New Richmond girls tennis battles Big Rivers opponents
It seems like every week over the past month, the New Richmond girls tennis team has been meeting up with one or more teams from the Big Rivers Conference.
The Tigers showed again that they compete on even footing with the BRC squads during a quad meet in Menomonie on Saturday. The Tigers scored a 5-2 win over Chippewa Falls before losing by 4-3 scores to Menomonie and Hudson.
The evenness of these matches shows up when comparing scores from earlier this season. When they met the first time, Chippewa Falls notched a 4-3 win over the Tigers. When the Tigers met Menomonie earlier, it was the Tigers who scored the 4-3 win.
Avenging the previous loss to Chippewa Falls was a nice accomplishment for the Tigers. In both matches the Tigers were able to capture wins in the top three singles slots from Mattie Kidder, Christian Weaver and Emma Bakke.
In the four singles match, Maya Dadez showed improvement by winning 7-5, 7-6. She lost in a three-set tie-break the last time she faced the Cardinals.
The Tigers also got a win at two doubles from Emily Laporte and Kjrsten Faaren against Chippewa Falls. They are part of a three-way competition for the final two doubles team roles in the varsity lineup.
There have been six girls competing for those spots in the doubles lineup. Coach Denise Devereux said she thinks she's found the best pairings among the six girls, with LaPorte and Faaren together, Taylor Stai and Gaby Cruz together and the Kupke sisters, Brianna and Gabby together. Now the coaches have to decide which of those three teams will get the two varsity spots.
"They are all pretty even," Devereux said, "but we're starting to see some differences."
Against Menomonie, Kidder and Weaver scored wins in the two top singles matches. The third win came from the one doubles team of Blaire Ziebol and Kaitlynn Belisle, who were sharp in a 6-3, 6-2 win.
Hudson is a strong program and the Tigers gave the Raiders a good fight in the heat and humidity the teams faced Saturday. All New Richmond's win came in singles matches. Kidder scored her third victory of the day at one singles while Bakke and Dadez were winners for the second time at three and four singles.
The Tigers continued to roll through Middle Border Conference opposition without much trouble. Their latest MBC win was a 7-0 sweep against Ellsworth last Thursday.
Devereux used this match to get her top junior varsity players some experience at the varsity level. Michelle Powers scored a 6-1, 6-2 win at four singles and the team of Andrea Greer and Hailie Schultz put up a 6-0, 6-0 win at three doubles.
"They showed they were ready to step in," Devereux said.
After their recent busy schedule, the Tigers now get a break with a week between matches. The next time the Tigers take the court for a match will be next Tuesday when they host Unity.
Devereux said the week-long break comes at an opportune time. She said there are a number of small needed adjustments that can be addressed during the practices the Tigers will have the rest of the week.
New Richmond 7, Ellsworth 0
No. 1 Mattie Kidder (NR) def. Megan Stress 6-0, 6-0
No. 2 Christian Weaver (NR) def. Kali Schaar 6-0, 6-0
No. 3 Emma Bakke (NR) def. Marissa Schumaker 6-1, 6-0
No. 4 Michelle Powers (NR) def. Allyson Stoetzel 6-1, 6-2
No. 1 Blaire Ziebol/Kaitlynn Belisle (NR) def. Rochelle Sweig/Alexis Linder 6-1, 6-1
No. 2 Taylor Stai/Gaby Cruz (NR) def. Kenzie Anderson/Mariah Vogel 6-1, 4-6, 6-1
No. 3 Andrea Greer/Hailie Schultz (NR) def. Brieanna Davis/Kendra Thoen 6-0, 6-0