Lucky 13: Red River wins tennis title
BISMARCK - Grand Forks Red River boys tennis coach Greg LaDouceur said he doesn't keep track of how many straight state titles his team has won. He learns about the Roughriders' long winning streak the week of the state tournament through the media.
BISMARCK - Grand Forks Red River boys tennis coach Greg LaDouceur said he doesn't keep track of how many straight state titles his team has won.
He learns about the Roughriders' long winning streak the week of the state tournament through the media.
Winning state titles has turned into a habit for the Roughriders. Red River picked up its 13th straight state crown with a 4-1 victory over Fargo South on Friday at the Capital Racquet and Fitness Center.
Red River entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed from the East Region and South the No. 2 seed from the East.
"Each one is special. They're different because your players are different," LaDouceur said. "You have different players stepping up and playing different roles."
Senior Jared Vigen has been part of three of Red River's championships. But this season was more special to Vigen, who qualified for individual play for the first time.
Individual play began Friday and wraps up today.
Vigen teamed with Andre Caoili in No. 2 doubles to help Red River coast to the state title.
Vigen-Caoili defeated Seth Hochstatter-Logan Tretter 6-4, 6-4.
"This year, since I'm a senior, it was important for us to win state," Vigen said. "This is the first year I have qualified for individual, so I feel like I'm a part of the team. This is a great way to end the season and my career."
Red River swept the doubles with Joey Anderson-Gregory Wischer topping Eric Moe-Leo O'Day 6-0, 6-1.
Joseph Lee and Ryan Hoverson both recorded singles wins for the Roughriders. Lee, playing in the No. 2 slot, swept Avi Rajender 6-0, 6-0. At No. 3, Hoverson took down Abbi Vaidya 6-0, 6-2.
Parker Lawley got South's lone win with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-0 victory over Erik Johnson at No. 1 singles.
"I thought they were both struggling in the first set," LaDouceur said. "Parker kind of elevated his game a little bit. Give Parker all the credit. He played very well and deserved to win that match."
Even though Red River was heavily favored to win, LaDouceur didn't want his team to take South lightly.
"We've had numerous battles with them over the past five or six years, and I thought our kids played very well," LaDouceur said. "They loaded up in doubles. They threw a good No. 1 doubles team at us."
The winning steak is something LaDouceur didn't bring up with his team.
"A big part of my discussion with my players each year is 'What are we here for?' " he said. "What we have done up to this point means nothing if we don't accomplish what we are here for. My job is to keep them focused.
"It means something to these kids. We don't talk about the streaks or anything like that throughout the season. I'm sure the kids know, but they don't talk about it. It's in the back of their minds."
Century, the No. 1 seed from the West, edged No. 3 East seed Fargo North 3-2 for third place.
Minot coasted to fifth place with a 4-1 victory over Grand Forks Central.
Red River is sitting pretty in individual play. Johnson, Lee and Hoverson all advanced into the semifinals. Lawley, the No. 1 seed from the East, also moved into the semis.
In doubles, two Red River teams advanced into the semifinals with Vigen-Caoili and Anderson-Wischer advancing. Anderson-Wischer entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed from the East.
Zach Holmen-Brady Spooner of Century and Mitch Kvigne-Hunter Oothoudt also advanced into the semis.