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Tiebreak thriller: LeFevre loses 18-16, JHS eliminated

Jamestown tennis coach Pat Mullowney claims he’s never seen anything like it since he’s been coaching.

With the loser-out dual tied at two against Williston at the West Region team tennis tournament on Thursday, Maria LeFevre and Bethanie Pippin engaged in a marathon match that ended in Pippin’s 18-16 win in the third-set tiebreaker.

“It’s match you’ll never forget as a player,” Mullowney said. “She’ll always talk about this match. She just came out on the short side.”

The quiet and unassuming LeFevre was the perfect participant to go the distance, Mullowney said.

“Maria’s the one you want to have in there — she’s got the right temperament,” Mullowney said. “It was a heartbreaking loss, but she has a lot to be proud of.”

Both players won their sets 6-4, but LeFevre fell down 5-3 in the third set. She battled back to force the tiebreaker at 6-all, where she trailed 5-1 before again rallying. LeFevre fought off 12 match points, though she wasn’t able to convert on four match points that would have given her the win.

It was a spectacle, with players from both teams watching, as well as Dickinson, which awaited the winner.

“It was a pressure match,” Mullowney said.

Jamestown, seeded seventh, didn’t start out so good. The Blue Jays were swept 5-0 by Century in the opening round.

Against Williston in the consolation round, Jenna Reed won with ease, while Bailee Graves and Kaitlin Mullowney lost the first set in doubles action, but came back and dispatched their opponents, giving the Blue Jays a second win in the 3-2 format.

Erin Mullowney battled Williston’s Keyanna Enget at No. 1 singles, but lost 6-1 and 7-6 (2).

Though it still hurts to think about, it’s been a common theme for the Blue Jays this year.

“We had 5-4s throughout the year and this 3-2 — we’re right in there,” Mullowney said. “You look at the West (Region). Century and St. Mary’s are certainly the class, but we played with everybody else pretty well. These girls have a lot to be proud of for their competitive spirit.”

Singles and doubles play starts today. Erin Mullowney is seeded fifth in the singles bracket, while Jenna Reed and Bailee Graves are sixth-seeded in doubles action.

Team tournament


St. Mary’s 5, Mandan 0

Dickinson 4, Bismarck 1

Minot 4, Williston 1

Century 5, Jamestown 0

Singles: 1. Alyssa Wolf, C, def. Bailee Graves, 6-0, 6-2. 2. Courtney Brackin, C, def. Kaitlin Mullowney, 6-1, 6-3. 3. Jamie Stoppler, C, def. Megan Larson, 6-1, 6-1.

Doubles: 1. Annie Dickson-Morgan Grinsteiner, C, def. Erin Mullowney-Jenna Reed, 6-4, 6-3. 2. Paige Fettig-Nora Erickson, C, def. Maria LeFevre-Taylor Weber, 6-2, 6-2.


St. Mary’s 4, Dickinson 1

Century 4, Minot 1


St. Mary’s 4, Century 1

Loser-out bracket

Bismarck 4, Mandan 1

Williston 3, Jamestown 2

Singles: 1. Enget, W, def. E. Mullowney, 6-1, 7-6 (2). 2. Reed, J, def. Wells, 6-0, 6-1. 3. Pippin, W, def. LeFevre, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (18-16).

Doubles: 1. Graves-K. Mullowney, J, def. Kleven-Hunter, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1. 2. Barstad-Lysne, W, def. Webber-Larson, 6-2, 6-3.

State qualifiers

Minot 3, Bismarck 2

Dickinson 3, Williston 2

Sun sportswriter Chris

Aarhus can be reached

at (701) 952-8462 or