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Grand Forks Central wins first state boys tennis title since 1997

Grand Forks Central's James Votava returns a shot as his doubles partner, Hunter Bjorge, watches during Thursday's North Dakota state tennis tournament in Grand Forks. Nick Nelson / Forum News Service1 / 2
Grand Forks Central's Gary Wu celebrates during Thursday's North Dakota state tennis tournament in Grand Forks. Nick Nelson / Forum News Service2 / 2

GRAND FORKS—Grand Forks Central came within a set of ending a 20-year drought without a North Dakota boys state team tennis title last fall.

A year later, playing with almost exactly the same team, the Knights officially ended it.

With six members of the 1997 championship team watching, Central easily handled Bismarck Legacy in the final, winning the first three matches on the court at Choice Health and Fitness.

It marked Central's first state championship since 1997, when the Knights stunned previously unbeaten Grand Forks Red River in the championship.

This time, there was no upset.

Central completed its a 17-0 season by cruising through the state tournament. They didn't lose a match in a quarterfinal win over Bismarck Century and a semifinal win over defending state champ Fargo South.

In the championship against Bismarck Legacy, which was hoping to become the first West Region team to win state since Bismarck St. Mary's in 1993, the Knights had secured the title in less than an hour.

Kyle Stauss started it with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Nick Mathern at No. 3 singles.

Hunter Bjorge and James Votava then beat Paxton Miller and Jay Moylan 6-0, 6-4 in No. 2 doubles.

Logan Sandberg clinched the victory with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Sean Joyce at No. 2 singles.

For good measure, Braden Panzer and Cole Spicer beat Parker Krom and Corby Svihovec 6-2, 6-4 at No. 1 singles.

The No. 1 singles match between Central's Gary Wu and Legacy's Michael Janes was in progress late Thursday night.