Tigers put up gallant battle in MBC showdown
The battle between the New Richmond and Osceola girls tennis teams in the final showdown for the Middle Border Conference title was everything you'd want from a title battle.
This dual went down to the final individual match, with Osceola winning, to give the Chieftains a 4-3 team victory. This gave Osceola a perfect record in MBC duals this season, while New Richmond finishes in second place in the conference standings with two losses.
These are two drastically different teams. Osceola has been building toward this season for several years, with eight of the girls in the Chieftain lineup being seniors.
New Richmond has one of the youngest lineups in the conference. The Tigers started the season with three girls having varsity experience, but the Tigers improved steadily throughout the season to earn themselves a chance at winning a share of the conference title.
"This is probably the most improvement I've seen by a team within a season since I've coached," said Tiger coach Teresa Kvam.
The Tigers got one win in singles, where junior Molly Heintz won at one singles, 6-3, 6-1.
The one doubles team of Steph Anderson and Molly O'Flanagan came through with a 6-3, 6-2 win against a team that had beaten them earlier in the season. The Tigers also won at three doubles, where Luanne Stai and Sami Kleiner came back from an 0-3 deficit in the first set to win 6-3, 6-1.
The final match on the court was at two singles, where Tiger freshman Lauren Kvam took Osceola senior Jenna Degner to three sets before losing 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. Kvam is one of the youngest two doubles players on the circuit. She has faced a steady diet of junior and senior opponents this season.
On Tuesday the Tigers played in the Middle Border Conference tournament, which was played in Durand. This Thursday the Tigers will play their final home match of the season, with the potent Hudson team from the Big Rivers Conference visiting.
The Tigers begin WIAA Division 1 tournament play next Monday. They are entered in the Eau Claire Memorial Division 1 Subsectional Tournament on Monday.
Osceola 4, New Richmond 3
No. 1: Molly Heintz (NR) def. Kelly Wynveen 6-3, 6-1
No. 2: Jenna Degner (O) def. Lauren Kvam 3-6. 6-3, 6-2
No. 3: Megan Jones ()) def. Alyssa Luther 7-6 (7-2), 6-0
No. 4: Emily Branch (O) def. Maddie Frank 6-0, 6-1
No. 1: Steph Anderson and Molly O'Flanagan (NR) def. Melissa Moen and Cassie Rominski 6-2, 6-0
No. 2: Courtney Kvam and Ashley Peterson (NR) def. Kirsten Hoffman and Michelle Johnson 1-6, 6-1, 6-0
No. 3: Luanne Stai and Sami Kleiner (NR) def. Kristen Holman and Jessica Lorenz 6-2, 6-1