FARGO — Saturday was a first for West Fargo Sheyenne senior Preeti Chemiti and freshman Mimi Gu. The two had never had to stop a tennis match because of an alarm going off, but a tennis ball set one off at Courts Plus on Saturday, as the two were playing for an East Region doubles title.
The two took a seat on the court and waited for employees to turn the alarm off.
"We've never experienced anything like that," Gu said. "I think that alarm kind of saved us. We got a little break to get everything together."
At the time, Gu and Chemiti were trailing 4-3 in the first set against Grand Forks Central's duo of Gabby Spicer and Katie Stauss. The top-seeded Sheyenne pair came back to win the first set 7-5 and rolled through the second set 6-0 to capture the doubles title.
"I think that was kind of a really refreshing point and it gave us the momentum that we needed," Chemiti said. "It was a little humorous looking back at it because it released all the tension and stress that we had. I know both of us coming out we were a little nervous, but when that alarm came off it kind of mentally signaled that we were ready to start over, relax a little bit, take a breather and then go for it all over again."
The alarm wasn't the only first for Chemiti. It was her first individual East Region title, as she lost in the singles championship match last season.
"To be able to win a doubles championship my senior year felt pretty amazing," Chemiti said.
Next to Chemiti and Gu was teammate Monti Knewtson in the singles championship against defending East Region champion Shaelyn Johnson. The alarm had a bit of the reverse effect on Knewtson, as she rolled in the first set 6-2 and went down 4-1 in the second set. She cut the lead 4-3 before Johnson pushed it to 5-4, but Knewtson closed it out with a 7-5 win in the second set.
"I didn't really want to play a third because she's tough and she's in good shape," Knewtson said. "I just wanted to fight back. It was a competitive match the whole time. Every point was competitive. It wasn't like I was down 1-4, it was more like who is going to win the most points the rest of the match. It was a really fun match."
Knewtson won the East Region singles title her freshman year and won a region title at doubles her sophomore year with Gu en route to a state doubles championship. She doesn't really prefer singles or doubles, but she was happy to be back at singles this season.
"It was weird not being able to defend it last year, but you have to play all over the place, you gotta do whatever," Knewtson said. "I'm glad that this year I got to try to defend it again. I'm really pumped."
The victory gives Sheyenne a sweep of the East Region, as the Mustangs won the team title Thursday.
"I think it makes a pretty dominant statement, knowing that Sheyenne was able to claim not only the team championship, but singles and doubles as well," Chemiti said. "Knowing that we could be that dominant tennis program that we always hoped to be is pretty impressive."