Tigers get some needed experience
Experience is the biggest need for the New Richmond boys tennis team, so playing three matches in a tournament at La Crosse on Saturday was exactly what the Tigers needed.
In the tournament the Tigers faced Black River Falls, Menomonie and La Crosse Central. The Tigers opened with a 6-1 win over Black River Falls. They then lost to a much improved Menomonie team 5-2. The Tigers were trailing La Crosse Central when storms moved in and forced the end of the tournament.
Tiger coach Mike Montello said the tournament was "a very good outing for my guys and another step down the road of tennis maturity."
Montello said the efforts of the Tigers early in the season have raised his hopes.
"I have goals for these kids and they have the ability to get there if they continue to develop as they have the first three weeks of the season."
The tournament played out where the Tigers played progressively better opponents in each of the matches. Black River Falls was a good opening opponent because the Tigers were able to get rolling and post an impressive win. New Richmond doesn't have a great deal of experience in the doubles lineup, yet the Tiger doubles teams were able to sweep their matches against BRF.
In singles the Tigers got wins in the top three flights. Charlie Bohl at one singles and Andy Ronning at three singles both overcame first set losses to come back and win their matches.
In facing Menomonie, the Tigers were facing opponents of several nationalities. The number two and three singles players for the Indians were foreign exchange students.
The Tigers got wins at two singles and one doubles. The one doubles team of Cory Eller and Shawn Anderson played smart, steady tennis to win 6-4, 6-4.
Jeff Engel won the two singles match over Hano Mertens 6-3, 7-6 (7-3).
Bohl had two tough matches at one singles against Menomonie and La Crosse. Against Menomonie he faced Dan Thies, who like Bohl is in his third year on the varsity. They split the first two sets, each winning by a 6-4 score. In the tie-breaker Thies was able to win 10-8.
"This was a match for the ages." Montello said. "Both players wouldn't back down."
Against La Crosse Bohl faced Dan Suchy, who is headed to Gustavus Adolphus University next fall to play tennis. Gustavus is a top NCAA Division 3 tennis program. Suchy beat Bohl 6-1, 6-1.
"Suchy is one of the better tennis players in the northern half of the state," Montello said.
The only match the Tigers were winning when the rain arrived was at three doubles, where Robert Rice and Brian Rehurek were leading 6-4, 3-3.
New Richmond's match at Amery last Tuesday was stopped due to the weather. That match will be completed this Wednesday. The next match for the Tigers will be next Monday, when the Tigers play at Stillwater.
New Richmond 6, Black River Falls 1
No. 1: Charlie Bohl (NR) def. Joel Peasley 1-6, 6-0 10-3
No. 2: Jeff Engel (NR) def. Adam Rozmenoski 6-2, 6-2
No. 3: Andy Ronning (NR) def. Ian Libert 2-6, 6-1, 10-2
No. 4: Stephen Spegman (BRF) def. Christian Wolz 7-5, 7-5
No. 1: Cory Eller and Shawn Anderson (NR) def. Dan Hellan and Josh Tyson 6-2, 6-3
No. 2: Jordan Frye and Dan Bethke (NR) def. Dan Spegman and Kevin Androska 6-1, 6-3
No. 3: Brian Rehurek and Robert Rice (NR) def. Mitchell Rearing and Nathan Peterson 6-1, 6-1