Serving up an upset: Dickinson is looking for a strong performance at the West Region TournamentFire up the upset machine, the Dickinson High girls tennis team is looking for a state tournament berth.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
Fire up the upset machine, the Dickinson High girls tennis team is looking for a state tournament berth.
The Midgets are the No. 8 seed heading into the West Region Tournament starting today in Bismarck, but both coaches and players are feeling confident.
“In the postseason, it’s a 3-2 format and we’ll be playing three singles, two doubles,” head coach James Kramer said. “Players came only play one or the other. When you are the eighth seed, you are obviously are kind of at a disadvantage.”
Dickinson played with a 3-2 format last weekend at the Fargo Invitational. Senior and No. 1 singles player Brooke Lietzke said that will be key asset for the Midgets.
“Something that’s going to be big advantage for us at WDA is the fact that it’s 3-2 lineups,” Lietzke said. “We could potentially be really good and have some pretty sweet upsets along the way.”
However, the lineups for each dual haven’t set up yet. Kramer said that decision will be made about five minutes prior to match start. Dickinson starts the tournament against No. 1 seed Minot.
“We are going to have to put a lineup together that we feel comfortable that we can win as many points as we can,” Kramer said. “Then hope for an upset along the way. We are going to need an upset and a break along the way either through singles or doubles to pull out a match.”
The Midgets feel there’s been progression throughout the season and for seniors Lietzke, Alex Simonieg and Sydney Smutzler, it’s the final chance to make it to state.
“Going in as senior with none of us making state before, I think it will be good for us to show them what regionals is all about,” Lietzke said. “It’s our last chance to accomplish something in our senior season here.”
Simonieg, who plays at No. 3 singles, said she has seen improvement not only from her fellow seniors, but from the team’s sophomores and freshmen.
“I think everyone has improved a lot since our first matches that we had,” she said.
Not only did the Fargo Invitational give the Midgets a chance to play many matches in a short period of time, it gave the team a winning feeling again.
“It set the tone for this week of practice heading into regionals this weekend,” Lietzke said. “It showed us that we have come a long way and made a lot of progress this season.”
With the Midgets not knowing where they will match up, Kramer said it’s going to be a guessing game to see who the opposition puts out on the court.
“It’s kind of a chess match,” Kramer said. “You have to weigh the pros and cons and we have to counter. We have to guess what their lineups are going to be and put our best lineup out there.”
All the Dickinson players are comfortable with the team’s doubles play.
“Our doubles are really strong,” Lietzke said. “If we can get one win in singles, then we’ve got it.”
Lietzke said it the best, saying that it doesn’t matter how a player fared during the regular season. The only time that matters is now.
“Regionals are crunch time,” Lietzke said. “You pull out everything you have and leave everything on the court. The rest of the season doesn’t essentially matter that much when you come down it, because regionals is where you need to get your stuff together.”