Grand Forks Red River made a surprising run to get to the North Dakota girls team state tennis tournament.
After finishing sixth in the East Region during the regular season, the traditional powerhouse Roughriders won twice last weekend in Fargo to grab the No. 4 seed out of the East.
That surprising run came to an end Thursday in Choice Health and Fitness.
Red River lost to the West's top seed and defending state champion Minot 4-1 in the quarterfinals of the state tournament. Then, the Roughriders were eliminated from consolation with a 4-1 loss to Mandan.
Red River's season ended with a 9-7 mark.
For the first time in at least 40 years, the state team championship was between two teams from the Fargo metro area.
The state's heavy favorite, undefeated West Fargo Sheyenne, marched to the championship by beating Dickinson 5-0 in the quarterfinals and downing Fargo North 5-0 in the semifinals.
Fargo Davies, the No. 2 seed from the East Region, knocked off Mandan 4-1 in the quarterfinals, then beat defending state champion Minot 3-2 in the semifinals. The Fargo Davies No. 1 doubles team of Habiba Heshmat and Marissa Burian beat Minot's Sofia Egge and Joelle Fettig in the decisive match in the semifinals, 6-3, 6-4.
The individual tournament begins today with several compelling storylines.
Red River junior Shaelyn Johnson and Sheyenne junior Monti Knewtson have been trading off state singles titles. Johnson won in 2016 as an eighth-grader and 2018 as a sophomore. Knewtson won in 2017 as a freshman.
But Johnson will have a tough road to get to the final. Minot's Raquel Egge is on her half of the draw and Egge beat Johnson 6-0, 6-2 in the team competition Thursday.