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Polson shines at Divisional Tournament

by Brandon Hansen / For The Leader
| May 25, 2023 12:00 AM

Polson's boys and girls tennis teams showcased their skills at the Northwest A Divisional tennis tournament in Libby last Thursday and Friday, earning team championships for both boys and girls.

The boys' team emerged triumphant, clinching their title with a commanding lead of over 20 points. At the same time, the girls dominated the competition, winning by a staggering 40 points and setting a new divisional scoring record with an impressive 73 points. The previous record of 72 points was held by the 2012 Lady Pirates, who followed up their triumph with a state championship the following week.

The talented Torrin Ellis led the boys' team, and narrowly missed out on the championship title in a close match against Ryan Beagle of Libby. Interestingly, Ellis had defeated Beagle in three sets just a week prior.

Owen McElwee and Trent Wilson displayed outstanding teamwork, securing second place in the boys' doubles category. Unfortunately, they faced defeat in the championship match against Mason Kelch and Dane Hunt of Whitefish. Despite their efforts, McElwee and Wilson couldn't replicate their earlier performance in the championship, ultimately losing with a score of 6-4, 6-2.

Meanwhile, Tate Barentsen and Colter Wilson battled through a challenging divisional tournament, ultimately triumphing in the third-fourth place match against Nix/Burroughs of Whitefish. Otto Lund and Noah Trosper also put up an impressive performance, reaching the consolation semifinals before falling short in a tight match against Nix and Burroughs, scoring 6-4 in the third set.

On the girls' side, Clara Todd continued her incredible winning streak, securing four victories en route to her second consecutive divisional title. Todd, who has yet to taste defeat during the 2023 season, bested Cloey Ramage of Columbia Falls in the championship match. Piper Hoxie and Summer Newman also showcased their determination, battling through a tough singles draw. Hoxie secured a commendable third-place finish, while Newman claimed the fourth spot.

In the doubles category, Katie Smith and Lucy Violett displayed exceptional skill and composure throughout the tournament, emerging as divisional champions. They triumphed in the championship match against Mercer and Scott of Whitefish. Additionally, Polson's duos of Tia Mercer and Julia Barnard and Karli Owens and Hope Morrison secured respectable third and fourth place finishes, respectively.

Impressively, the Lady Pirates will send nine out of 10 varsity players to the state tournament, marking the second time in the school's history that they have achieved such a feat. However, they anticipate tough competition from Miles City, whose team boasts a Ukrainian refugee player and three returning all-state players.

On the boys' side, Polson will be represented by six talented players, and they are expected to be strong contenders in a highly competitive field.

The upcoming Montana State Class A Tournament, scheduled for May 25-26, will be hosted by Polson but will take place in Missoula at Fort Missoula and the Peak Athletic Club.

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Polson's Torrin Ellis led the Pirates at the Northwest A Divisional tennis tournament in Libby last Thursday and Friday. (Scott Shindledecker/Western News)