New Richmond tennis knocks off Big Rivers Conference opponentsThe best measure to gauge a New Richmond tennis team is how they fare against Big Rivers Conference opponents.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
The best measure to gauge a New Richmond tennis team is how they fare against Big Rivers Conference opponents.
If that’s the case, the Tigers appear headed for a prosperous season. The Tigers defeated four of the five Big Rivers opponents they faced in the opening days of the season. The only loss they suffered was to perennial powerhouse Eau Claire Memorial.
The Tigers started the season by beating Menomonie 7-0. They then played in a tournament in Eau Claire early last week, where they scored wins over Hudson, Eau Claire North and River Falls. It has been five years or more since the Tigers have beaten either Hudson or Eau Claire North.
The Tigers faced Eau Claire Memorial first in last week’s tournament. The Tigers lost 7-0. Tiger coach Denise Devereux said her girls weren’t used to playing at the power level that the Old Abes bring. It gave the coaches a chance to emphasize that the Tigers had to concentrate on playing their own style of tennis as they moved into the rest of the matches.
First up was River Falls. The Tigers rolled to a 6-1 victory. The coaches were quite pleased with the effort of the three doubles team of Allie Wrich and Carley Brotzler. They won their first set, but lost a lengthy second set. They recovered quickly to win the third set tie-breaker 10-6.
The Tigers then faced Hudson, an opponent that has worn out the Tigers for quite some time. This time the Tigers were able to get the upper hand, winning 4-3. Hailey Davis and Maggie Earley scored one-sided wins at two and three singles. The other Tiger wins were tense three-setters. Kaycie Anderson scored a 10-6 win in the third set super tie-breaker at one singles. The two doubles team of Ali Graff and Shannon Peper came through with a 10-8 win in their super tie-breaker.
The third straight win against a BRC opponent came against Eau Claire North. Anderson, Earley and Heather Halvorsen scored two-set wins on the singles side. The doubles win came at three doubles, where Wrich and Brotzler scored a 6-1, 6-2 win.
The Tigers closed the tournament with another win over a Division 1 opponent. Beaver Dam comes north for this annual tournament and they usually bring a very strong squad. The Tigers were able to score a 6-1 win over Beaver Dam. The Tigers swept the singles matches, giving up three games in the four matches. The Tigers also won at two and three doubles. The two doubles match went to a super tie-break for the third set, which Graff and Peper won 10-8.
The Tigers faced more tough competition on Friday and Saturday, playing in the Altoona tournament, which was held at Eau Claire North. The Tigers were a bit sluggish on Friday, losing matches to Wausau West and Chippewa Falls. They bounced back on Saturday, defeating Altoona, East Troy and Durand.
Devereux said she thought Wausau West was the strongest team in the tournament, so she wasn’t overly upset with the 5-2 loss. She wasn’t so forgiving about the 4-3 loss to Chippewa Falls.
“I felt we’d beat them,” Devereux said. “I felt we were a little flat.”
The last two matches against Chippewa Falls came down to third set tie-breakers and Chippewa Falls won both of them to get the team victory.
The Orange and Black opened Saturday’s play against Altoona, a long-time nemesis. The Tigers were able to score a 4-3 win. The three doubles match won by Tiger seniors Allie Wrich and Carley Brotzler went to 13-11 in the third set tie-breaker before the Tigers could finish off the win.
The next opponent was East Troy, with the Tigers winning 5-2. The Tigers swept the singles matches, not losing a set.
The final opponent was Middle Border Conference cohort Durand. The Tigers rolled through the match for a 7-0 win. Devereux made some lineup changes in this match, working Emma Meisner and Christian Weaver into the lineup for their first varsity action.
The Tigers return to action this Saturday, when they travel to the Milwaukee area for a quad tournament in Cedarburg.