Perennial tennis championship contender Grand Forks Red River visited Valley City for an Eastern Dakota Conference match on Thursday amid a week of heat-induced schedule changes.
Red River took the match, 9-0, though Hi-Liner head coach Matt Nielson was impressed with his team's efforts.
"Red River is Red River," Nielson said. "They haven't won the state championship 14 consecutive time because they are lucky — they are the best in the state. Their No. 1's to No. 4's all have the talent to win the state championship. Their No. 5, (Andrew) Godon, took 5th in the state last year."
In singles, Valley's No. 1 Derek Reimers lost to Greg Wischer. No. 2 Dalton Ondracek lost to Joey Anderson. No. 3 Brandon Miller lost to Andre Caoili. No. 4 Evan Haglund lost to Jake Kuhlman. No. 5 Jacob Wendel lost to Andrew Godon. No. 6 Sam Jenson lost to Ryan Kenyon.
"Sam played his first varsity matches today and responded with excellent
footwork and intensity," Nielson. "He took coaching well within the match and was
able to improve. Derek, Dalton, and Brandon played great points in the singles. They
hustled, played to win each point, and played probably their best tennis of the season to date."
Doubles play saw No. 1 Reimers and Ondracek fall to Wischer / Anderson. No. 2 Miller / Haglund lost to Caoili / Kenyan. No. 3 Wendel / Jenson lost to Kuhlman / Jones.
"This was a good match for us. Red River hits the ball hard and with spin, and we needed to see that and play against that. We are seeing strides in our players from our No. 1 player all the way to our JV players, Zach (Baumgartner), Brighton (Smith), and Tyler (Clark). Coach (Travis Peterson) is very impressed with the coachability and improvement of the JV, and I am also proud of them and the varsity."
Valley City's next match is Sept. 5 at Wahpeton.