New Richmond girls tennis locks up second place in MBC dual season
The New Richmond girls tennis team finished in second place in the dual meet portion of the Middle Border Conference season.
The Tigers finished with a 6-1 MBC dual record after they defeated Amery and Durand last week. The match between New Richmond and Amery ended up being for second place in the conference standings. The Tigers held off a strong challenge from the Warriors to win 4-3.
The Tigers finished their MBC dual record last Thursday with a 6-1 win over Durand.
Last Tuesday’s match at Amery showed some of the progress the Tigers have made this season. The singles lineup was productive again, with Mattie Kidder, Christian Weaver and Emma Bakke continuing to roll with victories in the top three slots in the lineup.
Tiger coach Denise Devereux said she was pleased to see the top doubles team of Kaitlynn Belisle and Blaire Ziebol come back from a first-set loss to win the final two sets, both by 7-5 scores.
“They’ve had so many tight matches. It was nice to see them pull one out,” Devereux said.
The three losses versus Amery were all in close matches. The Tigers were without their number two doubles team, so the third and fourth duos slid up a step. They were both competitive. The Kupke sisters lost in three sets in the two doubles match and Taylor Stai and Gaby Cruz lost a close match at three doubles.
The four singles match between New Richmond’s Maya Dadez and Amery’s Bekah Storm lasted so long that it had to be moved to a court with lights, and then the third set was trimmed so it could get completed.
“They were both so persistent. They’d have 35 to 40 hits for one point,” Devereux said.
When the Tigers hosted Durand on Thursday, there was only one match of consequence, but it was a dandy. Durand only has eight girls, so there was no three doubles match. Each of the Tigers’ wins was by 6-0, 6-0 scores.
The match that drew a large crowd was between Kidder and Durand’s number one player, German foreign exchange student Pia Koeller. Koeller is a big hitter who’s played tennis since she was 4 years old.
“If you gave her anything short, she’d tee off,” Devereux said.
The first set had numerous close points, but Koeller won 6-1. Kidder made some adjustments for the second set and it was an outstanding battle. Kidder was using combinations of shots to set up winners and she began frustrating Koeller. Koeller won the second set 7-5, but Kidder clearly proved herself as a worthy opponent.
“It was very good for Mattie to get pushed. She had to figure out the tactics and percentage shots. It was good to see her processing combinations,” Devereux said.
The Tigers will play their final dual match of the season this Thursday when they host Hudson.
Next Monday, the Tigers will host the WIAA Division 1 subsectional tournament. They will be joined in the tournament by Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire Memorial, Eau Claire North, Hudson, Menomonie, Rice Lake, River Falls and Superior.
New Richmond 4, Amery 3
No. 1: Mattie Kidder (NR) def. Molly Stewart 6-2, 6-3
No. 2: Christian Weaver (NR) def. Terra Johnson 6-3, 6-2
No. 3: Emma Bakke (NR) def. Kayla Olson 6-3, 7-6
No. 4: Bekah Storm (A) def. Maya Dadez 6-4, 3-6, 10-5
No. 1: Kaitlynn Belisle/Blaire Ziebol (NR) def. Victoria Matter and Hannah Julson 4-6, 7-5, 7-5
No. 2: Alicia Peterson/Candace Slater (A) def. Brianna Kupke and Gabby Kupke 4-6, 6-1, 7-5
No. 3: Rosalie Wolff/Lilly Soderberg (A) def. Taylor Stai/Gaby Cruz 6-4, 7-5