Alicia Deriana

Three Forks’ Alicia Deriana serves the ball during the State B-C tournament in Bozeman.

Three Forks’ girls tennis team wrapped the season at the State B-C tournament, which was held on the campus of Montana State University.

Juniors Ruby Warden and Alicia Deriana, and sophomores Karin Williams and Madison Giffiths, each won a match in doubles play. The quartet, who were making their first state appearance, helped the team earn 2 points in the team standings.

Wolves’ head coach Janna Lauver noted the teams had “tough draws” in opening matches against Conrad and Simms on Thursday.

Warden and Deriana lost to Conrad’s Vermulm/Killion before bouncing back Friday morning to defeat Conrad’s Delica/Arndt in loser-out play. But they were knocked out the tournament by Fairfield’s Wilson/Wipf.

“Deriana really out-did herself blocking at the net and throwing off the opponent’s server. She took two hard serves to the arm before she gave up her strategic position,” said Lauver. “Warden shined both in long return balls and her wide reach getting her racquet on some really hard serves.”

Williams and Griffiths lost to Simms’ Okes/Baranko in the first round, and then defeated Wolf Point’s McDonald/Campbell in a third set tiebreaker. Their season ended with a loss to Superior’s Dao/Bibler.

“Griffiths took a ball to the eye in the third set earning herself a net player’s shiner that was even more evident the next day,” said Lauver. “Williams covered the court and perfected her overhead game at the net while working at different strategies on the baseline.”

Missoula Loyola won its third consecutive state championship with 39 points, while Simms was second with 33.

While Three Forks loses a handful of players to graduation, the majority of the team is expected to return and Lauver is already looking forward to 2023.

“I am incredibly proud of our second year at state and look forward to continuing to advance the program even further next year,” she said.

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