New Richmond girls tennis team wins Altoona InvitationalThe New Richmond girls tennis team put together a polished performance last Friday to win the eight-team Altoona Invitational.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
The New Richmond girls tennis team put together a polished performance last Friday to win the eight-team Altoona Invitational.
The tournament, played at the Eau Claire Memorial courts, was based on team match victories. The Tigers defeated East Troy in the opening round, 5-2. In the semifinals the Tigers topped Chippewa Falls 5-2. The championship match was an exciting battle against Baldwin-Woodville, with the Tigers pulling out a 4-3 win to earn the team championship.
Balanced production was the reason for the Tigers winning the championship. Junior Mattie Kidder at two singles was the only Tiger entry that won all three matches on Friday. In five of the seven flights the Tigers were able to score two wins during the day.
That was the second challenging tournament for the Tigers last week. On Monday and Tuesday the Tigers competed in Eau Claire Memorial’s tournament, where they faced some elite competition. The Tigers managed to win one of their five matches, topping Beaver Dam. The Tigers lost to Green Bay Notre Dame, Eau Claire Memorial, Eau Claire Regis and River Falls.
The first opponent in the tournament was Notre Dame, which has won the Division 2 state team title in three of the past four years and their singles player was the state champion last season as a freshman. Notre Dame won the match 7-0.
New Richmond coach Denise Devereux said the team was overpowered at first by the powerful Notre Dame players, but the Tigers were adapting their games to be competitive by the second sets.
“It was good for the girls to hit at that power level,” Devereux said.
After playing Notre Dame, the Tigers were at their peak level when they faced Beaver Dam in the second round, winning 6-1. The Tigers swept the doubles matches and got wins in the top three singles flights.
Next up for the Tigers was Regis, with the Ramblers winning 6-1. Senior Heather Halvorsen scored the only Tiger win in a three-set battle at three singles, 6-1, 5-7, 10-3.
Devereux said there were a number of strong efforts by the Tigers during the tournament that didn’t results in wins. The one doubles match against Regis was one of them. Ali Graff and Maggie Early battled back from a big deficit in the opening set to win 7-6. The third set tie-break was another battle, with Regis winning 11-9.
The Tigers dropped their next match to River Falls, 4-3. Kaycie Anderson scored a 6-0, 6-0 win at one singles and Kidder took the two singles match 6-3, 6-2. In the two doubles match, Shannon Peper and Emma Meisner battled back from a 6-3 loss in the first set to win 7-5, 10-3 in the final two sets.
One of the heartiest battles of the tournament for the Tigers was the four singles match against River Falls. Tiger junior Blaire Ziebol won the first set 7-6, then dropped the second set 6-3. The third set was an epic struggle, with River Falls finally winning 17-15.
“Blaire played absolutely fabulous,” Devereux said.
The Tigers ended the tournament by playing the best program in the western half of the state, Eau Claire Memorial. The Old Abes scored a 6-1 win.
The lone Tiger win came from Kidder, who scored a 6-0, 6-0 win at two singles. Sweeping a match against any Memorial entry is a rare feat.
“That’s the best match I’ve seen Mattie play in her life,” Devereux said. “She played like there was no pressure on her.”
The Tigers continue their schedule this Thursday with a dual match at Mondovi. The Tigers play in another tournament this Saturday, this time competing at Menomonie.