ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

North focused on next match entering EDC boys tennis tournament

Fargo - Nobody on the Fargo North boys tennis team is thinking of the possibility of a monumental upset today against Grand Forks Red River in the conference tournament.

Fargo - Nobody on the Fargo North boys tennis team is thinking of the possibility of a monumental upset today against Grand Forks Red River in the conference tournament.

The Spartans aren't about to hand anything over, either. And they aren't looking ahead.

"We're focused on Shanley right now," North senior Sawyer Dahl said.

No. 2 seeded North is scheduled to take on No. 7 Fargo Shanley at 10 a.m. today in the first round of the Eastern Dakota Conference team tournament at Fargo South. In other first-round matches, No. 1 Red River plays No. 9 Valley City at Courts Plus, No. 4 Fargo Davies takes on No. 5 West Fargo at Island Park and Grand Forks Central squares off against Wahpeton at Elephant Park.

North finished 7-1 in the conference this season. The only league loss was an 8-1 dual against perennial power Red River.

ADVERTISEMENT

In fact, the Spartans were the only team to take a match from the Roughriders this year. Red River has won 71 of 72 matches. But that was in the 6-3 format, where each team sent six singles players and three doubles teams to the court.

The postseason is infinitely harder. It's three singles players and two doubles teams each. Depth, which is one of the Spartans' strengths, is minimized. This is more about talent at the top spots.

The Spartans have plenty of that. Junior Andy Ficek is the team's top singles player. Dahl caught fire in the second half of the season and is poised for a solid postseason.

The duos of Connor Teske and Ben Mostad, and Nate Jacobson and Austen Strom will be the likely doubles pairings for the team tournament.

"We just try to have fun in practice a lot," Dahl said. "We are more team oriented. The last couple years we haven't done that great in individual tournaments, but this year we're trying to make a push to get more guys into state."

The last boys team tennis title for Fargo North was 1978. The Spartans have qualified for state the last two years, failing to place in 2009 and finishing fourth last season. Red River has earned 13 consecutive state team titles.

There is a sense at North that the team could take another step forward this year. The focus first is on getting past Shanley in the first round of the EDC tournament.

"Anyone who looks past their first-round opponent is crazy because it's really going to be tight all the way through," Unruh said. "Anyone is capable of beating anybody else if they have a good day."

ADVERTISEMENT

Readers can reach Forum reporter Heath Hotzler at (701) 241-5562.

Hotzler's blogs can be found at www.areavoices.com

What To Read Next
Get Local

ADVERTISEMENT