MISSOULA — Last week, Whitefish sophomore Gracie Smyley easily cruised through four rounds at the State A tennis tournament to claim the girls singles title.
But to understand Smyley’s domination this season, it’s best to go back to 2018 when Smyley was a freshman in Florida, a popular place where tennis stars start their careers. Smyley moved back to Montana for her second year of high school. While she left Florida, the tennis skills followed.
Smyley was bouncing and sliding over the court with ease. Returning her opponents shot with so much power, it often didn’t give the other player a chance.
In the first three rounds, Smyley failed to drop a set, winning the quarterfinal 6-0 and 6-1. In the semifinal, she again won in straight sets, 6-0 and 6-2. In the final, however, Livingston’s Bobbi Lima gave Smyley a solid test.
The first set went to a tiebreak that Smyley eventually won 7-5. After that, Smyley was on point, winning the next set, 6-3, to claim the Class A girls state title.
“It feels pretty good. … I’m really excited, I’m really happy when I came back this happened. It’s amazing. I love this season with all the people in it, and they’ve helped me so much,” said Smyley.