MOORHEAD, MN - Junior Olivia Keelin and Sophomore Julia Geske started playing as doubles partners for MSUM last season, helping the Dragons to their best record in program history (16-4). This season their on and off court chemistry has only gotten better.

“It’s really a fun experience having a connection with someone on the team where you can both work hard motivate each other on the court," Keelin noted. "Just keep(ing) each other positive even if one isn’t doing the best."

The dynamic Dragon duo has only lost three doubles matches this season and have helped MSUM capture the two-seed in the NSIC tournament. What's even more important than the results on the stat sheet for these two, is the special bond they've created.

“We’re like best friends, so I mean we hang out a lot off the court. On the court we essentially have fun, between points we are always just talking," Geske said with a smile.

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“We always have each others back and we’re never scared to tell each other anything, which is really cool and it’s really fun being apart of a team where you have someone to look at like as having that sisterly bond” Keelin added.

The relationship these two have created has been strengthened by their upper Midwest roots, Keelin coming from Fargo, ND and Geske from Rochester, MN.

“Every time we play those tougher teams, people from other countries, we feel that pride of knowing where we grew up, in the Northern area," Keelin said. "Getting to carry that on our shoulders with a lot of pride when we win.”

"I do have the Minnesotan pride, like hey I'm here I can compete just as well as anyone else in the country," Geske added.

Keelin, Geske and the rest of the Dragons will take on Bemidji State in the opening round of the NSIC Tournament, Saturday in Mankato.