Amtmann, Nelson place second at divisionals

HELENA — Butte High senior tennis player Aidan Amtmann will be playing doubles at the Class AA State tournament for the third straight year.

This time around, Amtmann will be playing with a new teammate, junior Molly Nelson.

Amtmann and Nelson placed second at the Southern AA Divisional tournament Friday, earning a spot in next week’s state tournament in Bozeman.

“I am really proud of them,” Butte High coach Mavis Bentley said.

The Butte High duo led the Bulldog girls to a second-place finish, tying with Helena Capital. Bozeman scored 61 points to win. Butte High and Helena Capital scored 18, while Helena High notched 16.

Bozeman also won the boys’ side with 44 points. Helena scored 26, Capital scored 25 and Butte High tallied 11.

“This is the farthest my girls every made it as a team,” Bentley said.

Only Amtmann and Nelson, though, will still be playing this time next week. Just the top four places advance.

The Bulldog duo fell 6-2, 6-1 to Sophie Allen and Margot Shea of Bozeman in the championship match. That came after Amtmann and Nelson beat Helena High’s Ahsley Battershell-Corson and Jenna Starke in a 2-6, 7-6 (9-7), 6-4 thriller in the semifinals.

Sierra McGinnis and McKaul Ori saw their great run come to an end with a 6-4, 6-4 loss to Bozeman’s Madison Pederson and Leonora Barton in the consolation round.

“They played really good tennis,” Bentley said, pointing out that team had three Bozeman teams in its side of the bracket. “The more we play Bozeman, the less and less unbeatable they seem.”

Butte High had two battles with Bozeman rained out in the regular season, the Bulldogs and Hawks never met in the regular season.

Molly Sprunger and Jesslyn Valle won a match before losing on Friday, also falling just short of a trip to state.

On the boys’ side, Tyler Reilly and Griff Warner advanced to semifinals before falling to eventual divisional champion Robbie Pike and Andrew Hance of Bozeman.

They then fell in the consolation semifinals, ending the season.

“The boys played well,” Bentley said. “Griff and Tyler played the Bozeman No. 1, and they’re the No. 1 team in the state.”

Blake Casagranda made it to the second day in singles play. He bowed out of the tournament in Friday’s consolation play.

Bentley said she’s excited about the future of Butte High’s tennis, pointing out that only Amtmann, Warner and Dustin LaMiaux are seniors from the team that went to divisionals.

First, though, a couple of Bulldogs have one week to go. Bentley is expecting it to go well the state tournament begins next Thursday.

“I don’t expect us to go to state and just play,” the coach said. “I’m expecting to go and win. I would love to see them place.”

Bozeman 44, Helena High 26, Helena Capital 25, Butte High 11


Layne Ryerson, HHS, def. Noah Strizich, CHS, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3
Consolation Finals
Marcos Zelver, Boz, def. Layne Janicek, HHS, 6-0, 6-0.
Ryerson, HHS, def. Marcos Zelver, Boz, 6-1, 6-2; Strizich, CHS, def. Layne Janicek, HHS, 6-2, 6-0
Consolation semifinals
Janicek, HHS, def. Logan Derby, Boz, 2-6, 6-3, 6-1; Zelver, Boz, def. Colter Fretwell, Boz, 6-2, 6-2.
Derby, Boz, def. Sam Anderson, HHS, 6-2, 6-3; Fretwell, Boz, def, Blake Casagranda, Butte, 6-1, 6-2.


Robbie Pike/Andrew Hance, Boz, def. Colton Litle/Oliver Carr, Boz, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2.
Consolation Finals
Hunter Beto/Tyler Markle, CHS, def. Brandon Rehm/Michael Dobbins, CHS, 6-2, 6-2.
Pike/Hance, Boz, def. Tyler Reilly/Griff Warner, Butte, 6-2, 6-1; Litle/Carr, Boz, def. Nate Wordal/Jack Williams, HHS, 6-1, 6-2.
Consolation semifinals
Rehm/Dobbins, CHS, def. Wordal/Williams, HHS, 6-0, 6-1; Beto/Markle, CHS, def. Warner/Reilly, Butte, 6-1, 6-2.
Rehm/Dobbins, CHS, def. Jaret Boyer/Hunter Hamel, HHS, 6-1, 6-2; Beto/Markle, CHS, def. Chet Stefan/James Williams, Boz, N/A.

Bozeman 61, Butte High 18,  Helena Capital 18, Helena High 16


Zoe Lindgren, Boz, def. Hannah Haas, CHS, 6-3, 6-1.
Consolation Finals
Madison Shea, Boz, def. Karissa Tu, Boz, 6-0, 6-0.
Lindgren, Boz, def. Madison Shea, Boz, 1-6, 6-2, 6-3; Haas, CHS, def. Alyssa Stewart, CHS, 6-1, 6-1
Consolation semifinals
Tu, Boz, def. Stewart, CHS, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5); Shea, Boz, def. Abby George, HHS, 6-0, 6-1.
Tu, Boz, def. Mineau, Boz, 6-1, 6-3; George, HHS, def. Rachael Christian, CHS, 6-3, 6-3.


Sophie Allen/Margot Shea, Boz, def. Aidan Amtmann/Molly Nelson, Butte, 6-2, 6-1.
Consolation Finals
Madison Pederson/Leonora Barton, Boz, def. Maggie Russell/Tatiana Caine, Boz, 6-2, 6-1.
Allen/Shea, Boz, def. Maggie Russell/Tatiana Caine, Boz, 6-1, 6-1; Amtmann/Nelson, Butte, def. Ashley Battershell-Corson/Jenna Starke, HHS, 2-6, 7-6 (9-7), 6-4.
Consolation semifinals
Pederson/Barton, Boz, def. Starke/Battershell-Corson, HHS, 6-0, 6-0; Russell/Caine, Boz, def. Alicia Norling/Abbie Caldwell, HHS, 6-2, 6-4.
Pederson/Barton/Boz, def. Sierra McGinnis/McKaul Ori, Butte, 6-3, 6-4; Norling/Caldwell, HHS, def. Molly Sprunger/Jesslyn Valle, Butte, 6-1, 6-2; Sprunger/Valle, Butte, def. Alyna Tilton/Abby Clarke, CHS, 6-0, 6-1; Norling/Caldwell, HHS, def. Madison Richtmyer/Ally Peccia, HHS, 6-2, 6-0.

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