It was four up, four down for the Bulldogs tennis team last week.
In a competition-filled week, the Dogs took down Polson, Columbia Falls, Libby and Ronan, losing only a single match along the way.
Head coach Chris Schwaderer said his team is playing exactly like he hoped they would at this time of the season.
“I thought we looked great. I just feel that we’re really strong, we’re shaping up,” he said. “The closer we get to divisionals, the more we’re starting to get things dialed in. My biggest interest right now is just the psychological frame of mind we’re in. I just want us to be very business-like.”
With only three duals to go before divisionals, Schwaderer said this week is just about fine-tuning and staying healthy.
A successful regular season doesn’t mean much without postseason success, so right now the goal is keeping his team’s eye on the prize.
“I don’t want us to take anything for granted and feel like we’re already there, we just have to show up,” he said. “I just want to finish, that’s my number one goal this year, to finish strong. Probably the best way to do that right now is to work on the psychological aspect of the game.”
Schwaderer pointed to that mental toughness in Eric Holdhusen, his No. 1 singles player.
Holdhusen dropped a tough match to Polson’s Johnny Moore on Tuesday, but attacked on the court in the days following and got back to where he needed to be.
“I think he just kind of had an off day,” Schwaderer said. “I think it got his attention, and in the matches that followed he had kind of a renewed intensity. I think it’s the right time of the year for that to happen.”
This week Whitefish hosts Polson on Thursday in the final Northwest A conference dual before hosting Hamilton and Corvallis on Saturday to wrap up the regular season.
Winning against the Bitterroot clubs is for pride, but wins against Polson means better seeding in the divisional tournament bracket.
“Polson’s been one of our biggest rivals over the biggest years, and I just want to make sure that we have a good strong showing against them because it’s going to be our last opportunity to secure good seeding before the divisional tournament,” he said.
“We’ve got a really good team, we’re deep, we’re talented, but everyone knows it doesn’t take a lot to get off track. When you get to the postseason, one slip up can cost you big.”
Whitefish 6, Polson
Singles — Johnny Moore, P, def. Eric Holdhusen, 6-2, 7-6 (8-6); Brendan Buls, W, def. Joe McDonald, 6-0, 6-0; Jayce Cripe, W, def. Sam Schultz, 6-4, 6-4; Noah Fauth, W, def. Colby Devlin, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (12-10).
Doubles — Mark Anderson/Forrest Kobelt, W, def. Carson McDaniel/Kaiden Forman-Webster, 4-6, 6-0, 6-2; Colter Upton/Simon Olivier, W, def. Trevor Schultz/Kendal Forman-Webster, 6-4, 6-0; Jamie Schwartz/Carver Gilman, W, def. Alex Mausshardt/Anton Lefthand, 2-6, 7-5, 6-1.
Whitefish 7, Columbia Falls 0
Singles — Eric Holdhusen, W, def. John Gilk, 6-2, 6-0; Brendan Buls, W, def. Dillon Washington, 6-0, 6-0; Jayce Cripe, W, def. Garret Caffrey, 6-1, 6-3; Noah Fauth, W, def. Malachi Brewer, 6-1, 6-0.
Doubles — Mark Anderson/Forrest Kobelt, W, def. Garret Caffrey/Tristan Grein, 6-1, 6-2; Colter Upton/Simon Olivier, W, def. Colton Byre/Tyler Gates, 6-1, 6-2; Jamie Schwartz/Carver Gilman, W, def. Frank Hartman/Tristan Grein, 6-1, 6-1.
Whitefish 7, Ronan 0
Singles — Brendan Buls, W, def. Thomas Yellow Bird, 6-0, 6-0; Eric Holdhusen, W, def. Sherman Violette, 6-0, 6-0; Noah Fauth, W, def. Caden Bourdon, 6-0, 6-0; Jayce Cripe, W, def. Joey Parnell, 6-0, 6-0
Doubles — Mark Anderson/Forrest Kobelt, W, def. Coleman Taylor/Austin Taylor, 6-0, 6-2; Colter Upton/Zach Brandt, W, def. Caden Bourdon/Austin Taylor, 6-0, 6-0; Simon Olivier/Leo Motti, W, def. Thomas Yellow Bird/Sherman Violette, forfeit (lost exhibition match 4-6, 7-7 (5)
Whitefish 7, Libby 0
Singles — Eric Holdhusen, W, def. Sebastian Sanders, 6-1, 6-0; Brendan Buls, W, def. Zach Carter, 6-0, 6-0; Noah Fauth, W, def. Zack Morrison, 6-1, 6-0; Jayce Cripe, W, def. Zach Carter, 6-3, 6-4
Doubles — Mark Anderson/Forrest Kobelt, W, def. Ryker McElmurry/Dave Patterson, 6-1, 6-0; Colter Upton/Zach Brandt, W, def. Colton Halvorson/Cayman Lee, 6-2, 6-0; Carver Gilman/Jamie Schwartz, W, def. Daniel Shih/Matthew Hock, 6-1, 6-1