MINOT - With a perfect 5-0 sweep over No. 8 Bismarck Century, the No. 3 Dickinson High tennis team earned a spot at the 2019 Tennis Team Dual State Championship next weekend in Grand Forks.
The Midgets won their quarterfinal over No. 6 Bismarck High 3-2, but fell to No. 2 Minot 4-1 in the semifinals on Thursday, May 23 at Hammond Park.
"I think the girls continued to do what they've been doing all season, but now they had to do it under a little more pressure and they came through," Dickinson head coach Lia Bradley said. "Everybody played hard and put their best effort and they were able to do it under pressure. I was a little bit nervous, we have some younger girls on the team and you just never know if they'll be able to keep doing what they were doing."
The team last traveled to state in 2015, but Bradley was not the coach then.
Bismarck Century nearly avoided the day-ending sweep, though. Seventh-grader Valeria Bradley won her singles match over senior Emily Savageau quickly as the Patriot retired in the second set after Bradley won the first 6-0.
Next, the team of senior Alexa Cofer and sophomore Elizabeth Dean down eighth-graders Ashley Kindem and Maya Kubsad 6-4, 6-0. Eighth-grader Malayna Schneider, the No. 3 Midget in singles action, and junior No. 1 Anna Stankova defeated their respective singles opponents.
With the win secured, the sweep was in the hands of No. 1 doubles pairing senior Lauren Jorda and sophomore Emma Dazell. They defeated senior Jess Keller and sophomore Riley Lembke 6-4 in the first set, but the Patriots retaliated in the second, winning by the same score.
The girls in orange and black stayed strong through a grueling third set, which ended in Dickinson's favor, 10-4.
"It was a close match. Maybe they were feeling a little bit of pressure in the beginning, not knowing how the outcome of the match would be," Bradley said of Jorda and Dazell. "Probably, they weren't playing as loose, but towards the end, I remember them having a lot of fun and just putting it together as a team. I remember them slapping each other's hands and they wrapped it up very well in the tiebreaker with a lot of confidence."
In the quarterfinal against the Demons, Jorda and Dazell won in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2, while Stankova and Schneider won their singles matches in straight sets.
The two losses, were tough ones. Bradley lost set one to junior Natalie Schuh 6-4 and came back to win the second frame 6-2. However, Bradley dropped the final set 6-2 for the loss.
Cofer and Dean lost in similar fashion in doubles action, winning the first set 6-3 and falling 6-4, 6-3 in the next two.
Just one Midget picked up a win in the semifinal against Minot. With 6-3, 6-4 set victories, Schneider down Valeria Cevallos, maintaining a perfect record on the day.
Dickinson will be the No. 4 seed out of the West Region in the state tournament and will face No. 1 West Fargo Sheyenne in the state dual quarterfinals on Thursday, May 30.
Through Friday and Saturday, the Midgets will battle in the singles and doubles championships. Stankova, Valeria Bradley and Schneider will continue to compete as singles players, while Jorda and Dazell and Cofer and Dean will stick together through the doubles bracket.
No. 3 Dickinson 3, No. 6 Bismarck 2
Singles: 1, Anna Stankova, D, def. Morgan Fisher, B, 6-1, 6-0. 2, Matalie Schuh, B, def. Valeria Bradley, D, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2. 3, Malayna Schneider, D, def. Delaney Scanson, B, 6-2, 6-3.
Doubles: 1, Lauren Jorda and Sydney, D, def. Sydney Helgeson and Mia Steffes, B, 6-2, 6-2. 2, Megan Richter and Peyton Neumiller, B, def. Alexa Cofer and Elizabeth Dean, D, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.
No. 2 Minot 4, No. 3 Dickinson 1
Singles: 1, Raquel Egge, M, def. Jorda, D, 6-0, 6-0. 2, Eden Olson, M, def. Dazell, D, 6-0, 6-0. 3, Schneider, D, Valeria Cevallos, M, 6-3, 6-4.
Doubles: 1, Sofia Egge and Joelle Fettig, M, def. Stankova and Cofer, D, 6-1, 6-3. 2, Morgan Wheeler and Sydney Fettig, M, def. Bradley and Dean, D, 6-2, 6-0.
No. 3 Dickinson 5, No. 8 Bismarck Century 0
Singles: 1, Stankova, D, def. Blaike Zander, BC, 6-2, 6-0. 2, Bradley, D, def. Emily Savageau, BC, 6-0, retired. 3, Schneider, D, def. Miki Brackin, BC, 6-0, 6-3.
Doubles: 1, Jorda and Dazell, D, def. Jess Keller and Riley Lembke, BC, 6-4, 4-6, 10-4. 2, Cofer and Dean, D, def. Ashley Kindeia and Maya Kubsad, BC, 6-4, 6-0.