Rangers stay hot to start the tennis season


By Thomas E. Watson
Enterprise Staff Writer


The high school tennis season is now in full swing, and the Park High Rangers played twice this week — a tri-meet Tuesday in Dillon, as well as their first home matches of the season Thursday against Whitehall and Townsend.

The Rangers faced both Dillon and Stevensville at Tuesday’s tri-meet and, while the girls’ team beat Stevensville 6-1 for its third-straight win to start the season, it suffered its first loss of the season against Dillon.

The girls rebounded with wins over both Townsend and Whitehall on Thursday, despite being without No. 1 singles player Emilee Coleman, who was on a college visit.

Coleman remained undefeated for the season on Tuesday, beating Stevensville’s Jackie Westman 6-2, 6-1. Then she earned Park’s only win over Dillon. Coleman topped Mariah McClure 6-1, 6-1.

Against Stevensville, the Park girls won all of their singles matches. Along with Coleman, Eliza Boyd, Reagan Smith and Nacoya Madden all won in straight sets as Park’s Nos. 2-4 singles players, respectively.

The No. 1 doubles team of Lindsay Lane and Sophie Badten topped Stevensville’s Allison Enzler and Danielle Haacke 6-3, 6-3. However, the duo lost their first match of the season against Dillon, 6-4, 7-5.

Park’s final victory over Stevensville came from the No. 3 doubles team of Cierra Villa and Stormy Knerr, who won 6-1, 6-1.

On Thursday, the girls beat both Townsend and Whitehall 5-2, even without Coleman. Katherine Kant moved up from JV to take over the No. 4 singles spot and won both of her varsity matches.

Meanwhile, the boys fell to Stevensville in a tough battle, losing 4-3. Head coach Kandy Chain said the boys played hard in singles and dominated in doubles.

In fact, the boys won all three doubles matches against Stevensville, starting with the No. 1 team of Karl Molina and Jakim Ricketts, who won 6-4, 6-1.

Ben Engbers and Jordan Lehrer made up the No. 2 team, and they won 6-2, 6-3. Finally, the team of Ethan Johnson and David Noble won 6-4, 7-6 (7-3).

“Karl Molina and Jakim Ricketts played together for the first time,” said Chain. “They played great at the net and set each other up for many put-aways. Ben Engbers and Jordan Lehrer showed off their leaping basketball skills by powering through their opponents.”

In singles competition, Mitch Froelich nearly completed a big comeback after losing his first set, but lost the tiebreaker 7-5.

The boys did not play on Thursday, and both teams will be off this weekend. They will get back on the court Monday, with the boys traveling to Bozeman and the girls hosting Bozeman at 12:30 p.m.