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Grand Forks players advance to semifinals at state tennis

Red River's Saylor Kuenzel pulled an upset in singles, while the Roughrider team of Asher Green and Luc Bydal surprised in doubles.

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Red River's Saylor Kuenzel reaches to return a shot during the No. 1 doubles match against Grand Forks Central earlier this season at Register Courts. Kuenzel and Espen Schneider played Central's Logan Sandberg and Cole Wilber.
Eric Hylden / Grand Forks Herald
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MINOT — Saylor Kuenzel was the No. 6 seed for the East Region boys tennis singles tournament.

He's been a bit better than that.

Kuenzel reached the North Dakota state boys singles semifinals Friday in Minot, upsetting West Region singles champion Anthony Janes of Bismarck Legacy 2-6, 6-1, 7-5 in the quarterfinals.

Kuenzel exclusively played doubles for Red River in the postseason team tournament, helping the Roughriders win the title Thursday night, but he hasn't had any issue transitioning back to singles.

His teammate, East Region singles champion Espen Schneider, also advanced to the semifinals by beating Fargo Davies' Jack McCormick 6-3, 6-1 in his quarterfinal match.

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Schneider will play Minot's Hunter Rice in one singles semifinal at 10 a.m. Saturday. Kuenzel will play West Fargo Sheyenne's Ethan Raan in the other. The singles championship is scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday.

There were surprises on the doubles side, too.

Red River's Asher Green and Luc Bydal, who finished sixth in the East Region tournament, reached the semifinals by upsetting East Region runner-up Kai Kringlie and Trey Cope 7-6 (6), 6-7 (3), 6-3 in the quarterfinals. Green and Bydal will take on West Region champions Karter Hatzenbuhler and Brady Helbling at 11 a.m. Saturday in the semifinals.

The other semifinal is no surprise.

Grand Forks Central's Evan Panzer and Cole Wilber, who won the East Region's title last weekend, cruised to the semifinals by winning a pair of matches 6-1, 6-1.

Panzer and Wilber will take on Fargo South's Aiden Bourke and Chase Bry at 11 a.m. Saturday in the semifinals. Panzer is looking for his second state doubles title. He won in 2020 with his brother, Braden.

The doubles final is scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday.

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 bschlossman@gfherald.com.
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