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Boys tennis switches lineup in Libby Invite

by WHITNEY ENGLAND
Whitefish Pilot | April 27, 2022 1:00 AM

The Bulldog boys tennis team switched some of its players from doubles to singles, and vice versa, at the Libby Invitational on Saturday.

The results were good as the new combinations worked well for Whitefish. The team will continue to try different combinations before deciding on the final lineup for postseason play in late May.

In Libby, though the tournament was incomplete due to a storm blowing in Saturday evening, Whitefish played well. Bulldog boys coach Chris Schwaderer said prior to the storm, the weather cooperated for several matches to get Whitefish’s competitiveness flowing.

“It was a great tournament. We had some really nice weather which has been a treat,” he said.

A huge change the coach made was to pull senior Aaron Dicks from doubles and see how he played in a singles match. Dicks was comfortable in that role and moved through the No.1 and 2 singles bracket. He was in a back-and-forth match with Polson’s top player when the tournament was called off.

“The big experiment was taking Aaron Dicks and putting him in at singles,” Schwaderer said. “I think he’s kind of an all-around player who can really thrive at either position, but he wanted a chance.”

“It was really encouraging,” the coach added. “He looked really comfortable out there and was able to make that transition from doubles to singles.”

Another highlight was Bulldog senior Joe Brandt who pulled himself out of a small funk and performed well in Libby. Schwaderer said it was great to see him regain his confidence; he looked comfortable and confident in his shots.

“It was fun to see him make a comeback and look a little more comfortable,” Schwaderer said.

At doubles, after breaking up the No. 1 team of Dicks and Highland Lee-French, Schwaderer says he found another great combination by pairing Fin Stagg with Lee-French. The team was making their way through the draw when the matches were prematurely ended.

The team of Stagg and Lee-French beat a top Polson doubles team in three sets in the tournament.

The Whitefish boys have a busy week ahead, with matches at FVCC, Hamilton and Corvallis. On Friday the Bulldogs play a double dual match in Hamilton and Corvallis, then on Saturday, they will compete against several Southwest A teams in the Bitterroot Invitational.

The boys hit the court first though on Thursday against Flathead High School at FVCC. Start time is 1 p.m.