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The last two seasons weren't always easy on the Valley City High School boys tennis team but, so far, this year's Hi-Liners are making progress.
With a pair of home wins against Wahpeton and Dickinson Saturday, the team has won more matches this year than it did the last two.
"Overall, this was a big day for us," Hi-Liner coach Matt Nielson said. "We did not win a match two years ago. Last year, we won only one match, the play-in match to make it to regionals. In one day, we eclipsed the number of wins in our two previous seasons."
The Hi-Liners beat Wahpeton 6-3, which gives Valley City home-court advantage if the two meet in the Eastern Dakota Conference regional play-in match, and then had a 3-2 win over Dickinson in a tournament style match.
Valley City dominated in doubles, winning all five matches.
The No. 1 doubles team of Dustin Miller and Ricky Paulson beat Wahpeton's Colby Youngquist and Jonathan Bartels 6-0, 6-2, then followed it with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Hunter Jerome and Jakob Schmidt.
"Their shot selection was superb along with their teamwork and attitudes," Nielson said about Miller and Paulson. "If they can play like that for the rest of the season, they'll have a shot to beat a couple more teams. Â Also â€“ they'll have a decent shot of state qualifying if they can play at the EDC tournament like they did today."
The No. 2 doubles team of Wyatt Reinhart and Brandon Miller beat Wahpeton's Kylar Jawaski and Jacob Fehr 5-7, 6-1, 6-4, then had a 6-0, 6-0 win over Kevin Schwab and Tyum Praus.
Dalton Ondracek and Iain Horner beat Michael Lehmann and Tanner Douglas 6-1, 6-4 to get the doubles sweep against Wahpeton.
Reinhart, Miller and Paulson all finished undefeated on the day, picking up wins in their singles matches against Wahpeton.
Horner had the team's singles victory against Dickinson, beating Johnathan Griffith at No. 2. Ondracek lost 6-1, 6-1 to Alex Priebe in the No. 1 singles match.
Valley City listed first
VC 6, Wahpeton 3
1. Dustin Miller lost to Colby Youngquist 0-6, 7-6(4), 7-6(6); 2. Ricky Paulson beat Jonathan Bartels 6-2, 6-3; 3. Dalton Ondracek lost to Kylar Jawaski 6-3, 4-6, 6-3; 4. Wyatt Reinhart beat Jacob Fehr 6-4, 6-2; 5. Brandon Miller beat Jonathan Albers 6-1, 6-1; 6. Iain Horner lost to Michael Lehmann 6-3, 6-2
1. D.Miller/Paulson beat Youngquist/Bartels 6-0, 6-2; 2. Â Reinhart/B.Miller beat Jawaski/Fehr 5-7, 6-1, 6-4; 3. Ondracek/Horner beat Lehmann/Tanner Tougas 6-1, 6-4.
VC 3, Dickinson 2
1. Dalton Ondracek lost to Alex Priebe 6-1, 6-1; 2. Iain Horner beat Johnathan Griffith 6-1, 6-1; 3.Â Dickinson won by Default
1.Â Dustin Miller/Ricky Paulson beat Hunter Jerome/Jakob Schmidt 6-1, 6-3; 2.Â Wyatt Reinhart/Brandon Miller beat Kevin Schwab/Tyum Praus 6-0, 6-0