MINOT - On the final day of the West Region Tennis Singles Championship, three Dickinson athletes remained. Seventh-grader Valeria Bradey and junior exchange student Anna Stankova fought their way to the quarterfinals on Friday. Meanwhile, eighth-grader Malayna Schneider was still alive in the consolation bracket.
By the end of Saturday, May 25, Bradley and Stankova had qualified for the state singles championship, while Schneider was one win away from the state-qualifying match.
Stankova made it as far as the singles championship match, where she fell 6-2, 6-1 to Minot senior Raquel Egge.
Still, Stankova had already qualified for state. Earlier in the day, she defeated Hannah Felt from Bismarck Legacy 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-2. From there, she shutout Mandan Lizzie Allen in straight sets, 6-0, 6-0.
"She was a little bit nervous in the matches beforehand. She was nervous to even qualify for state," Dickinson tennis head coach Lia Bradley said. "That's the type of girl she is. She's nervous and she starts hitting and the nerves go away. She just kind of breezed through her matches again to make it to the championship."
Bradley dropped her first match of the day, a quarterfinal against Courtney Peterson of Jamestown, 6-1, 6-2. In the consolation bracket, she worked her way to a state-qualifying stint. The seventh-grader topped Kate Kesler from Mandan 6-3, 7-6 (5), putting her up against Sierra Knoll of Legacy.
The two met in a conference competition in late April and Bradley came on top 6-0, 6-1, but Knoll was not to be taken lightly, as Bradley was her only loss of the regular season. Bradley was super, stunning Knoll 6-0, 6-4, qualifying for the state singles championship in Grand Forks next weekend.
"I can probably say that those two wins against Sierra Knoll really impressed. I knew Sierra would be tough, she's a very consistent player," Bradley said. "I didn't think Valeria was going to win and to see her win that strongly, it was impressive to me."
Bradley wrapped up her day in the fifth-place match, where she was bested by Jamestown's Phoebe Olson, 4-6, 6-3, 6-0.
Meanwhile, Schneider won her first bout of the day, 7-5, 6-1 over Kenzie Ulrich of Mandan, putting her in the consolation quarterfinals against Felt. The Saber got the best of the young Midget 7-5, 6-4.
"It was a little sad, it was kind of a close match," Bradley said. "Sometimes those matches can go either way, so it made it a little bit sad. But, on the same sense, she's an eighth grader, I'm sure she's going to make it next year. She was this close."
Schneider's season isn't quite over yet, as the team will compete in the State Dual Championship on Thursday, May 30 at Choice Health and Fitness and Wynne Courts in Grand Forks.
Stankova will be the No. 2 seed out of the West Region and face East No. 7 Habiba Hesmat of Fargo Davies on Friday, Mat 31. Bradley will be the No. 6 seed from the west and face off with the third seed out of the east, Madison Bell, also of Fargo Davies.
Quarterfinals: Courtney Peterson, Jamestown, def. Valeria Bradley, Dickinson, 6-1, 6-2. Anna Stankova, D, def. Hannah Felt, Legacy, 6-0, 6-0. Semifinals: Stankova, D, def. Lizzie Allen, Mandan, 6-2, 6-2. Championship: Raquel Egge, Minot, def. Stankova, D, 6-2, 6-1.
Consolation bracket: Malayna Schneider, D, def. Kenzie Ulrich, Mandan, 7-5, 6-1. Quarterfinals: Schneider, D, def. Hannah Felt, BL, 7-5, 6-4. Bradley, D, def. Kate Kesler, Ma, 6-3, 7-6 (5). Semifinals/state qualifier: Bradley, D, def. Sierra Knoll, BL, 6-0, 6-4. Finals: Phoebe Olson, J, def. Bradley, D, 4-6, 6-3, 6-0.