Tiger tennis leads heading into sectionals
The New Richmond girls tennis team moved one step closer to its ultimate goal Monday.
The Tigers are the total points leader heading into Thursday's WIAA Division 2 New Richmond Tennis Sectional Tournament.
New Richmond was the site for the tennis subsectional tournament on Monday. The Tigers amassed 22 points in the subsectional, giving them the leading point total heading into the sectional. The team with the highest point total at the end of the sectional qualifies for the WIAA Team State Tennis Tournament. Medford is the leader in team points out of the Durand Subsectional, with 20 points. Durand has 18 points.
The Tigers rolled up 22 points by getting six of their seven entries through the subsectional. Whitney Hay, Kristen Holle and Kourtney Kleiner advanced in singles and all three of the Tiger doubles teams advanced.
Hay advanced at one singles by beating an opponent from Phillips 6-1, 6-2. Hay just needs to win her first match on Thursday to qualify for the WIAA State Individual Tennis Tournament.
Holle started Monday's action by beating Hurley 6-1, 6-1. She then moved into the sectional by beating Ashland 6-3, 6-2. The sectional champion at two singles and two doubles qualifies for the state individual tournament.
Kleiner came up with two big wins. First she beat an Amery opponent who brought in a 15-3 record, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1. She then knocked off the two seed from Hurley 6-4, 6-2.
"That's the best I've ever seen Kourtney play," said Tiger coach Teresa Kvam. "It's the most focused I've ever seen her."
Lara Railsback is the only Tiger who didn't reach sectionals. She beat Hurley 6-3, 6-1 in the opening round at three singles. She was beaten in the second round by Ashland 7-5, 6-4.
The Tigers didn't lose a set in any of their doubles matches in the subsectional. At one doubles, Ali Demulling and Lindsey Springer quickly disposed of Phillips' top doubles team 6-1, 6-0. With one win on Thursday they would return to the state tournament.
At two doubles, Rachel Poppy and Lindsey Edson opened with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Amery. In the second round they faced the Baldwin-Woodville team that had beaten them at the Middle Border Conference tournament. The Tigers played inspired tennis, winning 6-4, 6-0.
"That was some of their best tennis," Kvam said. "Rachel was poaching exceptionally at the net and Lindsey was hitting some big serves."
The three doubles team of Laurel Hay and Alyssa Jerlow wanted to bounce back strongly after a rare loss in their last match. They did so, starting with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Unity. They then knocked out the Ashland team 6-3, 6-2.
Kvam said the Tigers are fully prepared for a battle for the sectional team title. They had to battle for every point to win last year's title, and the Tigers should be able to draw from that experience to handle the pressure of this year's sectionals.