Red River wins 11th state title in a row
BISMARCK -- The Grand Forks Red River boys tennis team's run at perfection at the state tournament ended Friday morning. Oh well. The Roughriders still continued their run of state championships. Red River defeated East Region rival Fargo South 4...
BISMARCK -- The Grand Forks Red River boys tennis team's run at perfection at the state tournament ended Friday morning. Oh well.
The Roughriders still continued their run of state championships.
Red River defeated East Region rival Fargo South 4-1 at Bismarck's Capital Racquet and Fitness Center to earn its 11th straight dual state title, and 12th in the last 13 years.
The Roughriders, who also extended their dual winning streak to 120, went 20-0 in sets Thursday while defeating Dickinson 5-0 and Williston 5-0. The perfect mark ended when Fargo South's Ryan McGuigan picked up a 6-1 win in the first set of the No. 2 singles match, but Red River still dominated.
Red River's team tournament tally: 14-1 in matches, 29-3 in sets.
"That's pretty incredible to do that in a state tournament," said senior Tyler Davis, Red River's No. 3 singles player. "In a way I'm surprised by it, but then this is something we felt we were capable of doing if we played our best tennis. We came in here focused on playing our best, and this is our reward."
The title was especially sweet for Davis, one of only three seniors on the Roughriders roster. He also played on state title teams in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
"It's so great to be a part of such a tradition," he said. "We have an amazing streak going and nobody in this program wants to see it end. That's one of the reasons why we work harder and harder every year."
Coach Greg LaDouceur, who now has eight state titles, said his Roughriders defined team effort in the two-day tournament.
"We played eight of the nine kids we have on our roster and every one of them was involved in at least one win," he said. "I couldn't be more proud of these kids. We asked them to give it everything they have, and that's what they did."
Davis got things rolling Friday with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Justin Beach in No. 3 singles.
"I just wanted to go out and get us started off right," Davis said. "In any dual, you want to win that first one. It gets everybody else thinking positively."
Red River's No. 2 doubles team, Dhilhan Marasinghe and Philip Yunker, followed with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Eric Moe and Evan Bong. Later, Jacob LaDouceur and Joey Anderson defeated South's Luke Brodeur and Adam Gustad 6-3, 6-4 in No. 1 doubles to clinch it.
Lee came from behind to beat McGuigan in three sets (1-6, 6-3, 7-6) to make it 4-0, and South got on the board with Parker Lawley's hard-fought three-set win (4-6, 7-6, 7-6) win over Erik Johnson in No. 1 singles.
Lawley fought off three match points in the second set to even the score at 1.
"That was two very good players going at it," LaDouceur said. "It was what you would expect from two No. 1 singles players. The dual had long been decided, but they played like it was still in doubt."
Central for fifth
Fargo Shanley won two of three singles matches en route to a 3-2 victory against Grand Forks Central in the fifth-place match.
Matt Fuka at No. 1 singles and the No. 2 doubles team of Justin Moody-Paul LaDue won for the Knights.
Shanley won close matches at No. 3 singles and No. 1 doubles, which went to three sets, to pull out the win.
Central won just two duals before tournament play began this season.
"Sixth place is a big accomplishment," Central coach Duddy Weisser said. "It was kind of a reverse of last weekend. We won the close ones last week and lost the close ones this weekend."
Singles and doubles play began Friday afternoon, and all but three top four seeds advanced to today's semifinals. In singles, South's McGuigan defeated East Region champion Matt Fuka of Grand Forks Central 6-3, 6-1 in the quarterfinals. McGuigan, the No. 5 seed out of the east, will face Red River's Johnson in the semifinals. The other semifinal has Minot's Josh Oothoudt, the West Region champion, against South's Lawley.
Fuka beat McGuigan in the quarterfinals of the East Region tournament last weekend.
"My guy was a little off, and the kid from South was a little on today," Weisser said.
Oothoudt, the 2006 state champion and 2007 runner-up, is 32-0 in singles play this season.
In doubles, the No. 2 team out of the west, Hunter Oothoudt and Matt Polsfut of Minot, fell to Red River's Marasinghe and Yunker 6-1, 6-3 in the quarterfinals.
The Red River duo will meet teammates LaDouceur and Davis in the semifinals. LaDouceur and Davis are defending state champions.
The other semifinalists are Heath Glenn and Jordan Nelson of Williston, and Peter Frei and Tom Schwandt of Shanley.
Central's doubles team of Nick Moe-Lucas Olson, who came in as the No. 8 seed from the East Region, gave the top seed from the West Region, Glenn and Nelson, a scare in the first round.
Glenn and Nelson defeated Moe and Olson 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.