Girls HS Tennis: Andre-Stoppler rivalry helped elevate West Region tennis

Sports

With the end of the high school tennis season, we said goodbye to the end of an era. Two of the West Region’s best players competed in their final matches. We look back at the rivalry between Bismarck High’s Lauryn Andre and Century’s Jamie Stoppler.

The matches between Jamie Stoppler and Lauryn Andre date back to elementary school.

“We’ve been playing each other since forever I guess,” Stoppler said. “Since I started tournaments in like fourth grade.”

“It’s a little bit of rivalry and friendship,” Andre said, “so a little bit combined. So it makes it fun.”

This season, the competitors even took semi-private lessons together. So they know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

“You could say that because we’ve played each other some many times,” Stoppler said. “I’m sure she knows mine. There’s no secrets when we play each other.”

But when Bismarck plays Century, their friendship takes a backseat.

“It’s pretty intense just because we both want to win so bad,” Stoppler said. “I think it’s pretty fun too. We are all smiles no matter win or lose.”

“When we see each other at the courts we’ll say high and talk about hitting sometimes, but…,” Andre said.

This season, Jamie defeated Lauryn twice. Once during the regular season and at the state tournament.

“I think when I play Jamie it’s a different type of competitive,” Andre said. “I’m competitive for everything, but it’s a different kind because we play each other so much and went back and forth.

Regardless of the on-court results, both players have elevated the sport during their high school careers.

“Speaking for both of us,” Andre said, “We hope that our Legacy would be to work hard, play hard, play on the offseason not just during season and we hope that inspires younger players.”

Surprisingly, both players will not play in college. Jamie will attend U-Mary and help Dan Keith coach next year. Lauryn will attend North Dakota State and major in finance.

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