BILLINGS – The Corvallis girls are at the front of the pack in the race for this year’s State A tennis championship, but the Blue Devils have plenty of company.
Corvallis is tied for first with Hardin and Billings Central in its hunt for a second straight team title after the first day of competition Thursday. All three have 11 points.
Corvallis singles standout Laramie McHugh won two matches on the first day of competition to advance through to the semifinals. She swept Destiny Strutzel of Anaconda, 6-0, 6-0, and had a similarly one-sided contest in the second round. McHugh downed Alice Cai of Hardin, 6-1, 6-1.
McHugh, who is undefeated this season and finished third a year ago, marks the only Blue Devil still alive on the championship track, though. Roxy Rademacher fell to Emily Getts of Columbia Falls in the second round, 6-1, 6-0. The teams of Dakota Vacarro/Miriam Montgomery and Emma Decker/Annie Sangster both lost in the second round. Like Rademacher, the latter doubles pair won their first consolation match.
The Hardin girls had two singles players reach the second round before taking losses and the doubles team of Hannah Ware/Katie McCleary is still alive after two rounds in that bracket.
Central has Barclay Fagg and Casey Tehle/Becca Shipp still seeking championships in singles and doubles, respectively.
Whitefish, which is fifth after Day 1, still has a doubles team in the running, too. Caroline Carbo and Heather Luedtke knocked off Decker/Sangster in the second round.
The Corvallis boys are in their own tie, knotted with Glendive and Havre for second behind Billings Central with nine points.
DJ Pekoc is on to Friday’s semifinals for the Blue Devils after beating John Potenberg of Livingston, 6-0, 6-2, but he’ll have to contend with two-time State A singles champ Dillon Meyer of Central. On the other side of the bracket, unbeaten Brady Hislop of Polson will play in the other semifinal after beating Corvallis’ Alma Powell , 6-4, 6-2, in a second-rounder.
Polson is sixth with seven points.
No area teams advanced through the second round of the doubles tournament. Central has two duos headed for the semis along with Meyer.
State A Tennis
Team scores – Hardin 11, Corvallis 11, Billings Central 11, Livingston 9, Whitefish 6, Columbia Falls 4, Havre 4, Anaconda 3, Polson 3, Glendive 2.
First round – Barclay Fagg, BC, def. Shannon Oakley, Pol, 6-1, 6-0; Michelle Ouellette, Liv, def. Amber Wissenbach, Cor, 7-5, 6-1; Roxy Rademacher, Cor, def. Tatiana Ralph, Hav, 6-2, 6-0; Emily Getts, CF, def. Annie Hill, Gle, 6-1, 6-0; Brandy Lambourne, Hav, def. Allison Enzler, Ste, 6-2, 6-3; Chrissy Weibert, Har, def. Shawna Oakley, Pol, 6-3, 6-2; Alice Cai, Har, def. Sloan Ellis, Whi, 6-3, 6-4; Laramie McHugh, Cor, def. Destiny Strutzel, Ana, 6-0, 6-0.
Second round – Fagg, BC, def. Ouellette, Liv, 6-2, 6-1; Getts, CF, def. Rademacher, Cor, 6-3, 6-0; Lambourne, Hav, def. Weibert, Har, 7-5, 6-3; McHugh, Cor, def. Cai, Har, 6-1, 6-1.
First round – Hannah Ware/Katie McCleary, Har, def. Kodi Ferris/Rachel Nye, Dil, 6-1, 6-0; Ashley Johnson/Dallas Salle, Ana, def. Carly Rochin/Marlee Congdon, 7-5, 6-3; Caroline Carbo/Heather Luedtke, Whi, def.Ellery Bresler/Breck Don, Hav, 6-3, 7-5; Emma Decker/Annie Sangster, Cor, def. Savannah Green/CiCi Three Irons, Har, 6-2, 6-1; Tegan Lane/Lindsay Lane, Liv, def. Molly Beth Hendrix/Taylor Rost, Pol, 6-4, 7-6 (1); Sarina Aamold/Molly Putnam, BC, def. Holly Hansen/Taryn Judge, Dil, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5; Casey Tehle/Becca Shipp, BC, def. Dakota Vacarro/Miriam Montgomery, Cor, 6-2, 6-2; Mariel Kelley/Emilee Coleman, Liv, def. McKenzie Wick/Anna Peterson, Whi, 6-0, 6-3.
Second round – Ware/McCleary, Har, def. Johnson/Salle, Ana, 6-3, 6-0; Carbo/Luedtke, Whi, def. Decker/Sangster, Cor, 6-3, 6-4 Lane/Lane, Liv, def. Aamold/Putnam, BC, 6-3, 6-4; Tehle/Shipp, BC, def. Kelley/Coleman, Liv, 1-6, 6-2, 6-4.
Team scores – Billings Central 12, Glendive 9, Corvallis 9, Havre 9, Havre 8, Polson 7, Livingston 4, Whitefish 3, Libby 3, Columbia Falls 3, Stevensville 3, Anaconda 2.
First round – Dillon Meyer, BC, def. Mark Waldrup, Dil, 6-1, 6-2; Carsen Boynton, Ana, def. Holden Roberts, Whi, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4; John Potenberg, Liv, def. def. Gavin Thelen, CF, 6-3, 6-1; D.J. Pekoc, Cor, def. Jory Opp, Gle, 6-2, 6-0; Brady Hislop, Pol, def. Noble Vance, Liv, 6-1, 6-4; Alma Powell, Cor, def. Nathan Sickler, Gle, 6-1, 6-0; Hadyn Pettersen, Gle, def. Curtis Liston, Ste, 6-2, 6-4; Jeff Miller, Hav, def. Quaid Harlan, 6-2, 6-0.
Second round – Meyer, BC, def. Boynton, Ana, 6-0, 6-0; Pekoc, Cor, def. Potenberg, Liv, 6-0, 6-2; Hislop, Pol, def. Powell, Cor, 6-4, 6-2; Miller, Hav, def. Pettersen, Gle, 6-1, 6-1.
First round – John Knisely/Harrison Fagg, BC, def. Wyatt Lindbloom/Noah Landgraf, Hav, 6-1, 6-2; Logan Blades/Nathan Fauth, Whi, def. Lars Larson/Walker Weber, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-1; Jason Schnackenberg/Cody Wood, Lib, def. Porter Jessop/Shade Jessop, Cor, 6-7 (3), 6-1, 7-6 (4); Ned Malone/Brian Smith, Hav, def. Nolan Trafton/Zach Schermerhorn, BC, 6-2, 7-5; Mason Gedlamann/Caleb Baumann, CF, def. Kale Guldseth/Tyler Trudnowski, Butte Central, 6-1, 6-2; Dennis Berg/Gavin McPherson, Gle, def. Zach Hould/Bryson Behl, Lewistown, 6-3, 6-3; Tommy Pankratz/Jake Newbury, BC, def. Dennis Stanberry/Jackson Wagner, Ana, 6-1, 6-1; Dylan McCrumb/Layne Zimmerman, Pol, def. Colton Belcourt/Joseph Fecteau, Ste, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Second round – Knisely/Fagg, BC, def. Blades/Fauth, Whi, 6-1, 6-0; Malone/Smith, Gle, def. Schnackenberg/Wood, Lib, 6-3, 6-2; Berg/McPherson, Gle, def. Gedlamann/Baumann, CF, 6-1, 7-5; Pankratz/Newbury, BC, def. McCrumb/Zimmerman, Pol, 6-7 (6), 6-1, 6-3