Tigers are 2004 MBC tennis champions
The New Richmond boys tennis team earned its first conference championship since 1998 last Thursday.
By beating Ellsworth 6-1, the Tigers lock up the undisputed 2004 Middle Border Conference championship, finishing MBC regular season play with a pristine 5-0 record.
The Tigers had beaten Eau Claire Regis by a 6-1 score last Tuesday to assure themselves of a share of the conference title.
"The kids are playing well and hopefully they can maintain their level of performance into subsectionals and sectionals," said New Richmond coach Mike Montello. "The guys had this as one of their goals and I'm happy for what they've accomplished, but the season is not over."
The Tigers finish their regular season this week, playing a dual meet at Stillwater on Thursday before travelling to Beaver Dam for a tournament on Saturday. Next Tuesday New Richmond will be the site for the 2004 Middle Border Conference Boys Tennis Tournament.
The conference championship was completed with the win at Ellsworth, which was considered one of their main rivals for the conference title this season.
Since a narrow escape in a 4-3 win over Baldwin-Woodville two weeks ago, the Tigers have played with a purpose.
One of the best matches against Ellsworth came at one singles. Charlie Bohl faced Chuck Hewitt, who has improved so much since last season that he's moved up from four singles to one singles. Bohl trailed in both sets, including trailing 5-2 in the second set. Bohl managed to come back in both sets, winning 6-3, 7-6.
At two singles Marvin Rettenmaier faced Ben Gaard, who had been Ellsworth's number one player a season ago. Rettenmaier continues to be a very patient player, winning 6-3, 6-4.
Jordan Frye played solidly in winning at three singles, while Logan Frye was beaten at four singles.
Jeff Engel and Shawn Anderson overcame a few first set adjustments, winning the one doubles match 6-4, 6-1.
The number two team of Dan Bethke and Brian Rehurek went undefeated through the conference schedule, beating Ellsworth 6-0, 6-1.
Marc Simon and Robert Rice continue to play well since recently being teamed together at three doubles, beating Ellsworth 6-1, 6-3.
Rubbing out Regis
Playing at Eau Claire Regis last Tuesday moved the Tigers one step closer to their MBC title. The Tigers swept the doubles matches, but the one doubles match proved to be quite a challenge.
Regis' number one tandem was undefeated, but Engel and Anderson were able to topple that record, winning 6-4, 5-7, 6-3. This was the same team that Engel and Bohl beat in the first round of sectionals last season to qualify for the state tournament.
The Tigers took the top three singles matches. Regis had the conference singles champion last year in Eric Brandner, but he transferred to Eau Claire Memorial this year.
The Tigers were the only Division 2 team playing in the Eau Claire Memorial Sweet 16 Invitational on Saturday. Even so, the Tigers finished in the upper half of the teams and made a strong case for being one of the surprises of the tournament.
Coach Montello said there were several bright spots to the tournament. One was answering the question whether one doubles team Charlie Bohl and Jeff Engel can play with the best of the big schools. The answer was a resounding "yes."
Bohl and Engel started by beating a team from Stillwater 6-2, 6-4. A big test came in the next round with a match against Eau Claire Memorial. The Tigers came through, winning 6-4, 6-1.
"Charlie and Jeff both served extremely well with top-spin serves you just don't see from players this age," Montello said. "The ball would hit and jump so high that the Memorial kids would just shake their heads as they watched the ball bounce off their racquets and go out of bounds."
In their semifinal match Engel and Bohl faced the team from Eagan, Minn. that was seeded first in the tournament. Again the Tiger tandem dominated, winning 6-1, 6-3.
That put them into the championship match against Chippewa Falls. Nothing was going to stop the Tigers by now, and they rolled to the tournament championship with a 6-3, 7-5 win.
The test of nerves for Bohl and Engel came in the second set when they fell behind 3-1 and faced several add-outs in the next game. They never let Chippewa get the point to win that game, and they came back to win the next three games to take a 4-3 lead.
"Jeff's net game was awesome as he knocked down shot after shot," Montello said. "Charlie's serve was equally awesome and they showed why they are so tough together."
Among the other highlights was the play of Shawn Anderson at two singles. He beat a Red Wing opponent 6-4, 6-1 in the opening round. He then faced Eric Brandner of Eau Claire Memorial, who was the Middle Border Conference singles champ last year when he played at Eau Claire Regis. Brandner won 6-0, 6-0, but Anderson made him work hard for the win.
Anderson then beat an opponent from Eagan 6-4, 1-6, 10-6. In the fifth place match he faced Bud Fekete of Menomonie, losing 6-1, 6-2.
"Shawn played some excellent tennis," Montello said.
Marvin Rettenmaier played one singles for the Tigers. Rettenmaier lost his opening match, then beat players from Chippewa Falls, Wausau East and Holmen to win the consolation championship.
Jordan Frye played at three singles, beating Eau Claire North in the first round 7-5, 6-1. He then lost to Eau Claire Memorial and Eagan to finish in seventh place.
Logan Frye played at four singles and lost to Eau Claire Memorial and Chippewa Falls.
The New Richmond two and three doubles teams both lost in the consolation championship matches. The two doubles team of Dan Bethke and Brian Rehurek struggled in an opening loss to D.C. Everest. They recovered well, beating River Falls and Superior in their next matches. In the consolation title match they were beaten by Stillwater 6-4, 6-3.
The three doubles team of Robert Rice and Marc Simon opened with a loss to Stevens Point. They then beat Wausau East to get to the consolation title match, where they lost to Eau Claire North.
"Overall it was a good day for New Richmond boys tennis and the kids represented themselves and the school well," Montello said.
New Richmond 6, Ellsworth 1
No. 1: Charlie Bohl (NR) def. Chuck Hewitt 6-3, 7-6 (7-5).
No. 2: Marvin Rettenmaier (NR) def. Ben Gaard 6-3, 6-4
No. 3: Jordan Frye (NR) def. Jens Loberg 6-1, 6-2
No. 4: Eli Lewien (E) def. Logan Frye 6-2, 6-3
No 1: Shawn Anderson and Jeff Engel (NR) def. Josh Kerr and Grant Greske 6-4, 6-1
No. 2: Dan Bethke and Brian Rehurek (NR) def. Matt Thom and Travis London 6-0, 6-1
No. 3: Robert Rice and Marc Simon (NR) def. Brett Hofmeister and Derek Greske 6-0, 6-1
New Richmond 6, Eau Claire Regis 1
No. 1: Charlie Bohl (NR) def. Tyler Warner 6-0, 6-2
No. 2: Marvin Rettenmaier (NR) def. Teddy Schaefer 6-2, 6-2
No. 3: Jordan Frye (NR) def. Seth Pamperin 6-3, 6-3
No. 4: Greg Wysocky (ECR) def. Logan Frye 6-3, 6-2
No 1: Jeff Engel and Shawn Anderson (NR) def. Billy Bowers and Dustin Warner 6-4, 5-7, 6-3
No. 2: Dan Bethke and Brian Rehurek (NR) def. Matt Lokken and Steve Ridenour 6-3, 6-2
No. 3: Robert Rice and Marc Simon (NR) def. Joe Holtman and Dan Berger 6-1, 6-3