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Red River edges Central in down-to-the-wire tennis dual

The Roughriders earned victories at No. 3-6 singles to get the win.

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Grand Forks Central's Magdalene Spicer hits a shot during her doubles match with teammate Madi Stauss against Red River's Maddy Sandberg and Claire Huebner Thursday, May 5, 2022 at Register Courts.
Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald
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GRAND FORKS — There was a moment Thursday afternoon where Grand Forks Red River coach Josh Lunak looked across Register Courts and saw his No. 3-6 singles players cruising.

They won their first sets handily — 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 and 6-0 — and they just needed to do it one more time to clinch a victory for the Roughriders.

But Lunak knew it wouldn't be that easy.

"I knew it was going to be a 5-4 battle," he said. "It usually is. And they didn't disappoint today."

Grand Forks Central's Jennifer Wang charged back in the second set at No. 4 singles, using an unconventional style to keep Red River's Addy Lommen off balance. Wang stood halfway between the service line and base line, attacking the net any time she had an opportunity.

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So, the rivalry dual came down to one final set.

Lommen, a freshman, responded by winning the final four games to get a 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 singles win and a 5-4 victory for the team.

"I think she played more her style of game," Lunak said of Lommen's third set. "She was picking her spots on when to be aggressive. I think she did a good job of kind of being a good backboard, but also going for her shots when the opportunity presented itself."

Red River stayed perfect on the season, moving to 5-0. Central fell to 3-3.

The Roughriders earned wins in the final four singles spot to secure the victory. Farrah Spicer won at No. 3, Lommen at No. 4, Sarah Hong at No. 5 and Grace Paranica at No. 6. Spicer and Lommen also won at No. 2 doubles.

"I'm very proud of them," Lunak said. "They played well. They did a good job, especially considering it's against a rival. They did a great job of playing good tennis."

Central earned wins at the top of the lineup in singles.

Madi Stauss earned a 6-2, 6-1 win at No. 1, while Magdalene Spicer won 6-3, 6-4 at No. 2. Stauss and Spicer also won a three-set match at No. 1 doubles.

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"Madi and Magdalene were both playing strong," Central coach Matt Fuka said. "They started off well in doubles and then in singles they just continued to play there, too."

Central's other victory came from Stella Blue and Alli Wilhelmi at No. 3 doubles.

"The girls played tough," Fuka said. "There were a lot of close matches. The doubles matches started off really close and the singles matches ended up being close, too. They did well overall. You can't win them all."

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Grand Forks Red River's Maddy Sandberg, left, and Claire Huebner celebrate a point against Grand Forks Central's Magdalene Spicer and Madi Stauss Thursday at Register Park.
Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

Red River 5, Central 4

Singles
1. Madi Stauss, GFC, over Claire Huebner 6-2, 6-1; 2. Magdalene Spicer, GFC, over Maddy Sandberg 6-3, 6-4; 3. Farrah Spicer, RR, over Gianna Blue 6-3, 6-2; 4. Addy Lommen, RR, over Jennifer Wang 6-1, 3-6, 6-2; 5. Sarah Hong, RR, over Lauren Tran 6-2, 6-3; 6. Grace Paranica, RR, over Stella Blue 6-0, 6-3
Doubles
1. Stauss-Spicer, GFC, over Huebner-Sandberg 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-2; 2. Spicer-Lommen, RR, over Wang-G. Blue 6-1, 6-1; 3. S. Blue-Alli Wilhelmi, GFC, over Emma Moe-Paranica 6-4, 6-1

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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