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Whitefish boys finish third at state tennis

by BRANDON HANSEN For the Pilot
| May 29, 2024 12:00 AM

The Whitefish boys placed third and the girls placed seventh at the MHSA State A Tennis Championships at Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell on May 23-24.

On the boys side, Whitefish’s double squad of Mason Kelch and Dane Hunt placed third. They defeated their first-round foe 6-3, 6-0 and then downed Park’s Houston Dunn and Logan Jergenson 6-2, 6-2. 

After falling in the semifinals, the moved to the consolation bracket where they defeated Polson’s Otto Lund and Tate Barentsen 6-1, 6-1. In the third place match, Kelch and Hunt handed Hardin’s Derek Blankenship and William Noteboom a 6-3, 6-3 defeat. 

Playing singles, Jack Oehelrich, bounced back from a first-round loss to place sixth. He defeated Miles City’s Kordt Smith 7-5, 6-2 and then Jake Larson, also of Miles City, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3. 

Oehelrich downed Ronan’s Beay Decker 1-6, 6-1, 6-4 to advance to the fifth-place match where he fell to Hardin’s Jameson Noteboom 6-1, 6-7(2), 6-4. 

On the girls side, the doubles team of Maggie Mercer and Ainsley Scott won their first-round matchup against Ferus’ Lexi Breidenbach and Lauren Plagenz 6-3, 6-4. Mercer and Scott lost their second-round match but bounced back in the consolation bracket with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Hamilton’s Codie Clarke and Charlie Holmes. 

At the same time, the Whitefish doubles team of Camry Kelch and Zoey Marzo had won their first-round matchup against Miles City’s Stella Rapson and Maggie Morris 6-3, 4-6, 6-3. After losing their second-round matchup, they bounced back with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Hamilton’s Emma Hollingsworth and Gwen Wolfe. 

That matched Kelch and Marzo vs. Mercer and Scott in the consolation quarterfinals. Mercer and Scott won in a battle 8-6, 5-7, 6-1 but fell in the next matchup to move to the fifth place game.

In the fifth-place game, Mercer and Scott lost to Miles City’s Clea Rapson and Brylee Hager 7-5, 6-4. 

Singles players Alivia Lusko and Liesl Brust each suffered first-round defeats but bounced back. In the consolation bracket, Lusko defeated Dawson County’s Millia Lucido 6-1, 7-5 and then Columbia Falls’ Lexi Oberholtzer 7-5, 6-1 before bowing out of the tournament.

Brust defeated Ferus’ Skylar Ruttan 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in the consolation bracket before exiting the tournament.

    Whitefish Bulldog duo Maggie Mercer and Ainsley Scott brought home sixth in the girls doubles competition. (Kelsey Evans/Whitefish Pilot)
 
 
    Whitefish's Maggie Mercer hits a return in a girls doubles match with teammate Ainsley Scott against Lewistown's Lexi Breidenbach and Lauren Plagenz at the Class A State Tennis Tournament at FVCC on Thursday, May 13. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)
 
 


    Whitefish's Alivia Lusko hits a return in a girls singles match against Hamilton's Tallulah Pinjuv at the Class A State Tennis Tournament at Logan Health Medical Fitness Center on Thursday, May 13. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)
 
 
    In the boys doubles state tournament, Whitefish’s Mason Kelch and Dane Hunt grabbed a victory in the third place match after dropping their semifinal to the eventual champions from Billings Central. (Kelsey Evans/Whitefish Pilot)