Underdogs line up for the North Dakota State Girls Tennis Singles and Doubles Championships – Grand Forks Herald

GRAND FORKS – Fargo Davies senior Paige McCormick has picked just the right time for a girls tennis breakthrough at North Dakota State.

McCormick had finished fourth, third and second in the state singles tournament in her career.

A week ago, she lost the EDC singles championship to Sarea Gu of West Fargo Sheyenne in straight sets.

On Saturday, however, McCormick jumped over both obstacles.

McCormick defeated Gu 6-4, 6-2 in the state singles championship at Choice Health & Fitness.

“I just tried to play consistently and play my best defense,” McCormick said. “She is an aggressive player and I knew I had to get a lot of balls back.”

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Paige McCormick of Fargo Davies hits a shot during her championship match with Sarea Gu of West Fargo Sheyenne Saturday at Choice Courts in Grand Forks.

Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

McCormick said she had lost her last few matches against Gu and had not defeated the freshman in a few seasons.

“She’s a great player,” McCormick said. “I think I was a little more aggressive (compared to previous losses to Gu) and tried to put the ball away whenever I could.”

McCormick is the first Davies singles player to ever win a state title. No Davies doubles team has ever won a state title.

“It feels great to finally end on a good note,” McCormick said. “I’m so happy that I was finally able to end up like this.”

Fargo Davies coach Paul Kolesar said McCormick was mentally dialed in for the state title game.

“She played fantastic,” Kolesar said. “She kept the pressure the whole time. Her athleticism really shone through.”

Sheyenne duo takes double crown

Like McCormick in singles, Alyssa Sommerfeld and Shireen Durrani of West Fargo Sheyenne entered the doubles championship match having already lost this season to their counterparts: Aleah McPherson and Halle Severson of Bismarck Legacy.

And like McCormick in singles, Sommerfeld and Durrani flipped the script. They defeated McPherson and Severson 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 for the championship.

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West Fargo Sheyenne’s Alyssa Sommerfeld, left, and Shireen Durrani won the state doubles championship Saturday at Choice Courts in Grand Forks.

Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

“I think we were the underdogs and showed everyone what we can do,” Sommerfeld said. “I think we came in with the mentality that this game is for us. We knew it was up to us to win. They had beaten us and so we had nothing to lose and we just went for it. It was so surreal. We both cried. It was great.”

Sheyenne coach Chad Anderson told Sommerfeld at the start of the season that this was her year in doubles, despite a strong background in singles.

“I told her, ‘I’ve seen you play and I know what you can do,’” Anderson said.

Anderson said Sheyenne’s unique style was a factor.

“We do Australian doubles, which is different to most people,” Anderson said. “I think that gave us an edge on the net. We lobbed excellently and took the net away.”

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West Fargo Sheyenne’s Alyssa Sommerfeld returns a shot during Saturday’s doubles championship match at Choice Courts in Grand Forks.

Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

Tom Molenaar

Miller has been covering sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was state sportswriter of the year in 2019 and 2022.

His primary focus is UND football, but he also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, [email protected] or on Twitter at @tommillergf.

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