles – Zack Burke/Teddy Muth, LSH, def. Josh Schmidt/Walker Weber, 6-2, 6-4; Daniel Bradt/Michael Bradt, S, def. Turner Hruby/Harry Muth, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4; Corbin Disney/Lars Larson, S, def. Eric Williams/Alex Menendez, 6-1, 6-2.
Loyola Sacred Heart 5, Stevensville 2
Singles – Jocelyn Caldwell, LSH, def. Mersadiez Leese, 6-3, 6-4; LaKota Brist, Ste, def. Megan McCue, 6-3, 6-1; Olive Round, LSH, def. Alison Enzler, 6-0, 6-1; Fernanda Clerici, Ste, def. SooA Chung, 6-3, 6-4.
Doubles – Allison Sawyer/Angela Holter, LSH, def. Rachel Coyle/Katelin Hancock, 6-4, 5-7, 6-1; Shannon Eppard/Casey Cummins, LSH, def. Alison Enzler/Daniele Haacke, 6-2, 6-0; Nicole Twite/Maddie Kaleva, LSH, def. Jennifer Harthan/Maddie Hebner, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.
Darby 4, Valley Christian 1
Singles – Brianna Massey, D, def. Kaileigh Moser, 6-2, 6-4; Courage Louviere, D, def. Adrienne Newton, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (2); Alisha Wiley, VC, def. Jade Skinner, 6-3, 6-1; Breanna Brickey, D, def. Lianna Sweet, 7-5, 6-4.
Doubles – Brickey-Emily Lindquist, D, def. Kira Glidewell-Wiley, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 10-8.