After three strong wins last week for the Bulldogs, it’s tournament time.
Whitefish coasted through duals against Polson, Hamilton and Corvallis last week to wrap up the regular season 15-3 overall and perfect in Northwest A conference play.
Brendan Buls went 2-1 at the No. 1 singles spot, defeating his Polson and Hamilton opponents but falling to Corvallis’ Caleb Warnken, another top singles player from the west side of the state.
Warnken took down Buls 6-3, 6-1.
Jayce Cripe and Carver Gilman, No. 2 and 3 singles, both went undefeated on the weekend.
The doubles team of Colter Upton and Mark Anderson also held their own to go 3-0.
Head coach Chris Schwaderer said he’s been impressed with the consistency and composure his guys have shown all season.
“Most years it seems that we have like one letdown match per year where people just aren’t maybe as sharp as they want to be. I just feel that so far this team has been really focused and really on top of things. I haven’t really noticed any slips,” he said. “I think the team is excited, they’re sharp right now and their head is in the game, and that’s big.”
This week it’s on to the Northwest A Divisional Tournament, which runs on Thursday and Friday at Flathead Valley Community College.
The following week the Dogs will host the State Tournament at the FVCC courts.
Right now weather is the primary concern for divisionals, as forecasts show potential for rain both days.
Rescheduling is difficult with state next week and AP testing this week, but worst-case scenario options include moving matches indoors at The Summit and extending the tournament by a day.
“It doesn’t look good,” Schwaderer said. “It looks like Thursday and Friday could be stormy and wet.”
Regardless of how the weather goes, he said his team is ready to compete.
Schwaderer says he feels good about his No. 1 singles and doubles, Buls and Upton/Anderson, and he thinks his team can hold his ground in the middle of the pack.
“I think those guys definitely go in as a strong No. 1 seed,” he said. “There’s a lot of matchups in the middle that are going to be crucial. How our No. 2 and 3 singles do, Jayce [Cripe] and Carver [Gilman,] those guys need to have a good tournament, and it’s going to be a real good opportunity to show what they’ve got.”
“I just think with the personnel we got, we have kids that are good at handling pressure and staying focus. We’ve got some multi-sport athletes, kids that are accustomed to competing and kids that compete at high levels in other sports.”
Whitefish 5, Polson 2
SINGLES — Whitefish Brendan Buls, W, def. Joe McDonald, 6-1. 6-1; Jayce Cripe, W, def. Colby Devlin, 6-2, 6-1; Carver Gilman, W, def. Makauly Morrison, 6-3, 6-3; Matt Hobbs, P, def. Highland Lee-French, 6-2, 6-1
DOUBLES — Mark Anderson/Colter Upton, W, def. Anton Lefthand/Trevor Schultz, 6-2, 7-5; Kendall Forman-Webster/Bridger Wenzel, P, def. Joe Brandt/Aaron Dicks, 6-3, 7-6 (4); Jackson Carson/Pierce Janssen, W, def. Michael Smith/Tai Schriver, 1-6, 7-5, 7-6 (2)
Whitefish 7, Hamilton 0
SINGLES — Brendan Buls, W, def. Sam Toenjes, 6-0, 6-0; Jayce Cripe, W, def. Bodie Hansen, 6-1, 6-0; Carver Gilman, W, def. Ryan Jordan, 6-3, 6-1; Highland Lee-French, W, won by forfeit.
DOUBLES — Colter Upton/Mark Anderson, W, def. Ryan Craig/Drew Lehtola, 6-0, 6-1; Joe Brandt/Aaron Dicks, W, def. Kyle Guisinger/Cooper Gurney, 6-0, 6-0; Pierce Janssen/Jackson Carson, W, won by forfeit
Whitefish 5, Corvallis 2
SINGLES — Caleb Warnken, C, def. Brendan Buls, 6-3, 6-1; Jayce Cripe, W, def. Aubrey Potier, 6-4, 7-5; Carver Gilman, W, def. Matt Powell, 6-3, 7-6 (3); Ethan Gager, C, def. Highland Lee-French, 6-0, 6-0,
DOUBLES — Colter Upton/Mark Anderson, W, def. Jaymark Liedle/Ryan Hubbard, 6-3, 6-2; Aaron Dicks/Joe Brandt, W, def. Jason Bay/Nicola Lotto 2-6, 5-4 (forfeit due to injury); Pierce Janssen/Jackson Carson, W, def. Marshall Fehr/Cody Hestridge, 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (5).