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Brad E. Schlossman / Forum News Service, Published May 25 2013

Bakke becomes first-ever state girls tennis champion from Bismarck St. Mary's

GRAND FORKS – Bismarck St. Mary’s has a state girls tennis champion for the first time ever.

Caitlin Bakke topped Fargo South’s Karen Moe 6-4, 6-4 on Saturday afternoon at Choice Health and Fitness to win the North Dakota state singles title.

It was a reversal of last year’s final, in which Moe topped Bakke in three sets.

“Karen is a great player and I had to play her last year,” said Bakke, a junior. “Right now, I’m just happy that we both could win one.”

Bakke became the second member of her family to win a state championship. Her brother, Grant, now a UND player, won two state singles titles playing for Bismarck High.

As was the case with last year’s championship, the match was tight throughout. Bakke took advantage of the key points, winning six consecutive deuce points (no-ad scoring), including one for match point.

“It’s very important to win those,” Bakke said. “Once you get the deuce points, you get the confidence. Last year, she won a lot of them. This year, I did. It just kind of goes back and forth.”

Moe, who was named the North Dakota senior athlete of the year, had only positive things to say after the match.

“If you were to tell me two years ago that I would be in the state final, I wouldn’t have believed you,” said Moe, who will play at Northwestern College in St. Paul next year. “I’m just so blessed. Tennis has just been such a great part of my life.

“Bakke deserves it like no other. We were just going back and forth and Bakke came up with some shots that there was just no way I could get to. She was on and playing really well. But I had a blast. How could you not? It’s the state final.”

Lalangi Marasinghe of Grand Forks Red River ended her career the same way it started: winning a state doubles championship with Mimi Yunker.

Marasinghe and Yunker beat Bismarck St. Mary’s Alicia Beck and Mary Roller 6-0, 6-3, giving Marasinghe her record fifth consecutive doubles title.

Marasinghe, the lone senior on the Red River team won titles with three different partners. She won last year’s tournament with Cindy Lim and the 2010 and 2011 titles with Shirlene Luk.

Her first title, however, came with Yunker in 2009, when Marasinghe was an eighth-grader and Yunker was a seventh-grader.

“That one got them started,” Red River coach Greg LaDouceur said. “That’s kind of cool that’s the way it ends.”

Marasinghe and Yunker dominated the tournament, never losing more than three games in any match. They blanked Beck and Roller in the first set en route to the championship.

“The shots they were hitting and the movement they had on the court. … they were very untouchable in that first set,” LaDouceur said. “I was very pleased with the way they came out and played. Give St. Mary’s credit, they came back and fought hard in the second set, but (Marasinghe and Yunker) made some big shots when they needed to.”

Marasinghe finished her career losing just one match in the last four years.

“Five state doubles titles. … what else do you say about it?” LaDouceur said of Marasinghe. “She’s a phenomenal doubles player and a phenomenal teammate. She’s going to be missed. She was always a point we could count on. She’s just all around an awesome player.”

Individual tournament

Singles

Semifinals

Caitlin Bakke, BSM, over Cindy Lim, RR, 6-2, 6-7, 7-5; Karen Moe, South, over Tyne Oberlander, BC, 6-4, 6-3

Championship

Bakke, BSM, over Moe, South, 6-4, 6-4

Third place

Oberlander, BC, over Lim, RR, 2-6, 6-2, 6-0

Consolation quarterfinals

Alyssa Wolf, BC, over Keyenna Enget, Will, 6-2, 6-3; Paige Relling, RR, over Kara Fix, J, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4; Anna Lawley, South, over Olivia Keelin, Shan, 6-4, 7-6; Kayla Barke, Will, over Courtney Brackin, BC, 4-6, 7-5, 6-4

Consolation semifinals

Wolf, BC, over Relling, RR, 6-1, 6-0; Lawley, South, over Barke, Will, 6-1, 6-1

Fifth place

Lawley, South, over Wolf, BC, 7-6, 6-1

Doubles

Semifinals

Alicia Beck-Mary Roller, BSM, over Jenna Coggins-Megan Sherven, Min, 6-3, 6-3; Lalangi Marasinghe-Mimi Yunker, RR, over Maddie Anderson-Alexis Caoili, RR, 6-1, 6-1

Championship

Marasinghe-Yunker, RR, over Beck-Roller, BSM, 6-0, 6-3

Third place

Anderson-Caoili, RR, over Sherven-Coggins, Min, 6-1, 6-1

Consolation quarterfinals

Heather Ripplinger-Catie Cordova, Man, over Ban Dodin-Katie Wilson, Min, 6-4, 6-1; Kaylee Stock-Katie Baasch, WF, over Destiny Winkler-Clarissa Olson, VC, 6-7, 6-4, 7-5; Mary Wessman-Lydia Jacobson, FN, over Paige Fettig-Morgan Grinsteiner, BC, 6-3, 6-2; Amanda Hillstrom-Shelby Gustafson, Man, over Rachel Dodd-Jenna Andre, BHS, 6-1, 4-6, 7-6

Consolation semifinals

Ripplinger-Cordova, Man, over Baasch-Stock, WF, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6; Jacobson-Wessman, FN, over Hillstrom-Gustafson, Man, 6-0, 6-3

Fifth place

Jacobson-Wessman, Fn, over Ripplinger-Cordova, Man, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1


Schlossman writes for the Grand Forks Herald