GIRLS TENNIS: Doubles team lifts Riders to title

Things didn't look real bright for Grand Forks Red River's 14-year, 191-dual winning streak Friday morning. The state championship was tied 2-2 with Bismarck Century and it would come down to No. 1 doubles. The Patriots had the West Region double...

Things didn’t look real bright for Grand Forks Red River’s 14-year, 191-dual winning streak Friday morning.

The state championship was tied 2-2 with Bismarck Century and it would come down to No. 1 doubles.

The Patriots had the West Region doubles champions, Anne Dickson and Morgan Grinsteiner going. Red River had senior Lexi Antonenko and seventh-grader Shaelyn Johnson, the East Region’s third seed.

“They knew what was at stake,” Red River coach Greg LaDouceur said.

It didn’t rattle them.


Antonenko and Johnson got off to a fast start, downed the West Region champs 6-1, 6-3 and celebrated the program’s 14th consecutive state championship.

“Everything went well for them,” LaDouceur said. “They hit the ball well -- hard shots, drop shots, lobs, serves… everything fell into place for them.

“Century is a strong team, a very strong team. So is Red River for us to come out on top.”

Playing in Minot for the first time in seven years, the Roughriders cruised to the state championship with a pair of 5-0 wins on Thursday. But the road wasn’t easy on Friday morning.

Red River got wins from Cindy Lim at No. 1 singles and Alexis Caoili at No. 3 singles to start the title dual. Lim downed West Region singles champ Alyssa Wolf 6-1, 6-2, while Caoili beat Carla Maurstad 6-3, 6-1.

The Patriots earned wins at No. 2 singles and No. 2 doubles in straight sets, leaving it up to No. 1 doubles. The No. 1 doubles match was still in warmups when the others ended.

“They needed to get off to a quick start and they did,” LaDouceur said. “I think they were up 4-1 or 5-0 in the first set. They kept rolling from there. I think it affected the Century team a little bit. We caught them on an off day. They are a very good doubles team.

“I think that anybody would have said that my team was the underdog, knowing how good that doubles team was. For our girls to go out and do what they did, it was great.”


Red River, which last suffered a defeat in the 2001 state final to Century, now has won 192 consecutive duals. It will take that streak into next season.

“It’s all about pulling together as a team,” LaDouceur said. “Kudos to my whole team.”

Lim, doubles teams reach semis

Lim, a senior, is two wins away from repeating as state singles champion.

Lim reached the semifinals by winning back-to-back straight-set matches against Dickinson’s Ireland Jung and Fargo Shanley’s Olivia Keelin. She will meet West Fargo Sheyenne’s Preeti Chemiti in the semifinals at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

The other semifinal is Wolf and Sheyenne’s Monti Knewtson, who owns a win over Lim this season.

“Cindy has really elevated her game,” LaDouceur said. “From the finals this morning to the first two rounds of individuals Saturday, I can’t find a flaw in her game. She played very well Saturday. Hopefully, that carries over for her tomorrow against Preeti.”


Both of Red River’s doubles teams are also in the semifinals. Maddie Anderson and Caoili take on Dickson and Grinsteiner in the top half of the draw, while Antonenko and Johnson play East Region champs Clarissa Olson and Reagan Ingstad of Valley City in the other half.

Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at
What To Read Next
Get Local