Lady Dogs close out regular season on a high note

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  • Claire Carloss fires the ball against her Corvallis opponent on Saturday at FVCC. (Daniel McKay/Whitefish Pilot)

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    Aubrey Hanks returns a Corvallis shot on Saturday at FVCC. (Daniel McKay/Whitefish Pilot)

  • Claire Carloss fires the ball against her Corvallis opponent on Saturday at FVCC. (Daniel McKay/Whitefish Pilot)

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    Aubrey Hanks returns a Corvallis shot on Saturday at FVCC. (Daniel McKay/Whitefish Pilot)

Singles star Gracie Smyley concluded her undefeated regular season as the Lady Bulldogs breezed to easy wins over Polson, Hamilton and Corvallis last week.

Smyley finished the regular season 20-0 after putting away all three of her foes last week.

Head coach Patrick Dryden said hes been impressed with Smyley all season. To win divisionals, shes going to have to beat the defending state champion Shea McGuinness of Polson, he said.

Shes been just rock solid all year. It looks like shes going to have to play the defending state champion in the semi-finals, if things go according to the seeding. But Gracie, shes beaten her twice, I think shes really confident, Dryden said.

At the No. 2 and 3 singles spots, Claire Carloss and Lauren Brown also went undefeated on the weekend.

The No. 2 singles duo of Payton Kastella and Jesse Grawunder won all three of their matches, while the No. 1 team of Olivia Potthoff and Aubrey Hanks went 2-1.

Hanks and Potthoff fell to Polsons Berkley Ellis and Qia Harlan, 6-4 (6), 6-1, 6-4.

Dryden said hes looking forward to bringing three competent doubles groups into divisionals and said hes been hearing compliments from other coaches on the way his duos have been playing together.

Were going into the tournament with three really solid doubles teams, and they all have the potential to qualify for state. Im expecting big things out of those three, he said.

As a whole, the team finished 15-3 in the regular season and went 8-0 in Northwest A conference play.

Dryden said hes been pleasantly surprised with how his team performed, especially for being so young this season.

It was a very solid regular season. Especially how quickly the freshmen have progressed, he said. I was really worried about a hole in our lineup but Lauren Brown and Anyah Cripe and Emma Shaffer really filled that void quickly.

This week the Lady Bulldogs will start their postseason run with the Northwest A Divisional Tournament at Flathead Valley Community College on Thursday and Friday.

The team hosts the state tournament the following week at FVCC.

Competing to the best of his teams ability is forefront in Drydens mind, but concerns over weather are lingering as well, he said.

The forecast for Thursday and Friday show some potential for rain on both days, and rescheduling or shifting the tournament a day in either direction is difficult because of AP testing this week.

Dryden said if worse comes to worst, some matches might have to be played indoors at The Summit or an extra day might be added to divisionals.

Regardless, he says the focus is still on divisionals, then state for his team, and hes expecting some tough competition.

It looks like its going to be neck-and-neck between Whitefish and Polson. Ive always said the divisional title is not really one of our goals, its getting kids to state, we could win divisionals and have a bad showing at state, or do poorly at divisionals and put on a good showing at state, he said. Its all about getting kids qualified for state.

Whitefish 6, Polson 1

SINGLES Gracie Smyley, W, def. Shea McGuinness, 6-1, 6-0; Claire Carloss, W, def. Sarah Kinzle, 6-1, 6-2; Lauren Brown, W, def. Taylor Bloomfield, 6-4, 7-5; Anyah Cripe, W, def. Taylor Collings, 6-4, 6-3.

DOUBLES Berkley Ellis/Qia Harlan, P, def. Aubrey Hanks/Olivia Potthoff, 6-7 (6), 6-1, 6-4; Payton Kastella/Jesse Grawunder, W, def. Ara Mercer/Megan Rost, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4; Abigail Shaffer/Ali Hirsch, W, def. Sierra Lundeen/Ajah Englebreht, 6-0, 6-1.

Whitefish 6, Hamilton 1

SINGLES Gracie Smyley W, def. Eliana Foss 7-5, 6-2; Claire Carloss W, def. Grace Kemp 6-4 6-1; Lauren Brown W, def. Marcie Wardecka 6-2, 1-6, 1-0 (4); Savanna Gurney H, def. Anyah Cripe 2-6 6-3, 1-0 (8).

DOUBLES Aubrey Hanks/Olivia Potthoff W, def. Holly Mahon/Gracie Hawkes 6-1 6-0; Payton Kastella/Jesse Grawunder W, def. Claire Matthews/Lauren Kimzy 6-2 6-0; Emma Shaffer/Abigail Shaffer W, def. Marie Kanen-Wisher/ Brynn Lehtola 6-1, 7-5.

Whitefish 5, Corvallis 2

SINGLES Gracie Smyley def. Madeline DeLeo 6-0, 6-4; Claire Carloss W, def. Jennifer Watt 6-2 6-1; Lauren Brown def. Shea Flynn 6-0, 3-0, ret.; Presley Zimmerman C, def. Anyah Cripe 6-0, 0-6, 1-0 (8).

DOUBLES Potthoff/Hanks W, def. Christina Weibkamp/ Megan Kirkland 6-2, 4-6, 6-1; Peyton Kastella/Jesse Grawunder W, def. Danielle Coates/Cecily Gerber 7-5, 6-3; Molly Powell/Bailey Jessup C, def. Emma Shaffer/Stacia Tremper 6-3, 6-2.

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