New Richmond boys reach MBC tennis championships in five flightsThe best performance in the 2012 season by the New Richmond boys tennis team likely was their second place finish in last Tuesday’s Middle Border Conference tournament.
The best performance in the 2012 season by the New Richmond boys tennis team likely was their second place finish in last Tuesday’s Middle Border Conference tournament.
The Tigers had placed fourth in the MBC dual meet standings.
In the conference meet the Tigers weren’t among the top seeds in many flights, but they played their way into the championship match in five of those flights. In all five cases the Tigers ended up playing MBC champion Eau Claire Regis in the finals. The Tigers won the championships in two flights. Sophomore Nick Bradish was the one singles champion and freshman Jack Hop was the three singles titlist.
Also reaching the finals for the Tigers were Isaiah Hobbs at two singles, Dustin Reed at four singles and the team of Lars Poppy and Adrian Harvieux at three singles.
New Richmond’s one and two doubles teams both finished in sixth place.
Bradish had to work his way up the ladder, coming in as the fourth seed in the one singles flight. In the semifinals Bradish knocked off defending MBC one singles champion Jesse Olson of Amery. Bradish got out to a 3-0 lead in the opening set, but Olson’s experience showed as he fought back to grab a 5-4 lead. Bradish wasn’t going to be denied, winning the final three games to capture the set 7-5.
In the second set Bradish controlled the action, winning 6-4.
“Nick was really on a mission,” said Tiger coach Mike Montello. “That was a huge win for him.”
In the finals Bradish faced Drew Sacia of Regis, who’d beaten Bradish in three sets in their recent dual clash. This time there was no question Bradish was going to win, decisively posting a 6-1, 6-2 championship match win.
“He’s the best player in the conference. That’s what this means,” Montello said.
Hop has been one of the leading three singles players in the MBC all season and that carried through the in conference tournament. He didn’t lose more than three games in any set, winning his title match 6-0, 6-3.
“Jack was just dominating. He played smart, aggressive, he really moved the kid around,” Montello said.
Hobbs opened the two doubles flight with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Ellsworth. In the semifinals he faced Josh Stewart of Amery, who’d beaten Hobbs in the MBC dual. Hobbs held the upper hand this time, winning 6-3, 6-2.
In the finals Hobbs lost the opening set to Regis 6-0. Hobbs stayed positive and responded with a 6-4 win in the second set. The third set was tight to the end, with Regis winning 6-4.
“The Regis kid hasn’t had any conference match that was this contested,” Montello said. “Isaiah climbed a mountain to get where he got.”
Reed locked into one of the most closely contested finals matches of the day. He lost the first set 7-5, before coming back to win the second set in a tie-breaker. Regis was a game away from winning the match at 5-2, but Reed fought back to send the match to a tie-break, which Regis won 7-3.
“Dustin played his heart out,” Montello said.
Reed had beaten Cody Waalen of Osceola 6-2, 6-0 in the semifinals.
The three doubles team of Poppy and Harvieux was another longshot that reached the finals. They defeated Baldwin-Woodville in the opening round. In the semifinals they lost the first set 6-3, then stormed back to win the final two sets 6-4 and 7-6. Poppy and Harvieux put up a good battle in the title match before losing 7-5, 6-1.
“They served well. It was probably their most consistent effort all year,” Montello said.
The Tiger coaches had higher expectations than the fourth place finish in the MBC dual matches, so they were pleased with the elevated performance in conference tournament.
“I believe they overall had their best effort of the season,” Montello said.
Bradish was the only Tiger to advance to this Wednesday’s WIAA Division 1 sectional tournament in Marshfield. Bradish received the third seed in the one singles flight at the WIAA Division 1 subsectional tournament at Eau Claire Memorial on Monday.
Bradish is scheduled to play Wausau East’s top singles player, Conrad Felten, in the opening round of the sectional tournament on Wednesday. The winner of that match will qualify for the WIAA State Individual Tennis Tournament. Bradish takes a 10-4 record into the sectional tournament.
Two other Tigers won matches at Monday’s subsectional meet. Isaiah Hobbs was a winner in his opening match of the two singles flight against Menomonie. Hobbs was defeated in a close match in the second round by Hudson.
Dustin Reed received the third seed at four singles and handily won his opening match against Superior. Reed was knocked out of the tournament with a second round loss against Hudson.