Bates Siblings Win Tennis Titles, Glacier Girls Repeat

By Beacon Staff

Glacier High School won its second straight Class AA girls state tennis title over the weekend, with senior Liana Bates finally claiming the individual crown.

Bates had placed second three years in a row before beating teammate Hailey Blalack 6-0, 6-3 in the championship match of the AA tourney on May 21 in Great Falls. Bates didn’t drop a set in the tournament.

Cami Mathison and Veronica Walton successfully defended their doubles crown, helping push Glacier’s overall girls team total to 46 points, far ahead of second-place Bozeman with 16.

Bates’ younger brother, sophomore Kellen Bates, won his second straight singles title by defeating Billings Senior’s Joe Weaver 6-1, 6-3. The super sophomore hasn’t lost a match, or even a set, in two years of high school tennis. Let me go out on a limb and say that I would be highly surprised if he ever loses in his high school career. There’s just simply nobody in his league in Montana right now.

As a team, Glacier’s boys finished third with 14 points, well behind champion Missoula Hellgate with 44. Flathead’s Glenn Strickler, the school’s only state qualifier, lost out in the second round.

In the Class B/C tournament, Bigfork finished second in boys. Dylan Reichenbach finished fourth in singles and Colter Mahlum came in fifth. Ryan Gembala and Evan Jordt placed fourth in doubles. Bigfork’s girls had no placers.

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