HELENA — Butte High's top-seeded girls double tandem of Sierra Meza and Sydney Doyle dread the possible scenario that might occur in their attempt to qualify for a Class AA state berth.

The good news? If they win their next match of the Southern Divisional, they will qualify for their first-ever doubles state tournament.

The bad news? They may have to defeat their own teammates, the No. 2 doubles team of Devin Amtmann and Aspen Lovshin, to advance.

Meza and Doyle on Friday will face the winner of a match between Helena Capital's Ana Salyards and Sarah Kubicka against Amtmann and Lovshin.

Meza and Doyle advanced in the divisional Thursday afternoon at Lockey Courts with a victory over Helena's Lauren Williams and Natalie Seburn 4-6, 6-4, 6-0 before falling to Abby Trevor and Riley Coonen of Helena.

That puts them in the semifinals of the consolation bracket, where they are one victory away from qualifying for state.

Helena's Emma Hasquet and Melina Hammer advanced to play Trevor and Connen in an all-Helena championship doubles match.

"It's pretty hard thinking about playing (our teammates) and most of us are seniors, so I feel like whoever wins will be happy to advance to state," Meza said. "I feel like whoever wins will be happy, and it just sucks it boils down to possibly playing each other. I really want to make it, and now that only one of our teams will be able to make it through just puts a wrench into everything."

The wrench won't just be felt on the court. Butte coach Matt Haynes would watch from the sidelines knowing one of his doubles teams he coached all season might not qualify.

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"I think that match, if it happens, could easily go three sets," Haynes said. "The match at home has gone back and forth a couple of times, and if they end up playing each other (Friday), it will be an interesting and difficult match to watch."

The key to success, according to Doyle, is to just not overanalyze its finality.

"I just think we need to play smart, and not let the tournament atmosphere get into our heads," she said.

On the boys side, Helena's No. 1 singles player Gavin Anderson tried to create a serene environment before competition to combat his anxiety.

"You just have to relax your mind, put in some headphones, listen to music, calm yourself down and relieve yourself of any stress before you get onto the court," he said.

Anderson, who admits he prides himself on his ability to outmaneuver his opponents, is one step closer to qualifying for his first-ever state tournament berth after a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Capital's Norris Blossom and a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Capital's Abraham Allen.

“I am just going to play the best tennis as possible and play my game," Anderson said. "You do what you know how to do. You know your own strengths and weaknesses and you have to build on those during divisionals, and once state comes you are ready to go.”

Anderson, who transitioned from doubles to singles last year, will play Capital's Ethan Allen on Friday afternoon in the championship round at Lockey Courts.

This will be the fourth meeting between the two crosstown rivals this year. The last regular-season crosstown match between the two teams went three sets. Deciding to keep it simple, Anderson said won't change the formula in his attempt to advance.

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Jason Blasco is the lead prep sports reporter for the Helena Indepedent-Record and a sports reporter for the 406mtsports.com network.


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