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St. Mary’s beats Blue Jays

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sports Jamestown, 58401

Jamestown North Dakota 121 3rd St NW 58401

A grueling six-day stretch ended against one of the top teams in the state for the Blue Jay tennis team Tuesday.

Bismarck St. Mary’s, led by its dynamic 1-2-3 punch at the top, beat Jamestown 9-0, which was playing for the fifth time in six days with Sunday being the lone off day. It’s been tough travel-wise too for the Jays, who traveled to Williston, Dickinson and Bismarck twice during the stretch.

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However, coach Pat Mullowney wasn’t looking for excuses.

“It’s been a crazy spring, but it’s been that way for everybody,” he said. “You have to give St. Mary’s credit. That’s a quality team.”

Bailee Graves came closest to getting a set as she and Mary Roller were level at 5-all in the opener, but the St. Mary’s senior pulled it out 7-5.

“It was nice to see Bailee hitting with determination and aggressiveness. We look for that to continue,” Mullowney said.

It wasn’t like the Blue Jays were blown off the court, but No. 1 singles player Caitlin Bakke, Alicia Beck at No. 2 and Roller make for a potent top 3 for the unbeaten Saints (7-0).

“I didn’t think we hit poorly. We had some errors at inopportune errors. … We need some good court time in a practice-type setting,” Mullowney said. “It’s been match after match here lately, but hopefully over the next couple days we get some decent weather and get out and work on some things.”

After a tough opening set, Erin Mullowney earned two games against Bakke, a state title contender in No. 1 singles.

Jenna Reed got three games at No. 2, while Taylor Webber won five games at No. 6 singles.

“They don’t give you anything,” Mullowney said of St. Mary’s. “They’re pretty deep 1-6, so there’s nothing easy.”

Mullowney is looking for his team to finish sets better.

“We’ve struggled on deuce points. In (high school tennis) the next point wins the game. Sometimes you just gave to go out and win the point. That’s something we work a lot on in practice and have to keep making strides in that area.”

The end-of-the-season gauntlet continues for the Blue Jays as they host Minot Thursday, before facing Wahpeton on Friday in Fargo then playing in the West Fargo Invite on Saturday.

“They’re a solid team,” Mullowney said of Minot. “Hopefully we get a good day of weather (Wednesday) and get ready for another competitive match.”

Bismarck St. Mary’s 9, Jamestown 0

Singles

1. Caitlin Bakke, SM, def. Erin Mullowney, 6-0, 6-2. 2. Alicia Beck, SM, def. Jenna Reed, 6-2, 6-1. 3. Mary Roller, SM, def. Bailee Graves, 7-5, 6-1. 4. Karen Steigelmeier, SM, def. Maria LeFevre, 6-0, 6-2. 5. Emily Bichler, SM, def. Kaitlin Mullowney, 6-1, 6-1. 6. Ashley Kilzer, SM, def. Taylor Webber, 6-4, 6-1.

Doubles

1. Bakke-Beck, SM, def. E. Mullowney-Reed, 6-0, 6-0. 2. Roller-Steigelmeier, SM, def. Graves-K. Mullowney, 6-1, 6-1. 3. Bichler-Regan Bradley, SM, def. LeFevre-Weber, 6-3, 6-3.

Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at dselvig@jamestownsun.com

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