The Bulldogs made the best of a mostly-nice Saturday with a pair of sweeps over Ronan and Libby.
Whitefish dominated in both matches, with No. 1 singles leader Brendan Buls winning both his matches by 6-0, 6-0 scores.
Jayce Cripe, playing at the No. 2 singles spot, won both his matches by the same scores, and head coach Chris Schwaderer pointed to Cripe’s improvement all year.
“I think he’s just had a really strong year as a sophomore. He’s just gotten bigger and stronger which he’s used to be more aggressive,” Schwaderer said. “He’s developed into a really nice, strong singles player and I’m really hoping for good things from him down the stretch.”
As far as team as a whole, Schwaderer said he’s pleased with his squad’s consistency.
“As a team, I’m just really happy with our ability to be mentally strong. We played lots of different kinds of teams in different circumstances, and I feel we’ve just been able to be consistent,” he said. “Even in cases where we get behind or we’re just not playing up to our ability, I feel we’ve got the potential to snap back into it and do what we need to do.”
This week the Bulldogs will make up a dual against Polson that was supposed to happen last Friday but was canceled due to the State Music Festival.
They’ll host the Pirates on Friday at 3 p.m. at the Riverside and Grouse courts.
Then on Saturday they’ll host Hamilton and Corvallis for a second shot against the teams from the Bitterroot.
Whitefish will play the Broncs at 11 a.m. and the Blue Devils at 3 p.m.
It’s a good test and tune-up for divisionals, Schwaderer said, and he’s excited to see how his guys stack up against Corvallis at this point in the season, especially his top singles player.
In April the team squeaked out a win over Corvallis, 4-3.
“The Corvallis match will be very interesting. They’re always a solid team and they’ve got a really good No. 1 singles player that Buls beat a few weeks back, Caleb Warnken,” he said, noting the level of talent in the Class A singles field this year. “It really complicates things in the singles draw. That makes about four legitimate contenders. Buls is right in the mix, so it will be fun to see those guys match up for a second time.”
Whitefish 7 Ronan 0
SINGLES — 1, Brendan Buls, WF, def. Vicente Ortega 6-0,6-0; 2, Jayce Cripe, W, def. Dillon Pretty On Top, 6-0, 6-0; 3, Highland Lee-French, WF, def. Brady Dresden, 6-4, 6-0; 4, Aaron Dicks, WF, def. Joey Parnell, 6-1, 6-0.
DOUBLES — 1, Mark Anderson/Colter Upton, WF, def. Connor Cornwell/Sherman Violette, 6-2, 6-1; 2, Tate Benda/Pierce Janssen, WF, def. Lorenz Alvarez/Caden Bourdon, 6-2, 6-7 (2), 10-5; 3, Carver Gilman/Joe Brandt, WF, def. Connor Cornwell/Sherman Violette, 6-2, 2-6, 6-3.
Whitefish 7 Libby 0
SINGLES — 1, Brendan Buls, WF, def. Ryker McElmurry, 6-0,6-0; 2, Jayce Cripe, W, def. Zach Morrison, 6-0, 6-0; 3, Highland Lee-French, WF, def. Mikey Hollingsworth, 6-0, 7-5; 4, Aaron Dicks, WF, won by forfeit.
DOUBLES — 1, Mark Anderson/Colter Upton, WF, def. Trey Thompson/Zach Carter, 6-1, 6-2; 2, Carver Gilman/Joe Brandt, WF, def. Cayman Lee/Colton Halvorson, 4-6, 6-1, 10-7; 3, Pierce Janssen/Tate Benda, WF, def. Tyler Serna/Ryan Collins, 6-0, 6-2.