The Three Forks High School Tennis team wrapped up their 2023 campaign at last week's Class B-C State Tournament in Great Falls.
Following the tournament, Head Coach Janna Lauver said she could not have been prouder of the six who qualified to compete at state.
"The level of competition that they played was outstanding. They played long, hard, technically difficult, and very unique matches against the best in class B-C tennis. They often had to alter their game to match up against teams they hadn't seen from Loyola and Bigfork. We know that the next season starts now with their summer camps, competition, and training," Lauver said.
The doubles team of juniors Maddie Griffiths and Karin Williams picked up two wins at the tournament.
After falling in their opening match to Kaleah Miller-Toves and Kalee Johnson of Wolf Point, Griffiths and Williams bounced back impressively with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Nillson/Masonic of Lone Peak. Griffiths and Williams followed up with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Missoula Loyola's Megan Reis and Morgan Meibauer.
Griffiths and Williams were eliminated after a 6-3, 6-2 loss to Ceanna Leys and Kylie Kovatch of Choteau.
Alicia Deriana and Ruby Warden opened with a 5-7, 6-4, 10-7 victory over Fairfield's Darra Rogers and Paige Hatch. In their next match, Deriana and Warden fell 6-3, 6-4 to Kayl and Kyal Hadley. The Three Forks senior duo was eliminated from the tournament after a 6-3, 6-4 loss to Leys and Kovatch of Choteau.
Ali Kotter picked up a win at singles for Three Forks. After opening with a 7-5, 6-2 loss to Mission's Lanie Keast, Kotter defeated Hazel Lowell of Big Fork in a thriller, 3-6, 7-5, 10-7. In her final match of the season, Kotter fell 6-2, 6-4 to Kaytlynn Gaub of Baker.
Also competing in singles play, Malia Eriksson lost her opening match 6-2, 6-3 to Gaub. She was eliminated after a loss to Jade Sissler of Big Fork.
After looking at the tournament brackets, Lauver said they show the Thee Forks tennis players showed up and showed off their skills at state.
"One of the things I will always remember is having the team get back on the bus and being so excited to compete at state and supporting each other during the tough losses," she said.
The tournament was the last in the high school careers of Deriana and Warden. Lauver lauded the commitment of the duo.
"I will never forget these two as eager freshmen that were ready and excited to learn and who got handed a short season due to Covid closure. They came back as sophomores very motivated and started playing doubles together immediately and just synced up well together. They challenge each other, communicate well and hold each other up throughout what has been an amazing tennis career. We will miss them and look forward to celebrating their graduation on June 4th. We hope they will keep playing tennis for the rest of their lives," Lauver said.