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Wolves finish second, Eriksson wins singles title

After an amazing performance at last week’s Southeast Divisional Tournament in Belgrade, the Three Forks High School Tennis team is headed to state.

The Wolves finished the two-day tournament in second place with 46 points, just behind Broadwater County High School, which had 48.

For the first time in program history, Three Forks had an individual champion, Malia Eriksson, who finished in first place.

The doubles team of Maddie Griffiths and Karin Williams also excelled in Belgrade, becoming the first squad in school history to finish in second place.

After a fifth place finish, the number two doubles team of Claire Cutler and Mikayla Lear will also be heading to the state tournament starting on May 23 in Missoula. Sophie Meskimen will also travel to Missoula after a sixth-place finish in singles.

“As a coach, you teach your players how to play tennis, and they work hard to perfect shots, develop strategies, and push through metal walls and physical pain. Our Wolves have worked so hard this year, and they really laid it all out on the court. They stayed strong mentally and pushed through every wall, including the wind, which became another player on the court Friday (May 17),” Head Coach Janna Lauver said.

Eriksson opened play on May 16 and advanced to the semifinals with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Mylee O’Neil of Jefferson and a 6-2, 6-2 victory over McKenna Black of Red Lodge.

On May 17, Eriksson won 6-2, 6-4 over Taylor Schultz of Red Lodge, which set up a 6-4, 6-4 championship match win over Bailey Silvonen of Jefferson High School.

Playing at number two singles, Meskimen opened on May 16 with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Harper Wolfgram of Broadwater and fell in her second match 1-6, 6-2, 3-6 to Schultz.

On May 17, Meskimen opened with a 6-4, 6-2 win over teammate Sarah Christman and a 6-1, 6-4 victory over McKenna Black of Red Lodge. After falling in her next two matches, Meskimen ended the tournament in sixth place.

After falling 6-4, 6-0 in her opening match on May 16 to Violet Collins of Broadwater, number three singles player Sarah Christman picked up a 6-7 (6-8), 6-1, 6-4 win over Lori Sibbet of Red Lodge. Christman was eliminated from the tournament after losing to Meskimen on May 17.

Playing in her first Divisional Tournament, number four singles player Amanda Wilcox opened with a 6-4, 6-3 loss against Addi Coates but bounced back impressively with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Mylee O’Neal of Jefferson. Wilcox was eliminated after a 6-1, 6-2 loss against Bryleigh Erickson of Broadwater.

Lauver said the second-place team finish wouldn’t have been possible without points from Christman and Wilcox, who will travel with the team as alternate and team manager next week.

The Three Forks number one doubles team of Maddie Griffiths and Karin Williams had a fantastic first day, advancing to the championship with a 6-0, 6-3 win over Holly Keough and Clara Yap of Jefferson and a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Meredith Buchanan and Chole Buescher of Red Lodge.

The dynamic duo fell in the finals 1-6, 5-7 to Emily Bird and Liz Collins of Broadwater.

The number two doubles team of Claire Cutler and Mikayla Lear opened Divisionals with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Addy Leary and Clara Genger of Jefferson and fell in their second match 1-6, 1-6 against Liz Collins and Emily Bird of Broadwater.

On day two, Cutler and Lear lost 6-4, 4-6, 2-6 to Carsyn O’Dell and Chloe Flynn of Broadwater and bounced back strong to finish fifth with a 6-4, 6-4, win over Leary and Genger.

“Assistant Coach Bobby Lauver and I (and volunteer coaches Paula, Melissa, and Sandra) and their parents are incredibly proud of the work they have done this season and can’t wait to see them work their way through the State Bracket,” Janna Lauver said.

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