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Grand Forks Red River doubles pair hopes to finish strong

May 29—GRAND FORKS — After the first few matches of the girls tennis season, Grand Forks Red River coach Greg LaDouceuer matched up junior Addy Lommen and eighth-grader Ruby Schneider as doubles partners.

"I liked how they played but more importantly they liked how they played together," LaDouceur said.

The matching of Red River's most experienced doubles player with a program newcomer has paid off.

The two are the No. 5 seed from the East heading into this weekend's North Dakota state tournament at Grand Forks' Choice Health & Fitness.

The team dual tournament plays out Thursday, while the singles and doubles tournaments begin Friday.

"I think we did really well (at EDC)," said Lommen, who was named an all-EDC selection. "We definitely put in a lot of work in practice, and I think we surprised a lot of teams by how well we did."

For Lommen, the state tournament will make a third consecutive season in the state doubles tournament.

"You put a junior with an eighth-grader and you don't know how that's going to mesh," LaDouceur said. "Addy has been such a tremendous leader and coach on the court for Ruby the whole time they're playing. She's been so good for Ruby in that sense. They've come in to their own. They had a good weekend last weekend and we will see what they can do this weekend."

Lommen said she's impressed with Schneider, the sister of former North Dakota state boys doubles champion Espen Schneider (2021).

"She's young, but she's really good for her age," Lommen said. "She has a good attitude."

Their skills are complementary, Lommen said.

"She definitely keeps the ball in, which you need to do," Lommen said. "She has a strong backhand and forehand at the baseline. My strength is the net, so it's perfect because she keeps it in at the baseline, and I can attack at the net. Her serves are really good, too, so that helps when her serves are hard because it's easier to get at the net."

Lommen paired with senior Farrah Spicer last season, taking runner-up in EDC doubles before struggling at state. She's hopeful for a better showing this season.

"Just making it to the second day," Lommen said of her weekend hopes. "I think we'll surprise people. We've played some of these teams at the beginning of the season, and we've got so much better."

Red River also qualified for the dual tournament as the No. 4 seed, while Dana Chahal was the Riders' lone qualifier in singles as the East No. 7 seed.

"(Chahal) had a great weekend for us," LaDouceur said. "She went 5-2. She had a tough draw, and she played really good tennis."

Grand Forks Central has two singles qualifiers in Madi Stauss (No. 4 East) and Gabrielle Cormier (No. 8 East).

Central's state qualifier in the doubles tournament is Stella Blue-Alli Wilhelmi, the No. 7 seed from the East.