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Freshman Bradley makes state quarterfinals; falters in tough competition

Valeria Bradley represent Dickinson in the individuals state state tournament.

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The Bradley’s at the Girls Tennis State Tournament in Grand Forks. Both Shane and Lia Bradley Coach their daughter Valeria Bradley. (Photo Courtesy of Lia Bradley)

The state tournament brings the best athletes to face one another, but it's also a battle within to hold composure and to keep the winning mentality.

This is not a problem for Valeria Bradley, who always steps on to the court sound and focused. However, her composure was not enough when she stepped into the court for the quarterfinals of the state tournament.

Valeria Bradley, the only Dickinson player to achieve state level participation this postseason, fell in her quarterfinal game against Marissa Burian of Fargo Davies.

It was a surprising result of 6-2, 6-1 in Burian favor. Valeria Bradley came fast and aggressive as she normally does, but her usual go to moves wouldn’t be enough to score the point.

“It was a tough match and a learning experience. Valeria is a hard stroker and (Burian) just got everything back. Where Valeria is slacking is a real learning experience for her and us, her coaches.” Lia Bradley, head coach and mother, said. “She really needs to follow those shots to the net and put it over. She needs to incorporate that especially for the people like the girl she played”

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Burian is the No. 5 from the eastern region and is part of the accomplished Eagles’ team. They were the Eastern Dakota Conference season champions, without losing a single matchup and won the EDC tournament championship. Burian will now battle the same player who was defeated in the EDC singles tourney, Mimi Gu of West Fargo Sheyenne.

“Davies no. 3 but she is as good as there no 1,” Lia Bradley said.

Valeria Bradley's fight for state placement will continue today against Minot’s Morgan Wheeler who she defeated in the quarterfinal in the WDA tournament, 6-1, 6-0.

“She needs to have her put-away shots accurate because that is how she beat her last time,” Lia Bradley said. “We are hoping for the best for this next match, we are taking it one match at a time and we are going to try to finish as high as possible.”

Lia Bradley expressed that the experience had been an opportunity to learn for Valeria Bradley in her still young career.

“She is young and a ninth grader and we know what she needs to work on and when she adds that to her game it’s game over,” she said.

Related Topics: TENNIS
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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