The Helena High and Capital tennis teams made their way over to Billings on Saturday and it proved to be a successful road trip for both programs.
In duals against Billings Skyview and Billings West, Helena High won three of the matches between the boys and girls teams and tied another.
The Helena boys won both of their matches, knocking off West 5-3, as well as Skyview 6-2. The girls also went unbeaten on the day, earning a 6-2 win over West, before playing to a 4-4 tie against Skyview.
"We limped into Billings with injuries and illnesses and we came out with three wins and a tie," Helena High head coach Lance Bouchee said. "Everyone had some success. They kids just played their tails off and they are improving every match."
In the win over West, Helena forfeited two spots, but still won five of the six matches played. Will Johnson, Luke Donaldson and Logan Snarr all won in singles, while the duos of Heath Caldwell and Hunter Cromwell, as well as Karson Stafaniak and Tanner Daunenhauer each won in straight sets in doubles.
Against Skyview, Helena was down the same two spots, but swept the other six matches, which included a win from Dylan Maharg/Ethan Hayes. Johnson, Donaldson and Snarr each wrapped up 2-0 records on the day, as did Heath Caldwell and Hunter Cromwell. Karson Stafaniak and Tanner Daunenhauer also boasted a 2-0 record on the day.
The Helena girls were down two doubles teams, but swept through singles against West, getting wins from Qayl Kujala, Annika Johnston, Keaton Normandy and Kimber Miller. Emma Hasquet and Eva Santos won in doubles for the Bengals, as did Maya Goetz and Liv Peterson to give HHS a 6-2 win.
Helena forfeited two doubles matches against Skyview but got wins from Hasquet/Santos and Goetz/Peterson as well as singles victories from Kujala and Johnston to earn a 4-4 draw with the Falcons.
Capital also had a stellar day in Billings winning three of its four matches. The Bruin girls defeated Skyview 5-3 and West 7-1, while the boys knocked off Skyview 5-3, before falling to West 6-2.
"We had an excellent day in Billings," Capital head coach Ryan Swenson said. "It was great to get a team win, with both the boys and girls beating Skyview. The girls swept West (minus a forfeited match for injury). We had to move some kids around for both boys and girls, so it was cool to see some kids at different spots, and getting wins at them."
Against Skyview, the girls used a 4-0 singles performance to knock off the Falcons 5-3. The boys actually lost three of four singles matches, with only No. 1 Ryan Ashley winning in straight sets (6-0, 6-0), but swept in doubles competition with the teams of Jerrick Olson/Ashton Shippley, Brady Arnold/Dylan Dobbins, Wes Rose/Carter Fehr and Kade O'Brian/Kevin LaChere all winning.
Against West, the Bruins got four wins in singles again from Regan Hanson, Catherine Burbidge, Kayla Bridges and Mara Flynn, who were all 2-0 on the day. The tandems of Lilian Keeton/Emma Hopkins, Sarah Kubicka/Abby Wiles, as well as Rachael Stacey/Elsie Ambroise also won with the only loss coming by forfeit in a 7-1 win over the Rams.
The CHS boys got just two wins against West, with Ashley winning in singles, as well as the duo of Dobbins and Arnold in doubles.
Both the Bruins and Bengals were in Kalispell on Saturday, facing Glacier and Flathead and each team earned a split.
The Bengals dropped their first game to Glacier 7-3, before rebounding for an 8-5 win over Flathead to improve to 7-6 on the season overall.
Capital also went 1-1 on the day, falling to Glacier by the score of 11-9, which was on the heels of a 7-6 win over Flathead earlier in the day.
In the opening game for the Bengals, they were tied with Glacier 3-3 in the fifth inning, when the Wolfpack plated four runs in two innings, then held Helena scoreless in the sixth and seventh to wrap up the win.
Alyssa Koenig had two hits and two RBI in the loss for the Bengals. Amber Countryman, Faith Manibusan, Reegan Walsh, Kylee Wetzel and Brooke Richardson all had one hit each. Manisbuan got the the loss on the mound after allowing seven runs on seven hits.
In the second game against Flathead, Helena built a 6-1 lead, thanks in part to a fifth-inning home run by Richardson. Brooke Ark also started the scoring in the first for Helena High with an RBI double.
Walsh also had a big game at the dish, notching four hits, a double and an RBI in the 8-5 win. Koenig got the win after surrendering just two runs on five hits in five innings pitched.
Maloree English helped close things out, pitching the final two innings, in addition to finishing with three hits. Ashlyn Lamping also contributed with three hits, while Manibusan and Countryman both had two.
In Capital's first game against Flathead, the Bruins fell behind 2-0, but scored seven runs in the fourth and fifth innings, then managed to hold on for the 7-6 win.
Amanda Nettleton had two of the Bruins' five hits and one RBI. Anna Cockhill pitched in with one hit and two RBI. Nyeala Herndon got the win on the mound after allowing six runs and striking out eight.
Against Glacier, the Bruins flew out of the gates, scoring eight runs in the second inning to grab an 8-1 advantage thanks in part to a home run from Mackenzie Siegers.
Yet, the Wolfpack scored five runs in the bottom half of the inning and eventually the score was tied 9-9 before Glacier added more runs in the bottom of the fifth. Trailing 11-9, the Bruins couldn't muster enough offense to tie the game and dropped to 8-5 on the season.