PREP NOTEBOOK: Red River's girls tennis sees changes in top lineup

The names have changed at the top of the Grand Forks Red River girls tennis lineup. The one constant has been success. The Roughriders have used three players at No. 1 singles this season, a position usually reserved for a team's best player. Tho...

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The names have changed at the top of the Grand Forks Red River girls tennis lineup. The one constant has been success.

The Roughriders have used three players at No. 1 singles this season, a position usually reserved for a team's best player. Those three -- Cindy Lim, Mimi Yunker and Lalangi Marasinghe -- are a combined 8-0, losing a total of one set.

Now, where will the players be when the three-day East Region tournament begins Thursday in Fargo, with the top eight singles and doubles finishers advancing to state?

"It is unusual, to have three girls play at No. 1 and have them lose a total of one set,'' Riders coach Greg LaDouceur said. "We have a pretty dynamic group.

"They're all very good. They all can hit angles, they can hit drop shots, they can place shots and hit hard. And they all know there's more to the game than just hitting with power.''


Lim, a sophomore, is 5-0 at the No. 1 singles spot. Yunker, a junior and a top-four placer at the state singles tournament each of the past three seasons, is 2-0. Marasinghe, a senior and a four-time defending state doubles champion, is 1-0.

While there could be changes between now and Thursday, LaDouceur said the plan is for Yunker and Marasinghe to play together in the region doubles tournament, with Lim playing singles. Maddie Anderson and Alexis Caoili also will play in doubles, with Ellen Larsen and Paige Relling in singles.

Marasinghe is the only player in state history to win four straight North Dakota doubles titles. The first came in 2009, when Yunker was her partner. Last season she teamed with Lim to win state.

"Where they play is their choice,'' LaDouceur said. "There was never any question that Lalangi would play doubles. She's had so much success there. Mimi has played singles at state four straight years. I think she just wanted to do something different. Cindy's game is definitely more for singles. She covers a lot of the court.''

Red River has dominated this season in gaining the No. 1 seed for the region dual tournament.

Not only did the Riders go 8-0 in duals; they haven't lost a single match. And the majority of those wins for the 11-time defending state dual champions were in straight sets.

Central loads up doubles

Grand Forks Central is loading up its doubles teams for the East Region tennis tournament.


The Knights' top four players will play doubles. Seniors Shelby Regimbal and Taylor Corbett will fill one spot, with juniors Katie Sveen and Maddie Comeau also teaming up.

"They feel they have a better shot at getting to state in doubles,'' Central coach Max Weisser said. "I think doubles is way more wide open than singles in the region.

"Shelby and Taylor played together last year and got to state. They've got a lot of experience, a lot of chemistry. Katie and Maddie don't have as much experience together in doubles, but they're more experienced players.''

Seeding wasn't determined for the region dual as of Friday afternoon. Central went 2-6 on the season and Weisser anticipates having to play Wahpeton in a play-in to qualify for the regional.

"We'd have to pull off some upsets to get the team to state,'' Weisser said. "We'll be underdogs. But I think we're capable of getting there.''

Opportunistic Eagles

Big innings have been the trademark for the East Grand Forks Sacred Heart baseball team. They've come from being opportunistic.

The Eagles are off to a 5-0 start. When they edged Mahnomen-Waubun 3-2 on Thursday, the Eagles had four hits -- the first game in which they've had more hits than runs scored. The totals are 47 runs on 34 hits.


"That is kind of weird," Sacred Heart coach Craig Pietruszewski said. "What we've done is have timely hitting. We've had innings where we've strung three or four hits together. Often, it seems like there are mistakes in those innings from the other team -- walks, errors, hit batters.

"We've been able to take advantage of those situations."

The Eagles have had nine innings in which they've scored three or more runs. Those innings have accounted for 40 of the team's run total.

Pacing Sacred Heart's offense have been seniors Michael Pietruszewski (.500 batting average), Caleb Wavra (.444) and Zach Huot (.281). Pietruszewski and Wavra share the team lead in runs (nine) and RBI (seven).

"Pitching was our question mark coming into the season," said the Sacred Heart coach. "But the kids have answered those questions nicely. We've had five well-pitched games."

DeVillers reports on sports. Call him at (701) 780-1128; (800) 477-6572, ext. 1128; or send e-mail to .

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