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DHS tennis bested in play-in match

Despite a valiant effort for the Dickinson High girls tennis team Thursday at DHS tennis courts, playing against Bismarck St. Mary's in a West Region play-in game, the Midgets were eventually bested by the Saints, 3-2.

The loss for DHS put an end to its chances of playing in the state tournament as a team.

"Not disappointing, just a little heartbreaking because it was so close," said head coach Lia Bradley after the match, "but I'm not disappointed in the girls because they gave it their all, they always did the whole season."

There were three singles and two doubles matchups in the abbreviated contest, with No. 1 Katie Riely losing in two sets to St. Mary's Emily Bichler, 6-1 and 6-0. Halie Karlen also lost to Lauren Botsford in two sets, 6-2 and 6-1.

Marcail Allerdings, Dickinson's No. 3, won her match, 6-2 and 6-0.

In the doubles matchups, Cora Knipp and Jaida Harden combined for a 6-4, 6-0 win, but Alexa Cofer and Emma Dazell dropped a close first set, 7-5 and went on to drop the second set as well, 6-3.

"The girls are pretty good about not letting things get them down," Bradley said. "They're laughing at the end, they're pretty light-hearted, but I'm sure they wanted to go as a team."

The season will continue at the West Region tournament in the individual bracket for several of the players. Each team is allowed to send seven girls, said Bradley, with the players to be decided over the next couple of days.

Allerdings finished the season with an impressive 9-2 record, winning her first seven matches before dropping a tiebreaker decision against Minot on May 11.

The Midgets' No. 1, Riely, finished the season without a win, but by always playing the other team's best, said Bradley, opened doors for other members of the team.

"She always had close matches, she kept our team together," said the coach. "She was willing to be in the top spot taking all the hard hits. Because of her, other people were able to have some success, like Marcail."

In doubles competition, Knipp and Harden finished 7-3, including their win against St. Mary's on Thursday.

Overall, said Bradley, the season was a step in the right direction and something to be proud of.

"We're really looking forward to next season, I think we're going to be a lot stronger because we have young players coming up, players that seem to have a commitment to training year-long," she said. "Lots to be happy about, lots to be optimistic about."

Bismarck St. Mary's 3, Dickinson 2

Singles: 1, Emily Bichler, SM, def. Katie Riely, 6-1, 6-0. 2, Lauren Botsford, SM, def. Halie Karlen, 6-2, 6-1. 3, Marcail Allerdings, DHS, def. Mallory Donlin, 6-2,6-0.

Doubles: 1, Cora Knipp/Jaida Harden, D, def. Hannah Tibor/Maria Fleck, 6-4, 6-0. 2, Jenna Stiegelmeier/Lauren Leidieux, SM, def. Alexa Cofer/Emma Dazell, 7-5, 6-3.

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