Tigers give state champs a battle
In facing the defending state champion, and strong favorite to repeat as champions, the New Richmond girls tennis team was a huge underdog in playing at the WIAA Division 2 Girls Team State Tennis Tournament last Saturday in Madison.
The Tigers were facing Green Bay Notre Dame, which has become the dominant Division 2 tennis program in the state. The Tigers were beaten in the state tournament semifinal, 7-0, but gave the Tritons an excellent battle. This was the first time the Tigers were beaten in a dual match this season.
Notre Dame then faced The Prairie School in the state tournament championship, winning 5-2. The Prairie School is the team that beat New Richmond in the state team tournament semifinals last year.
Tiger coach Teresa Kvam said there was a noticeable difference in the girls' demeanor in the state tournament compared to last year. The 2002 tournament was the first time most of them had competed at the state level.
"The kids felt we belonged," Kvam said. "There was some nerves, but not much. It was just that Notre Dame was that much better."
The Tigers were able to win one set against Notre Dame, that coming at two doubles where Lindsey Edson and Rachel Poppy took the second set to tie the match. The third set was closer than the 6-1 score might indicate, but all the Notre Dame players seemed to play their best in the critical points.
New Richmond's one doubles team of Ali Demulling and Lindsey Springer faced Notre Dame's number one team that had taken the state Division 2 championship in the state individual tournament the previous weekend. The Tiger duo put up a good fight, losing 6-2, 6-2 to the state champs.
Tiger senior Whitney Hay faced Notre Dame's number one singles player, who had taken second place in the state individual championships. Hay put up a fight too, but lost 6-1, 6-0.
Kvam drummed into the girls' minds that they were not one of those "northern schools" that was just happy to be at the state tournament. The northern schools have a reputation for not being competitive against the more powerful state teams.
"We went down to win and I really thought the kids played to win," Kvam said. "We continued in the fashion that we played all year."
WIAA Girls Tennis State Team Tournament Semifinals
Notre Dame 7, New Richmond 0
Flight 1: Jeanette Feider (11) ND def Whitney Hay (12) NR 6-1, 6-0
Flight 2: Janelle (Nellie) O'Hearn (10) ND def Kristen Holle (10) NR 6-2, 6-2
Flight 3: Abby Kosmoski (10) ND def Lara Railsback (12) NR 6-0, 6-1
Flight 4: Megan DePrey (10) ND def Kourtney Kleiner (12) NR 6-2, 6-3
Flight 1: Jenny Spears (12)/Amy Lewis (12) ND def. Ali Demulling (12)/Lindsey Springer (12) NR 6-2, 6-2
Flight 2: Elizabeth DePrey (12)/Bethany Wolf (12) ND def. Rachel Poppy (12)/Lindsey Edson (12) NR 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-1
Flight 3: Meghan McKenzie (10)/Jacqueline Jaekels (9) ND def. Alyssa Jerlow (10)/Laurel Hay (10) NR 6-3, 6-1