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tennis

Mandan's Elizabeth Felderman hits a return shot during her No. 1 singles match on Tuesday against Century's Jess Keller.

Mandan took one more step toward a West Region tennis title on Tuesday, and did so convincingly.

The Braves, undefeated in conference play, dropped just one set to Century in a 9-0 sweep at Mandan Middle School.

With just two West Region matches left the Braves are 6-0 in the conference and 9-1 overall.

"So far we've done everything we've needed to do to achieve our goals," Mandan coach Paul Christen said. "The girls have worked hard and they're playing pretty well."

The Braves ended matters early, dropping just 19 games in a dominate 6-0 performance in singles.

Elizabeth Felderman was in typical form, cruising 0 and 0 at No. 1 singles.

"She's been playing really well lately," Christen said of the sophomore. "She started the season a little slow but she's had some pretty impressive wins lately and that's good news for us moving on to next week."

Lizzie Allan nearly did the same at No. 3, dropping just one game to Riley Lembke.

The most competitive match came at No. 2 where senior Kenna Vogel posted a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Blaike Zander.

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"Kenna's done a really good job for us. She's qualified for state the last two years. She's improved every year," Christen said.

Sophie Felderman, just a seventh-grader, dropped only four games at No. 4 singles to Miki Brackin.

The Braves continue to show they have depth, too.

With Kate Kesler sidelined due to a back injury, Kenzie Ulrich has moved up to No. 5 while Breanna Helbling has been inserted into the lineup at No. 6. Ulrich and Helbling each won handily in straight sets.

"They've had to move up and they've done really well filling those roles," Christen said of Ulrich and Helbling.

The three doubles matches went much the same way.

Century's Lembke and Scout Wheeler took the opening set at No. 2, but Allan and Ulrich rallied to win the final two, 6-1, 6-3.

Mandan's final two matches are on the road, including a marquee tilt against Dickinson on Saturday. The Midgets are 5-1 in the West. The Braves are in Williston to face the Coyotes today.

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Reach Tribune sports editor Dave Selvig at 701-250-8246 or david.selvig@bismarcktribune.com

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