Polson doubles team places second in UTSA-sanctioned tennis tournament

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Polson High School tennis doubles tandem Berkley Ellis and Qia Harlan continue to develop their game as two integral pieces of the Lady Pirates’ tennis program placed second in a USTA-sanctioned event in Missoula. (photo courtesy of John Heglie)

Polson High School tennis doubles tandem Berkley Ellis and Qia Harlan continue to develop their game as two integral pieces of the Lady Pirates’ tennis program.

The Lady Pirates, who continue to develop into one of the top-tier MHSA-sanctioned Class A girls teams in the state, also continue to develop into one of the top-tier doubles tandems in the country.

Ellis and Harlan finished second in the USTA-sanctioned events.

Ellis and Harlan have worked on their team chemistry, even in the offseason.

According to Harlan, it is crucial to have that time to be successful in MHSA Class A, which was furiously competitive last season in the girls division.

“It’s important, and we have to put a lot of effort into getting better and that very much improves our game,” Harlan said. “These players (in the USTA Tournament) come from everywhere in Montana. They are pretty good players that come in and play.”

According to Harlan, she and Ellis continue to work on the team chemistry.

“Last year, I put in about 99 hours of court time into taking tennis lessons,” Harlan said. “When you play in a tournament with your doubles partner, you get more comfortable and know how each other works. Playing more helps with that.”

During last year’s Montana High School Association Class A doubles tennis state tournament, Harlan and Ellis placed second in the competition, and they look to build on that this season as they aim to capture an MHSA state title.

Their MHSA championship doubles trophy continues to be a work in progress.

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