Butte High doubles duo cruises in opener

You didn’t have to watch Aidan Amtmann and Kaitlyn Vetter very long to realize they were playing good tennis Friday afternoon.

You could see it in their laughter.

“When we start laughing, we start playing better because we’re having fun together,” Amtmann said. “We talk to each other when we’re playing, and that’s a key part.”

Amtmann and Vetter beat Chelsea Wiherski and Rachel Dickson of Missoula Big Sky 6-3, 6-2 in the No. 1 doubles match in a dual between the Bulldogs and Eagles at the Stodden Park courts. Singles play took place at Father Sheehan Park.

The victory helped the Bulldogs gain a 4-all tie in their first action of the season. Big Sky won the boys’ dual 7-1 on the windy day.

The win by Amtmann and Vetter also got the Bulldog duo off to a good start in a season filled with high expectations. Amtmann, a junior, and Vetter, a senior, are coming off a 2012 campaign that ended in the Class AA State tournament in Missoula.

“It was a good experience,” Vetter said.

The Butte girls are hoping that experience was a spring board. Their coach is, too.

“They have a lot of confidence,” Butte High coach Mavis Bentley said. “I expect a lot more out of them now.”

“We were just happy to go last year,” Amtmann said of the trip to state. “This year we’re focusing on actually making something out of it.”

After playing two years of doubles at Anaconda, Vetter transferred to Butte High before her junior season. So, she and Amtmann are still relatively new to each other, even though they have a State tournament under their belt.

They’re also getting better the more they play together.

“I think we know each other better, so we trust each other a lot more,” Amtmann said. “We’re feeling good. We’re excited. We flow really well together.”

Overall, doubles was solid for the Bulldogs Friday. Butte High won six of the eight boys’ and girls’ doubles matches.

The Eagles got the last laugh in the singles competition, however. Tayler Johnson’s thrilling three-set tiebreaker victory over Butte High’s Ali Dean on the last match of the day was the difference between a tie and a 5-3 Bulldog victory on the girls’ side

Kelsey Donnelly, Bri Speltz and Rachel Schmidt also picked up singles victories for the Eagle girls. Hallie Howe, Molly Nelson and Baili Connors but up good fights for Butte High, though.

Butte High’s Sierra McGinnis and McKaul Ori teamed up for a win, as Did Molly Sprunger and Lexi Brandon, and Lakyn Ludwick and Jesslyn Valle.

On the boys’ side, Big Sky brothers Colin and Riley Bahin won the Nos. 1 and 2 singles matches. Colin Bahin topped Bulldog senior Kody Lane in a 6-1, 6-1 match that was closer than the scores. His brother topped Butte High sophomore Tyler Reilly in a tough 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 match.

In other singles matches, Gavin Kearns and Will Watson of Big Sky beat Butte’s Dennis Powers and Anthony Carroll.

In boys’ doubles, David Starcevich and Tanner Tregidga won the No. 2 match. Blake Casagranda and Levin Mullaney picked up a victory in the No. 4 match.

Jacob Himber and Austin Rosenbaum of Big Sky topped Butte High’s No. 1 team, Tucker Reilly and Griff Warner. Brandon Gomez and Jack Hall of Big Sky edged Bulldogs Andy Kelly and Lucas Tenney in a three-set thriller at No. 3.

Bentley chalked up a couple close Butte High losses to “first-match jitters.”

She also gave props to the competition.

“Big Sky looked good,” Bentley said. “They didn’t lose anybody from last year.”

The Bulldogs are back in action Friday when they head to Bozeman for the Five B’s meet.

Butte High’s Griff Warner gets ready as teammate Tucker Reilly serves in a 6-1, 6-4 loss to Big Sky’s Jacbo Himber and Austin Rosenbaum at Stodden Park.
Butte High’s Hallie Hawe serves to Kelsey Donnelly of Missoula Big Sky Friday at Father Sheehan Park. Donnelly won 6-3, 6-1.
Butte High’s Tyler Reilly returns a shot to Big Sky’s Riley Bahin at Father Sheehan Park. Bahin won 3-6, 6-2, 6-2.
Bulldog Molly Nelson gets ready to return a serve from Big Sky’s Bri Speltz. The Big Sky player won the match 6-0, 6-4.

Missoula Big Sky 6, Butte 2

Colin Bahin, MBS, def. Kody Lane, 6-1, 6-1; Riley Bahin, MBS, def. Tyler Reilly, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2; Gavin Kearns, MBS, def. Dennis Powers, 6-2, 6-2; Will Watson, MBS, def. Anthony Carroll, 6-1, 6-0.
Jacob Himber/Austin Rosenbaum, MBS, def. Tucker Reilly/Griff Warner, 6-1, 6-4 ; David Starcevich/Tanner Tregidga, Butte, def. Rayce Compton/Sean Lindley, 6-3, 6-2; Brandon Gomez/Jack Hall, MBS, def. Andy Kelly/Lucas Tenney, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4; Blake Casagranda/Levin Mullaney, Butte, def. Jacob Harris/Riley McVey, 6-4, 7-6.

Missoula Big Sky 4, Butte 4

Kelsey Donnelly, MBS, def. Hallie Hawe, 6-3, 6-1; Bri Speltz, MBS, def. Molly Nelson, 6-0, 6-4; Tayler Johnson, MBS, def. Ali Dean, 6-4, 5-7, (10-6); Rachel Schmidt, MBS, def. Baili Connors, 6-2, 6-0.
Aidan Amtmann/Kaitlyn Vetter, Butte, def. Chelsea Wiherski/Rachel Dickson, 6-3, 6-2; Sierra McGinnis/McKaul Ori, Butte, def. Jourdyn Vander Veen/Sedona Gaudin, 6-2, 6-0; Molly Sprunger/Lexi Brandon, Butte, def. Marta Carrasco/Hannah Rhinehart, 6-0, 6-0; Lakyn Ludwick/Jesslyn Valle, Butte, def. Kyla Crispin/Samantha Ormesher, 6-3, 6-0.