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In one of the earlier matches of Valley City High School's 9-0 loss to Grand Forks Central, the No. 1 singles team of Dustin Miller and Ricky Paulson showed its true potential.
Playing against Brenden Sailor, a returning state doubles runner-up, and Andrew Thompson, Miller and Paulson won their first set 6-4 against the duo.
"Our confidence was up, we played as a team, we believed in that first set," Valley City coach Matt Nielson said.
But from there, it was all downhill as the Hi-Liners dropped the next two sets 6-1, 6-1.
It was part of a trend for the team, which also had its No. 2 doubles team win its first set, but went down 6-0, 6-0 in the next two. The No. 3 doubles team lost 7-5 in a close first set, but fell 6-1 in the second set.
Valley City didn't win a set in singles, but Nielson said improvement continues, especially for players including Brandon Miller and Dalton Ondracek
"We need to play loose and focus on the next point and to believe that we can win that next point," he said. "Win enough points, you win the game."
The Hi-Liners play at Red River Thursday.
1. Â Dustin Miller lost to Brenden Sailor 6-2, 6-1; 2. Â Ricky Paulson lost to Kyle Folson 6-2, 6-2; 3. Dalton Ondracek lost to Andrew Thompson 6-4, 6-4; 4. Wyatt Reinhart lost to Dallas Chambers 6-1, 6-0; 5. Brandon Miller lost to Andy Manske 7-5, 6-0; 6.Â Iain Horner lost to Ethan Comeau 6-0, 6-1.
1.Â D. Miller/Paulson lost to Sailor/Thompson 4-6, 6-1, 6-1; 2.Â Reinhart/B. Miller lost to Folson/Manske 4-6, 6-0, 6-0; 3.Â Ondracek/Horner lost to Christian Wedin/Matt Picklo 7-5, 6-1