Two New Richmond tennis doubles team advance to sectionals
New Richmond will have two doubles teams competing in the Wausau East Division 1 girls tennis sectional tournament this Wednesday.
The Tigers qualified for that honor during the WIAA Division 1 New Richmond Subsectional Tournament, played Monday at the New Richmond High School and Middle School courts.
The New Richmond one doubles team of Kaycie Anderson and Mattie Kidder rolled to a 6-0, 6-0 win over Eau Claire North to advance to Wednesday's sectional.
The three doubles team of Emma Meisner and Shannon Peper qualified for sectionals by outbattling River Falls and Hudson, with both matches going to three sets.
Anderson and Kidder take an 8-0 record into the sectional tournament after playing most of the season as the Tigers' top two singles players. Anderson and Kidder were the second seed in the New Richmond subsectional. They will face the team of Jolene Ladewig and Morgan Wilde of Merrill who have a 16-4 record. They were the third seed in the D.C. Everest subsectional. The winner in the opening sectional match will qualify for the WIAA Division 1 state championships in Madison.
Anderson and Kidder needed one win to qualify for sectionals because they played in the one doubles flight. They took care of business with great precision, beating Eau Claire North 6-0, 6-0.
Peper and Meisner are now 21-7 for the season. They will face the top seed from the D.C. Everest subsectional, Zoe Hoche and Juliet Champion of Stevens Point, who are 9-0 this season, in the opening round of the sectional. Three doubles teams cannot qualify for state, but they can earn points toward the sectional team title, so they are guaranteed two matches at the sectional meet.
Meisner and Peper lost the second set of their opening match in Monday's action to River Falls. The Tigers won the opening set 7-5, but River Falls answered with a 6-4 win. In the final set the Tigers scored a 6-3 win.
The Tigers were the third seed in the bracket. In the second round they faced Hudson, the second seed. In the opening set the Tigers looked sharp, winning 6-2. The next two sets were all-out battles. Hudson won the second set in a tie-breaker, 7-6. The third set nearly reached a tie-breaker before the Tigers closed out the 7-5 win.
New Richmond's two doubles team nearly pulled off a major upset that would have gotten them into the sectional tournament. Ali Graff and Maggie Earley opened Monday's action with a loss in their opening set against Chippewa Falls, 6-4. They came back strongly, winning 6-2, 6-2 in the final two sets.
In the second round the Tigers faced the top seed from Eau Claire Memorial. In their final high school match, Earley and Graff played some of their finest tennis. They took the opening set to a tiebreaker, but Memorial was able to win. The Old Abes won the second set 6-3, with nearly every game going to deuce.
"That's how they're capable of playing if they relax and play," said Tiger coach Denise Devereux. "They played beautifully."
In the singles flights, the Tigers faced high seeds and were defeated in each of their opening rounds. Senior Heather Halvorsen lost to the second seed from Chippewa Falls in the one singles flight. Sophomore Christian Weaver showed off her rapid improvement again, putting up a gamely battle against Chippewa Falls in two singles. Sophomore Jamie Hudalla played well in a loss to the two seed from River Falls at three singles and senior Vicky Talmage won five games in her four singles match with the number two seed from Menomonie.