GIRLS TENNIS: Red River junior on impressive winning streak
And the winning streak is at?
Grand Forks Red River junior Alexis Caoili has never played in a girls tennis dual that the Roughriders have lost. She doesn’t know how long the winning streak is, only that it goes far beyond her four seasons in the regular lineup.
“I don’t know exactly how long it is. I do know it’s a lot of wins,” Caoili said. “(The winning streak) is in the back of our minds. But we just go out and have fun. The winning streak is important to us. What happens this year is more important. You have to live in the now.”
The Roughriders are 8-0 and take the No. 1 seed into the East Region tennis tournament, which runs Thursday through Saturday in Grand Forks. For the record, Red River has won 171 consecutive duals. It has won 12 consecutive state dual titles, a streak that started in 2002 when Caoili was just starting to play tennis.
“There’s a ton of pride in it,” Caoili said of the winning streak.
But Red River coach Greg LaDouceur isn’t surprised Caoili doesn’t know the exact number of consecutive wins the Riders have. He’d be surprised if many players on his team know.
“I don’t think any of the girls have a clue what it is,” LaDouceur said. “I’m sure they’re aware of it. But it’s nothing we talk about.
“They’re focused on winning now, on winning another state title. That’s the goal.”
The Riders have a lineup full of players who have proven they can excel.
Junior Cindy Lim placed fourth at state singles last season. She plays the No. 2 spot in the lineup behind senior Mimi Yunker, a UND recruit who won a state doubles title last season. Caoili and freshman Maddie Anderson teamed to place third at state last season. Senior Paige Relling is a returning state singles tournament qualifier. All five are undefeated this season.
“We have a good nucleus, but we know we will be tested,” LaDouceur said. “We’re just as solid as we’ve ever been at the top of the lineup. The lower end of our lineup isn’t as experienced as in some past years, but they’re still very good players.”
That’s a past — and a present — with a lot of consecutive victories.
“It does put some pressure on us,” Caoili said. “We know how much the people before us worked on their games. We know how hard we’ve worked. Nobody wants to be on the team that loses.”
Comeau, Sween lead Knights
Grand Forks Central won’t be in the region dual tournament after losing 3-2 to Wahpeton in a play-in Monday. The Knights do figure to contend for some state tournament berths.
Central’s top two players, Maddie Comeau and Katie Sween, will team in the region doubles tournament. They are 7-5 when playing together in doubles.
Comeau and Sween were one win shy of qualifying for the state doubles tournament last season.
“They’re playing much better this year,’’ Central coach Max Weisser said. “They’re more mature players, more relaxed. Maddie worked on her game over the winter and her strokes have really improved. Katie has been playing really well the last few weeks.
“Realistically, I’d be surprised if they don’t get seeded at least fourth. If they’re playing well, they can beat about anybody.’’
East Region girls tennis
Where: In Grand Forks.
Dual tournament: Thursday, beginning with 9 a.m. quarterfinals. Championship scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
Singles-doubles tournament: Friday-Saturday, with championships Saturday afternoon.
At stake: The top four dual finishers and the top eight finishers in singles and doubles advance to the state tournament.