PREP TENNIS: Red River takes 13th consecutive title
It was part joy, part relief for the Grand Forks Red River High School senior.
“You’re happy you’ve won,” Relling said. “But when you win, it’s kind of like, ‘Oof, that’s a relief.’”
The Roughriders capped a 14-0 season here Friday morning by beating West Fargo 4-1 in the state dual final. The Roughrider streaks are now at 177 consecutive dual wins and 13 consecutive state dual championships.
“There’s always that weight that goes with the streak — the state championship streak, not the dual winning streak,” Relling said.
The impetus for the championship win came from the singles positions.
First Cindy Lim came off the court with a 6-0, 6-0 win at No. 2 singles. Next it was Mimi Yunker, winning 6-0, 6-1 at first singles. For the clincher, Relling scored a 6-0, 6-0 victory at No. 3 singles.
“It’s kind of a rush, knowing you’re the one who secured it,” Relling said. “I felt a little more pressure when (the match) started. But once you start playing you forget about the other stuff and focus on your play.”
The Packers and Red River split the doubles matches. West Fargo’s Katie Baasch and Pooja Chemiti won at second doubles. Red River’s Alexis Caoili and Maddie Anderson won 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 at No. 1 doubles. West Fargo loaded up its doubles lineup, putting its top four players there.
“We were hoping to find some weaknesses,” West Fargo coach Chad Anderson said. “The girls came and said they thought they could win with this (lineup). . . . We decided to go for it. We had to win at third singles. If (seventh-grader Preeti Chemiti) could pull it off, I thought the momentum could carry over for us.”
Yunker and Lim, who finished first and second, respectively, in the East Region tournament, did their part. So did Relling,
“They put a lot of pressure on Paige to win,” Roughriders coach Greg LaDouceur said. “She just had to go out and play her game. She got into a groove early on.
“There is some pressure on the kids. It’s because of Red River’s tennis tradition. They put that on themselves. For them to come out and accomplish this year after year, it is pretty special.”