New Richmond boys tennis wins once in La Crosse tournamentThe New Richmond boys tennis team needs experience.
The New Richmond boys tennis team needs experience.
To get that experience, the Tigers scheduled two quad meets to get needed court time before beginning their Middle Border Conference schedule this week.
On Saturday the Tigers lost two of their three matches. They opened with a 6-1 loss to Menomonie, then were swept by La Crosse Central, the host school, 7-0. In the final round the Tigers found a team at their experience level, beating Black River Falls 5-2.
The Tigers were missing several players for Saturday’s match due to ACT testing, the school play and other reasons. So Tiger coach Mike Montello had to go deeper into his depth chart to field a team for the tournament.
Four of the 10 Tigers used in the lineup Saturday didn’t have any varsity experience before this season. While several of the players in the lineup showed that they can be helpful players in the future, facing opponents with the stature of La Crosse Central might have put them in above their heads.
The win against Black River Falls featured a sweep of the singles matches by the Tigers. Isaiah Hobbs scored a 7-5, 6-0 win at one singles. Pat Holland didn’t play his best tennis, but his competitiveness carried him to a 3-6, 6-4, 10-6 win in the two singles flight. Freshman Jack Hop, playing his first day of varsity tennis, rolled past a BRF senior 6-0, 6-0 in the third flight. Sophomore Casey Turnipseed, a first-year tennis player, earned a 6-1, 6-1 win at four singles.
The Tigers’ win on the doubles side came at one doubles. Charlie Kleiner and Jordy Kvam won the first set, but then they had a battle on their hands. The Oakes brothers from BRF won the second set 7-5. Kleiner and Kvam were able to prevail in the third set 12-10.
The only win for the Tigers against Menomonie was notched by Turnipseed at four singles, who won 6-4, 6-2.
Montello said the two and three doubles teams didn’t pick up any wins Saturday, but they did get valuable experience. Senior Lars Poppy and junior Adrian Harvieux are in their first year on the varsity and they’ll be counted on to be productive this season. They lost in three sets to Black River Falls.
Sophomore Vitaliy Gutsal and freshman Connor Earley played three doubles, getting “some foundational experience,” according to Montello, to help them understand the requirements for playing at the varsity level.
The Tigers moved into the conference schedule this week. They will play at home on Thursday against Amery. A challenging road trip awaits the Tigers next Tuesday, when they will play at Altoona.