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Dickinson girl’s tennis set to compete  

Dickinson traveled to Minot to test their mettle in a doubles event.

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Dickinson High School girl's tennis started their 2022 season with a doubles competition in Minot.
Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press
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MINOT — Along with Bismarck Century and Jamestown, Dickinson girl’s tennis traveled to Minot for a non-regional doubles competition. The Midgets' young squad did not let their lack of varsity experience keep them from being successful on the courts, ending the evening with a 2-1 record.

As high school girl’s tennis teams across the state begin their season, Minot hosted the friendly-competition, allowing teams to get some practice before the real deal on Friday, April 22, at Hammond Park. The competition would have been paired with a round-robin tournament the day after, but was canceled due to weather conditions.

“This was a great experience,” Dickinson High School head coach Lia Bradley said. “We were really surprised how good they did. We have a lot of skills, even with the younger girls, but doubles has never been our forte.”

Western Dakota Association coaches poll has the Midgets tied for fourth with Century, but their doubles match hardly reflected a close contest. Dickinson won their match against the Patriots with a 4-1 victory. The only loss came from their second team, Julianne Kadrmas and Rachel Dazell.

Bradley gave praise to their younger players, particularly Grace Dazell and Emma Stillings, who rallied after being down 5-0 in their second set.

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“Our four and five (teams) were really close and we won them both so that was pretty cool,” Bradley said. “Performing under pressure without having a lot of tournament experience was impressive to us."

The Midgets second match-up was against Jamestown, who they would sweep 5-0.

Their No.1 team consisting of Valeria Bradley and Lola Homiston faced strong opponents, Phoebe Olson and Bria Nieswaag, with the match being decided in a tie-breaker.

“Phoebe is a senior and she came out real strong,” Bradley said.“They (Dickinson) were down by quite a bit, 0-3 and then 2-3, not adjusting, not hitting their volleys really well… Then we talked about strategy and changed it up a bit. Lola and Valeria communicated really well, kept on believing and they pulled off the match.”

Their No. 2 team did not let their defeat against Century carry on their shoulders for long. Even after losing their first set 7-6 against the Blue Jays, they came back and would completely dominate the second and third set, 6-0 and 10-3.

“I was really happy because they started putting things together,” Bradley said. “I saw something really positive in that match.”

Their final contest was against their host Minot, who are one of the best, if not the best, teams in the state. They would be bested by the Magicians with none of the matches going to a third set. Despite finishing their doubles with a loss, Bradley said that it did not dampen their spirits and gave proper recognition to Sophia Egge as the No. 1 in the state and for being a strong doubles player .

“After having two victories and doing so well, to face a real strong competition is very good,” Bradley said. “It makes them tougher and it makes them see the things they need to work on and of course Minot has such a culture of tennis and so many good players that it is very understandable and it is nothing to feel bad about but it is something that can help us to grow."

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Now that they have seen some action, Bradley feels more confident with the team’s abilities and chemistry. She said that eighth graders Shayna Klitzke and Morgan Daley will be a force to reckon with as doubles partners, who won both their Century and Jamestown matches in two sets.

“They are working so well together,” Bradley said. “Morgan is a tall, she puts balls away at the net, finding the net very well and Shayna is a very solid ground hitter.”

Their next match will be at home against Williston on Tuesday, April 26, inside the West River Recreational Community Center.

Josiah C. Cuellar was born in San Angelo, Texas, a small rural community in the western part of the state known for its farming, ranching and beautiful Concho River. A Texas A&M San Antonio graduate specializing in multi-media reporting, Cuellar is an award winning photographer and reporter whose work focuses on community news and sports.
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