PREP TENNIS: Fargo South's Lawley finishes dominant season with ND state title; Riders win doubles crown
GRAND FORKS—At the beginning of the season, Fargo South boys tennis coach Vic Youngs asked his players to fill out a survey with random questions on it.
Davis Lawley wrote on his survey a goal that seemed hilariously far-fetched: He wanted to get through the season without losing a game in singles.
Not a match. Not a set. A game.
"That didn't happen," Lawley said.
No, but he came amazingly close.
Lawley completed an undefeated season in singles by beating Michael Janes of Bismarck Legacy 6-1, 6-0 in the North Dakota state championship match Saturday, Oct. 14, at Choice Health and Fitness.
Lawley went 23-0 in singles as a senior, going 46-0 in sets and 276-4 in games.
His set scores in the state tournament were: 6-0, 6-0, 6-0, 6-0, 6-0, 6-0, 6-1, 6-0.
"The amount of focus necessary to achieve that kind of feat—losing four games all year—is just unheard of," South coach Vic Youngs said. "So many little things can happen throughout a game or a match—double faulting, somebody shanking a winner. It's just unheard of that a guy can go through a season and lose four games.
"I knew that at the beginning of the season his goal was to go through a season without losing a game. I sort of smiled and said, 'Yeah, right.' He didn't do it, but he came as close as anybody ever will come."
Lawley, who became Fargo South's first two-game state singles champion since Blake Hankey in 1992 and 1993, said: "I was trying to stay focused, hit every ball and treat every match like it was my last match."
Lawley actually was trailing in the championship match. He lost the first game to Janes, but ran off the next 12 games.
Lawley missed last year's postseason because of a torn meniscus, but came back this year and put together perhaps the most dominant season ever.
"I put a lot of pressure on myself not to lose," said Lawley, who led South to the state team title Thursday. "My goal was to come out here and win my last point. I did that this year."
Youngs said: "Davis thoroughly enjoyed his senior season, because he worked hard for it."
Rider team wins doubles
Grand Forks Red River's Kaden Johnson and Gavin Loscheider won a down-to-the-wire state doubles against Fargo South's Geoffrey Youngs and Max Olson 1-6, 6-1, 7-6 (6).
Johnson and Loschieder rallied from down 4-1 in the third set to get through a doubles field that featured many of the East Region's top players, who decided to chase the doubles crown rather than compete against Lawley.
"It was a crazy match," Red River coach Greg LaDouceur said. "South came out firing. I thought we responded great in the second set. We got up a break right away in the third set. I thought we had them down, but they fought back. I'm very proud of our resiliency."
Johnson won his second doubles title with his second different partner. He won last year's tournament with Danny Pierce.
For Loscheider, it was his first state championship.
"For Gavin, this was his first time really playing a lot in the state tournament," LaDouceur said. "For him to come out on top and get it done, that's pretty good."