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Griz make deep runs at Idaho State Invite

03 Dec 2021 | 07:10 | Tennis

The Montana men’s tennis team had one player represented in the singles championship match and a pair in the doubles semifinal to highlight the Grizzlies’ appearance at the Idaho State Invitational in Pocatello over the weekend.

The five-team tourney on the outdoor courts at Cappell Park in Chubbuck pitted the Griz against some of the top teams in the region plus some Big Sky foes, with UM facing off against BYU, Utah, Montana State, and Idaho State.

Head coach Jason Brown entered the tournament looking for steady improvement from his team. He says he found it, even if it wasn’t flashy.

“I think it was a productive trip for us, but it was kind of like regionals where we got the wins we probably should but didn’t find too many bonus wins,” said Brown.

“We still have a lot of work to do, a lot of improving to do, but it was good to get back out and test ourselves against some good competition. We’re still figuring out who we are as a team, so this was helpful.”

Boise State transfer Lawrence Sciglitano had his best outing as a Grizzly this fall, advancing to the championship of the Orange singles bracket with three straight wins.

The senior duo of Pontus Hallgren and Milo Benn found their winning ways as a partnership again, taking a pair of wins to advance to the semifinal of the main doubles draw.

Sciglitano opened the tourney with a straight-sets win over BYU’s Zach Fuchs (6-2, 6-2) before picking up a win over ISU’s Patrik Trhac to advance to the semifinal. He defeated another Bengal in Andreas Kramer in a come-from-behind fashion (3-6 6-4 6-4) to move on to the title match.

The Grizzly junior ran out of gas in the final, however, falling to Utah’s Mathias Gavelin in straight sets (6-2, 6-1).

“He (Sciglitano) had a good week but ran into a bit of a buzzsaw with the kid from Utah in the final. But he played well, he beat a good BYU kid, so it was a great week for him,” added Brown.

Montana’s pair of Hallgren and Benn, who claimed the doubles championship at the Peak Fall Championship in Missoula together in 2019, reunited again in Pocatello and picked up a couple of wins before falling to Utah’s Gavelin/Ta duo in the semi.

To get there, the pair took wins over teams from Idaho State and BYU to go 2-1 on the weekend.

Montana returns to action this coming weekend when the Griz head south again on I-15 for the Utah Invitational in Salt Lake City, scheduled to run Oct. 7-10 at the Eccles Tennis Center.