Davis gives Riders a different look
Counting on wins at No. 1 singles is a staple of Grand Forks Red River's decade-long win streak in high school boys tennis. Roughriders senior Tyler Davis provides something different. He gives Red River almost a lock at No. 1 doubles. At the Eas...
Counting on wins at No. 1 singles is a staple of Grand Forks Red River's decade-long win streak in high school boys tennis.
Roughriders senior Tyler Davis provides something different. He gives Red River almost a lock at No. 1 doubles.
At the East Region tournament last weekend, Davis won his fourth straight region doubles title and capped a season in which he lost just one doubles set.
"Tyler's a workhorse," Red River coach Greg LaDouceur said. "He knows what he's doing out there, and he has a good all-around game."
Davis and doubles partner Jake LaDouceur will go for their second straight state doubles title when the individual portion of the North Dakota state tournament begins Friday morning in Bismarck. The dual tournament starts today.
Davis has been a dominating doubles player for years. In 2007, he posted a 23-0 record, including 19-0 in doubles.
As a sophomore in 2006, Davis went 24-1. He teamed with his brother, Eric, to win the East Region doubles title and finish third at state.
The doubles success never pushed Davis into singles competition.
"My ninth- and 10th-grade years, I liked playing with my brother," said Davis, who's an East Region nominee for senior athlete of the year. "And then Jake and I played well together when we were younger, so we've been partners for a while now."
Davis and LaDouceur have lost just one doubles set in two years. The key, Davis says, is that they complement each other well.
"Jake's got the singles forehand, and I have the backhand," Davis said. "We also talk well on the court."
Their toughest competition to repeat as state champions may come from teammates.
"The other Red River team (Dhilhan Marasinghe-Phil Yunker) is pretty good," Davis said, "same with South (Luke Brodeur-Adam Gustad) and Shanley (Peter Frei-Tom Schwandt)."
Oothoudt singles favorite
Minot's Josh Oothoudt, who finished in third place at last year's state singles tournament, is the individual favorite this season.
Oothoudt, the No. 1 seed from the West Region, faces Red River's Tanner Bommersbach in the first round Friday.
"It's going to be a tough singles tournament," coach LaDouceur said. "There are lots of good players."
Grand Forks Central's Matt Fuka beat the East Region's top three seeds en route to the region singles crown last weekend. Fuka earned his first career win over Fargo South's top player, Parker Lawley, in the championship match.
Fuka faces Jamestown's Eric Watne in the first round.
A possible rematch
The state dual tournament also is expected to be tight. Red River, which has won 10 straight state championships, is the slight favorite over Fargo South.
The Bruins gave the Riders a run in the regular season in a 6-3 Red River win. The Riders, who have won 117 straight duals, cruised past the Bruins 5-0 in the regional tournament.
"The finals against Fargo South could have gone either way," LaDouceur said. "Heading into the state tournament, there is so much unknown. We never let ourselves get too far ahead of ourselves. You never know what's going to happen."
Central, the fourth seed from the East Region, begins the dual tournament against Minot, the West Region's top seed.
The Knights made the tournament by defeating West Fargo 3-2 in a state-qualifying match.
Miller reports on sports. Reach him at (701) 780-1121; (800) 477-6572, ext. 121; or send e-mail to email@example.com .