KALISPELL — Tricia Joyce is two wins away from ending her remarkable senior season at Butte Central in style.
Joyce picked up a pair of victories Thursday to advance to the semifinals of the Class A State tennis tournament at the Flathead Valley Community College Courts.
She is one of three Butte Central players in the tournament. Senior Aidan Petritz and junior Guido Ossello went 2-1 to advance to the second day of boys’ doubles play.
Joyce beat McKenzie Tommerud of Havre 6-0, 6-2 before knocking off Blayne Meyer of Billings Central 7-6 (7-4), 6-1. She will play Northwestern A Divisional champion Gracie Smiley, a sophomore from Whitefish, in the semifinals.
“Tricia made it look easy today in both the matches she played,” BC coach Becky Hancock said. “Her game was very steady, consistent and solid. In her second match of the day, she went into a tiebreaker in the first set. Winning that tiebreaker was huge, giving her the momentum to cruise right through her second set. After the tiebreaker, I went down to watch Guido and Aidan play for a bit, came back to check on her and she was done. I was like, ‘Well that’s a way to get it done quickly.’”
The run to the semis continues what has been a year for the ages for Joyce. In the fall, she won the Class A State golf championship. She also led the Butte Central girls’ basketball team to the Class A State tournament, earning All-State and Southwestern MVP recognition along the way.
Joyce will play golf for the University of Montana.
Petritz and Ossello knocked off Polson’s Kendal Forman-Webster and Bridger Wenzel 7-5, 6-3 in the first round. They fell to Jonathon and Ben Noteboom of Hardin 6-1, 6-4 in the quarterfinals.
The BC team bounced back to beat Dillon’s Turner Sawyer and Jovany Guillen 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 in a loser-out match. Petritz and Ossello are three wins away from claiming third place.
Hancock said playing in beautiful weather might have thrown off her boys’ team that was so used to playing in the cold.
“I felt like the duo never really found a consistent rhythm of play today,” Hancock said. “It was a little bit of a roller coaster of ups and downs in their matches, but the important thing is they came through when they needed to and got it done.”
Day 2 begins early Friday. All three BC players hit the court at 8 a.m.
Click here to follow the tournament brackets.