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Glenn Pursley, Published May 18 2013

South's Moe wins EDC singles tennis title

FARGO – Being down three games in the final set, Fargo South’s Karen Moe could see her North Dakota East Region singles title slipping away from her. But head coach Jason Thiner knew as well as she did that the job was going to get done.

Moe – one of three seniors on the Bruins roster – dug deep and rallied to win the last five games of the third set to beat the No.-1 seeded Cindy Lim of Grand Forks Red River 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 on Saturday to win the East Region girls tennis singles championship for the second year in a row.

“There’s not much you need to say to Karen to get her motivated,” Thiner said. “She’s someone that handles winning and losing exactly the same so, if anything, being down just gets her to be more aggressive. When you’re OK with losing, you kind of let it all hang out, and that’s why she played so well those last few games.”

The trouble began in the sixth game of the third set. Moe double-faulted on game point to put Lim up 5-2 after Lim produced an impressive run of her own to take the early lead in the set, winning 12 of the 15 previous points.

Moe would hold her serve in the next game and proceed to break Lim’s service in Game 9 with a powerful over-head smash that blew right past the Red River sophomore and brought Moe within one game.

The tiring effect of a back-and-forth match on Lim was showing, and Moe took notice. With a little more hustle in her step and more pop on her shot, Moe was able to hold Lim to just five points in the three games to win the set 7-5 and claim the singles title.

“It’s just awesome. Cindy Lim is such a good player, and I’m honored to have had the opportunity to play her again,” Moe said of winning the title for the second year in a row. “I wasn’t expecting it all after two close matches and coming back and winning. … It’s so awesome.”

In a close semifinal match, Moe faced the No. 3 seed Sammie Smith of West Fargo. Moe lost the first set 4-6, but bounced back to take the last two sets 6-2, 6-2 and advance to the finals to earned the No. 1 seed in upcoming North Dakota state tournament.

Red River did not go home empty-handed. The top-seeded doubles team of Mimi Yunker and Lalangi Marasinghe took home the first-place trophy with a win in straight sets over Clarissa Olson and Destiny Winkler 6-1, 6-2.

The feeling of winning a conference title may be something new for Yunker, but for Marasinghe it’s a familiar feeling, having won the title the past four years.

“It’s my last year, so I’m really excited to finish strong,” Marasinghe said. “There were some iffy times, but overall I think this was the best we’ve played all tournament.”

Yunker added: “It feels good considering I lost last year, but it feels good to be the champ. If we play our game and keep working hard at practices, I think we’ll do just fine (at the state tournament).”

Singles

Consolation

Semifinal

Relling, GFRR, def. Keelin, S, 5-7; 6-4; 7-6 (7-2)

McGuigan, FD, def. Wanzek, FD, 6-3; 1-6; 6-1

Fifth place

Relling, GFRR, def. McGuigan, FD, 6-2; 6-1

Seventh place

Keelin, S, def. Wanzek, FD, 7-6 (7-4); 6-2

Championship

Semifinals

Lim, GFRR, def. Lawley, FS, 6-2; 6-2

Moe, FS, def. Smith, WF, 4-6, 6-2; 6-2

Final

Moe, FS, def. Lim, GFRR, 3-6; 6-1; 7-5

Third place

Smith, WF, def. Lawley, FS, 6-0; 6-0

Doubles

Consolation

Semifinal

Baasch/Stock, WF, def. Stein/Freden, WF, 6-0; 6-2

Coit/Gilbertson, VC, def. McGregor/Chemiti, FD, 7-5; 6-3

Fifth place

Baasch/Stock, WF, def. Coit/Gilbertson, VC, 6-2; 7-6 (7-3)

Seventh place

Stein/Freden, WF, def. McGregor/Chemiti, FD, 7-6 (7-5); 6-2

Championship

Semifinals

Marasinghe/Yunker, GFRR, def. Anderson/Caoili, GFRR, 6-2; 6-0

Olson/Winkler, VC, def. Jacobson/Wessman, FN, 6-3; 6-4

Final

Marasinghe/Yunker, GFRR, def. Olson/Winkler, VC, 6-1; 6-2

Third place

Anderson/Caoili, GFRR, def. Jacobson/Wessman, FN, 6-3; 6-2

All-EDC team

Grand Forks Red River: Mimi Yunker, Maddie Anderson, Lalanghi Marasinghe, Cindy Lim.

Fargo South: Karen Moe, Anna Lawley

Fargo Davies: Laura McGuigan

West Fargo: Sammie Smith, Kaylee Stock, Katie Baasch

Fargo North: Mary Wessman, Lydia Jacobson

Valley City: Clarissa Olson, Destiny Winkler

Fargo Shanley: Olivia Keelin

Coach of the year: Matt Nielson, Valley City

Senior athlete nominees: Karen Moe, Fargo South; Lalanghi Marasinghe, Grand Forks Red River; Shelby Regimbal, Grand Forks Central.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Glenn Pursley at (701) 241-5549