The Butte High girls doubles tennis team of Aidan Amtmann and Kaitlyn Vetter helped spoil a state berth sweep from Bozeman and lifted the Bulldogs into second place in the team standings by placing fourth at the Southern AA divisional tennis tournament in Bozeman on Friday afternoon.
The pair advanced into the consolation final with a thrilling 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 victory over Helena High’s Alicia Norling and Dani Norling, before falling to Bozeman’s Kyla Ryan and Jessica Simkins 6-1, 6-4 with a ticket to state already in their hands. They earlier fell to eventual champions Zoe Lindgren and Madi Pederson of Bozeman 6-0, 6-0 in the championship semifinals.
“They were down 2-5 in that first set against Helena and fought back to win,” Butte High head coach Mavis Bentley said of Amtmann and Vetter. “Helena took it to three sets, but that is the best they’ve played all year long in their last three matches today. They’re playing well together as a team, they were aggressive at the net and they were placing their shots well.
“I’m glad to see they’re peaking at the right time.”
The pair previously made a trip to the 2012 state AA tournament, and will head back to the event in Great Falls on Thursday and Friday. The matchups and schedule are expected to be released on either Monday or Tuesday, Bentley said.
“They’re very excited, and it’s a great big relief having that pressure lifted off their shoulders after going (to state) last year,” Bentley said. “They’ve felt that pressure all year long, and they’re excited to see what they can do.”
The pair helped the Butte High girls finish with 15 team points, edging out Helena by just two points for second place.
The Bozeman girls, champions with a whopping 68 points, will send seven of eight entries to the state tournament. This is the fourth year in a row at least six Hawk girls entries are going, and third since 2010 that Bozeman has swept a bracket.
The Hawks swept the girls singles bracket, with Christine Olivo defeating teammate Madi Shea 6-0, 6-1 for the divisional title. The Hawks’ Lindgren and Pederson also defeated teammates Sophie Allen and Renae Ockford 2-6, 6-1, 6-1 for the doubles title.
The Bozeman boys’ 48 points were eight better than Helena for their team title, while Butte finished third.
Helena’s Layne Ryerson defeated teammate Sam Anderson 6-1, 6-1 for the singles title. Bozeman’s Andrew Hance and Robbie Pike held off teammates Oliver Carr and Colton Litle 6-0, 3-6, 6-4 in the doubles championship.
Butte girls singles player Ali Dean edged past Helena’s Madi Sherting in her morning consolation quarterfinal 7-5, 6-4 before falling just one match short of a state berth. She fell to Bozeman’s Lane O’Donnell 6-3, 6-1 in the consolation semis.
Also falling a match short for the Butte girls was the doubles team of Sierra McGinnis and McCall Ori, who opened the day with a 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 victory over Helena’s Shelby Pugh and Jenna Starke. The pair dropped their consolation semis match to Bozeman’s Kyla Ryan and Jessica Simkins 6-0, 6-2.
“Sierra and McCall had a long battle with the same team they played yesterday, and won in three sets for a second time,” Bentley said. “After that, the loss to Bozeman was a heartbreaker.”
Molly Nelson lost out in her morning opener 6-0, 6-3 to Bozeman’s Leo Barton.
Both Butte boys doubles teams lost out in the consolation quarterfinals. Kody Lane and Tucker Reilly fell to Bozeman’s Jacob Lounder and Conner Martin in a hard-fought 7-5, 6-4 battle, while Levon Mullaney and David Starcevich were eliminated by Helena’s Hans Harris and Nick Thompson 6-0, 6-0.
“Kody and Tucker started out slow and just couldn’t recover,” Bentley said. “They played better in the second half of the first set and in the second set, but it was just too big of a hole to come out of.”
Butte’s Andy Kelly lost his morning opener to Helena’s Garrett Ryerson 6-3, 6-2.
Overall, Bentley said she was proud of her team’s play and glad the weather cooperated.
“We got a little rain yesterday, but it was almost beautiful,” Bentley said. “There was a little wind, but it was sunny, sunny, sunny. It was a little hot but it could have been worse. We’re all coming back red-faced, that’s for sure.”
Southern AA tennis divisionals
Team points: Bozeman 48, Helena 40, Butte 6
Layne Ryerson, Helena def. Sam Anderson, Helena 6-1, 6-1
Sam Anderson, Helena def. Jake Martel, Boz 6-0, 6-0
L. Ryerson def. Lennart Mueller, Boz 6-2, 6-0
Lennart Mueller, Boz def. Phillip Catlin, Boz 6-4, 6-3
Catlin def. Martel 6-3, 6-0
Mueller def. Garrett Ryerson, Helena 6-4, 6-1
Catlin def. Jack Williams, Helena 6-0, 6-2
G. Ryerson def. Andy Kelly, Butte 6-3, 6-2
Andrew Hance/Robbie Pike, Boz def. Oliver Carr/Colton Litle, Boz 6-0, 3-6, 6-4
Carr/Litle, Boz def. Colter Fretwell/James Williams, Boz 6-0, 3-6, 6-1
Hance/Pike def. Ethan Gilleran/Anthony Starke, Helena 6-4, 6-2
Gilleran/Starke def. Fretwell/Williams 6-4, 7-5
Gilleran/Starke def. Jacob Lounder/Conner Martin, Boz 6-7 (3), 6-1, 6-1
Fretwell/Williams def. Harris/Thompson 6-3, 7-5
Lounder/Martin, def. Kody Lane/Tucker Reilly, Butte 7-5, 6-4
Harris/Thompson def. Levon Mullaney/David Starcevich, Butte 6-0, 6-0
Team points: Bozeman 68, Butte 15, Helena 13
Christine Olivo, Boz def. Madi Shea, Boz 6-0, 6-1
Shea, def. Lane O’Donnell, Boz 6-0, 6-1
Olivo, def. Ashley Battershell-Corson, Helena 6-3, 6-0
Leo Barton, Boz def. O’Donnell 6-2, 6-2
Barton def. Battershell-Corson 6-1, 6-1
O’Donnell def. Ali Dean, Butte 6-3, 6-1
Leo Barton, Boz def. Molly Nelson, Butte 6-0, 6-3
Dean def. Madi Sherting, Helena 7-5, 6-4
Zoe Lindgren/Madi Pederson, Boz def. Sophie Allen/Renae Ockford, Boz 2-6, 6-1, 6-1
Allen/Ockford, Boz def. Kyla Ryan/Jessica Simikins, Boz 6-1, 6-2
Lindgren/Pederson, Boz def. Aidan Amtmann/Kaitlyn Vetter, Butte 6-0, 6-0
Kyla Ryan/Jessica Simkins, Boz def. Aidan Amtmann/Kaitlyn Vetter, Butte 6-1, 6-4
Amtmann/Vetter def. Alicia Norling/Dani Norling, Helena 7-5, 3-6, 6-3
Ryan/Simkins def. Sierra McGinnis/McCall Ori, Butte 6-0, 6-2
Norling/Norling def. Tatiana Caine/Maggie Russell, Boz 7-6 (3), 6-4
McGinnis/Ori def. Shelby Pugh/Jenna Starke 7-5, 4-6, 6-3