Libby starts title defense at Western B

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A wet, damp spring continues to challenge the prep tennis season.

With more rain in the forecast for the weekend, the Western B Divisional began Thursday in Libby at 9 a.m., not on Friday as originally scheduled.

“We’ll try and squeeze it in on Thursday,” Libby coach Kyle Hannah said.

The Montana High School Association limits players to four matches a day, so some consolation along with the fifth/sixth matches may roll over to Friday.

Competing are Bigfork, Troy, Libby in both girls and boys play.

The top six singles for boys and top four doubles teams advance to state.

The top four singles for girls and top three doubles advance.

The Class B state tournament begins May 18 in Missoula.

The Libby boys are defending state and divisional champions.

“If they play to their potential, they should roll,” Hannah said of the boys.

“They are playing with confidence now and that’s what they need.”

Libby has six of its eight boys back from a year ago.

They are: seniors Jhamaal Sykes and Colin Maloney in singles and Erik Lauer/Braydan Thom plus Ryan Nagle/Gio Cano in doubles.

Lauer/Thom were second at divisional and state, Sykes was second at divisionals and sixth at state while Maloney and Nagle/Cano were both third at divisional.”

All six will be high seeds for today.

On the girls side, singles play will feature four talented players in Ellie Berreth of Bigfork, Allie Brown of Troy, Mehki Sykes of Libby and Isabelle Martin of Libby.

Berreth, a junior, played for Class AA Flathead last year and finished second at divisional.

Libby has the divisional’s top two doubles teams in Marissa Wood/Jessika Jones and Laurynn Lauer/Morgan Snyder. Lauer is a junior, the other three are sophomores.

“It’s a good divisional for girls,” Hannah said.

The success of Libby’s two doubles teams could be the difference for the girls, which would give the Loggers a sweep of divisional team titles.

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