New Richmond tennis defeated 4-3 in showdown for conference dual title
The showdown for the Middle Border Conference boys dual meet championship was an arduous battle, with the deciding matches lasting well beyond two hours.
With the sun setting, the final matches were decided. Eau Claire Regis was able to score wins in all three of the matches that stretched into third sets, giving the Ramblers a 4-3 win over New Richmond in the match that decided the MBC dual meet title last Tuesday on the Tiger courts.
This match pitted two extremely closely skilled teams. Both teams have been unstoppable in singles play in their MBC matches and both teams have seen their doubles lineups improve markedly during the season.
The singles matches were split evenly. New Richmond's Nick Bradish kept his perfect MBC record at one singles intact with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Hunter Cameron. Regis was able to win at two and three singles, with the three singles struggle lasting nearly three hours.
Casey Turnipseed provided the Tigers' second singles win, holding a clearcut edge in his 6-1, 6-2 win at four singles.
New Richmond was able to get a win in the two doubles slot, where Adrian Harvieux and Jake LaMirande combined for a 6-4, 6-2 decision.
The other doubles matches were three set battles. New Richmond's Isaiah Hobbs and Jordy Kvam put up a tough battle against a top one doubles team, losing 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 in the one doubles match. The three doubles match was achingly close. Logan Dadez and Connor Earley won the first set 7-5. They had their chances in the next two sets, but Regis was able to pull out a 6-4 win in each set.
The Tigers began getting ready for WIAA tournament action by playing three non-conference matches over the weekend. On Friday the Tigers played at Menomonie, losing 4-3 to the Mustangs, a team they've had several close calls with in recent seasons.
New Richmond's wins came from Bradish and Turnipseed in the singles lineup and LaMirande and Harvieux at two doubles. Tiger coach Mike Montello said several of the players who lost against Eau Claire Regis appeared to have their confidence shaken by those losses and it carried over into Friday's play.
On Saturday the Tigers travelled to Tomah where they posted a pair of victories in windy, challenging conditions. The Tigers opened the tournament by facing Marshfield. The Tigers had to make some lineup adjustments for the tournament, but they were still able to come away with a 4-3 win.
Bradish rolled at one singles. Hobbs moved to two singles, where he faced a player he lost to last season. Hobbs showed some perseverance in this long battle, winning the final six points to win 6-4, 2-6, 10-6.
Turnipseed provided the third win from the singles lineup, taking a 6-3, 6-1 decision at four singles.
Harvieux and LaMirande moved up to one doubles for Saturday's tournament and they won both of their matches. They scored the only Tiger doubles victory against Marshfield. They won 3-6, 6-4, 10-6 in their first attempt at one doubles.
The Tigers completely monopolized the action against Tomah in the second round of the tournament, winning 7-0. The Tigers didn't lose more than two games in any set in this match. Bradish, Jack Hop, LaMirande and Dom Branstad were winners in the singles matches, with Branstad getting his first varsity victory.
Hobbs and Kvam won at one doubles, Turnipeed and Harvieux at two doubles and Connor Earley and Vitaliy Gutsal at three doubles.
The Tigers' schedule is winding down rapidly. The Tigers host River Falls and Hudson at 3 p.m. on Thursday in their final dual matches of the season.
The WIAA tournament trail begins next Monday, when the Tigers compete in the Osceola Division 1 subsectional tournament. The top qualifiers from that tournament will advance to the Eau Claire Memorial sectional tournament on Wednesday, May 22.
Eau Claire Regis 4, New Richmond 3
No. 1: Nick Bradish (NR) def. Hunter Cameron 6-3, 6-2
No. 2: Scott Strand (ECR) def. Dusty Reed 6-2, 6-1
No. 3: Victor Bourget (ECR) def. Jack Hop 2-6, 7-6, 6-4
No. 4: Casey Turnipseed (NR) def. Dominic Bourget 6-1, 6-2
No. 1: Garrett Nowak/Michael Kosuch (ECR) def. Jordy Kvam/Isaiah Hobbs 3-6, 6-1, 6-2
No. 2: Adrian Harvieux/Jake LaMirande (NR) def. Michael Kuznar/Nolan Rodriguez 6-4, 6-2
No. 3: Braxton Collins/Ben Wislinsky (ECR) def. Logan Dadez/Connor Earley 5-7, 6-4, 6-4