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Riders keep rolling

In its first outing of the season, the Grand Forks Red River girls tennis team took care of business much like the Roughriders did along the way to their fifth straight state dual championship last spring.

In its first outing of the season, the Grand Forks Red River girls tennis team took care of business much like the Roughriders did along the way to their fifth straight state dual championship last spring.

The Roughriders received dominating play at the top accompanied by solid help from their younger players en route to a 9-0 victory over rival Grand Forks Central on Thursday at Register courts.

Red River extended a couple streaks with the win. The Roughriders won their 70th straight dual, while senior Liza Wischer improved to 109-0 in her singles career.

"We have a pretty solid team this year," said Wischer, who will play tennis at Iowa State next school year. "I think if we play well, we should compete again at state."

Red River cruised in its singles matches. Five of the six matches were swept 6-0, 6-0 by the Roughriders. Wischer led the way at No. 1 singles, followed by Callie Ronkowski, Catie Mullally, Samantha Anderson, Madison Hovland and Alexis Mattson.

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"I expect our team to play real well in the singles," Red River coach Tim Wynne said. "Doubles, though, is still up in the air."

Wischer and Ronkowski teamed at No. 1 doubles to beat Central's Megan Sween and Emily Paintner 6-0, 6-0.

"It was our first time playing together," Ronkowski said. "I thought it was good."

Another encouraging sign for Red River was the play of a pair of first-year players. Seventh-graders Anderson and Hovland each won 6-0, 6-0 at Nos. 4 and 5, singles, respectively.

Another seventh-grader, Morgan Smith, teamed with Emily Orr to win at No. 3 doubles.

Despite the loss, Central coach Jim Wyatt was pleased with his team's performance, especially the No. 3 doubles team of Kayla Urness and Hanna Brown, who lost 6-3, 6-3 to Orr and Smith.

"They kept it pretty close and played pretty well," Wyatt said. "(No. 3 doubles) is one of the spots you look at for season-ending lineups, so it was nice to see them come out and play well.

"Overall, I was fairly happy with the way we played. It's tough to tell against Red River. They're so tough top to bottom, and they showed it again today.

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