Bringing home the Middle Border Conference championship is one of the numerous goals of the New Richmond girls tennis team this season.
The Tigers took a big step toward this goal by winning the first two matches of their MBC season last week.
The week started with a 7-0 win at Bloomer. Where the going got tough was on Thursday, when Baldwin-Woodville visited the Tigers. B-W is one of several MBC teams, who like the Tigers, returned nearly its entire lineup.
This proved to be a most competitive battle, with all seven of the matches being close for most of the way. Four of the matches had a set end in a tie-breaker. The Tigers proved to be stronger in the singles lineup, resulting in a 5-2 victory.
The Tigers won all four of the singles matches. Whitney Hay had a battle with B-W's Brenda Ferg at one singles. Hay won the opening set 6-3, then fell behind 5-2 in the second set. She then rallied, winning five straight games to take the second set 7-5.
"Her mental toughness has shown in every match she's played this year," Tiger coach Teresa Kvam said about Hay. "In the first set she really looked like a competitor, she really showed fire."
Kristen Holle had the easiest time of any win, rolling to a 6-0, 6-3 win at two singles.
Lara Railsback drew a challenging opponent in Alex Albrightson at three singles. Railsback used experience and good shot placement to beat an athletic opponent.
At four singles Kourtney Kleiner made her 2003 debut for the Tigers, winning 6-2, 6-4. Kvam said the best news was Kleiner had no pain from the arm injury that shut down her 2002 season.
The Tigers got one win at doubles, with sophomores Alyssa Jerlow and Laurel Hay winning at two doubles. The Tigers were beaten at one doubles and three doubles, with both matches going to three sets.
Bloomer is an inexperienced team that didn't get the Tigers a great deal of competition, with one exception. Whitney Hay faced a quality opponent in Jackie Rinzel at one singles. Hay had to win the first set in a tie-breaker, before taking the second set 6-3. None of the other Tigers gave up more than three games in a set in any of their matches.
The respect for the Tigers is being seen state-wide. This week on the Wisconsin High School Tennis Coaches Association website, the Tigers were ranked sixth among the Division 2 girls teams in the state. Most of the teams ahead of the Tigers are private schools. In the first week of the state poll, the Tigers were ranked ninth. The Tigers finished last season at number 10 in the state rankings.
New Richmond 5, Baldwin-Woodville 2
No. 1: Whitney Hay (NR) def. Brenda Ferg 6-3, 7-5
No. 2: Kristen Holle (NR) def. Toni Hinz 6-0, 6-3
No. 3: Lara Railsback (NR) def. Alex Albrightson 6-4, 7-6 (7-0)
No. 4: Kourtney Kleiner (NR) def. Jessica Donohoe 6-2, 6-4
No. 1: Casey Anderson and Robin Donohoe (B-W) def. Ali Demulling and Lindsey Edson 6-2, 4-6, 7-6
No. 2: Alyssa Jerlow and Laurel Hay (NR) def. Rachel Zacharias and Ali Fennern 7-6 (7-2), 6-2
No. 3: Christine Rominski and Emily Jacobson (B-W) def. Rachel Poppy and Heather Pederson 7-6 (7-2), 4-6, 7-5
New Richmond 7, Bloomer 0
No. 1: Whitney Hay (NR) def. Jackie Rinzel 7-6, 6-2
No. 2: Kristen Holle (NR) def. Krista Woolever 6-0, 6-0
No. 3: Lara Railsback (NR) def. Becca Dietsche 6-1, 6-3
No. 4: Ashley Davis (NR) def. Sara Friederich 6-3, 6-0
No. 1: Ali Demulling and Lindsey Edson (NR) def. Jaimie Klemish and Emilie Siverling
No. 2: Alyssa Jerlow and Laurel Hay (NR) def. Jordan Olson and Kelly Rihn 6-1, 6-2
No. 3: Rachel Poppy and Ellen Railsback (NR) def. Lacey Randall and Kelsey Woolever 6-3, 6-1