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Tiger tennis opens season with pair of wins

There's a world of opportunity opening up to players on the New Richmond girls tennis team.

With three players returning from the 2003 sectional championship lineup, the Tigers need players to step up and fill the rest of the varsity lineup.

The first chance for the Tigers to view their 2004 lineup came Saturday, when they made the trip across the state to play in a triangular meet at Whitewater.

The results were much better than Tiger coach Teresa Kvam expected, with the New Richmond girls posting 5-2 wins over Whitewater and East Troy.

"It's really a year of opportunity," Kvam said. "Whoever is playing best that week will get playing time, it doesn't matter if they're a freshman or a senior."

The three varsity players who are returning will also be taking on bigger roles with the team. Kristen Holle returns to the singles lineup, where she will move up to play one singles. Laurel Hay and Alyssa Jerlow return to the doubles lineup, where they will usually be playing as the number one team.

Ashley Davis, Heather Pederson and Ellen Railsback also have limited varsity experience for the Tigers.

Kvam said that Hay and Jerlow will also see some time in the singles lineup this season. Neither has played singles at the varsity level before. Kvam said that in important matches she may move them both to singles to give the team its best chance of getting four wins.

That's what Kvam had to do in Saturday's match against East Troy. Kvam was confident the Tigers could beat Whitewater with Jerlow and Hay playing doubles and the team came through with the 5-2 win.

She wasn't as sure on how the Tigers would do against East Troy, so she moved Jerlow and Hay to singles, playing behind Holle and Davis.

They took three of the four singles matches, then the doubles teams surprised everyone by playing extremely well and winning two of the three matches.

Against East Troy, singles wins were recorded by Holle, Jerlow and Hay. The Tigers then got a 6-4, 6-4 win from Pederson and Jessie Meyers at two doubles and a 6-3, 6-0 win from Gretchen Anderson and Mary Moe at three doubles.

"Gretchen played with more control than I've ever seen and Mary was pretty consistent in the backcourt," Kvam said of the three doubles win.

Kvam said East Troy played with both players at the net in doubles, something the Tigers weren't experienced in facing. She said the doubles teams, particularly Pederson and Meyers, made adjustments on the fly to offset East Troy's tactics.

Against Whitewater, the Tigers got singles wins from Holle, Molly O'Flanagan and Val Poppy. Hay and Jerlow were winners at one doubles and Railsback and Katie Suo scored a win at three doubles.

With four days of practice before the trip to Whitewater, Kvam said the Tiger coaches spent the last five minutes of last Friday's practice setting the lineup for the trip. She said because of the shortage of practice time, the doubles teams that played together on Saturday had not had any chance to practice together beforehand.

"I focused on effort instead of outcome," Kvam said on how she prepared the girls for the tournament. "I told them 'wow me' with their effort and they did."

The Tigers will be playing in another tournament this Saturday, the Altoona Invitational. The Tigers will start their dual meet schedule on Monday, when they play at Woodbury, Minn.

New Richmond 5, Whitewater 2


No. 1: Kristen Holle (NR) def. Katie Provorst 6-3, 6-4

No. 2: Sandra DePorter (WW) def. Ashley Davis 6-4, 7-5

No. 3: Molly O'Flanagan (NR) def. Lauren Brown 6-1, 7-6

No. 4: Val Poppy (NR) def. Nicki Tantges 6-1, 6-1


No. 1: Laurel Hay and Alyssa Jerlow (NR) def. Melissa Heinz and Stephanie Mayer 7-5, 6-4

No. 2: Leanne Ehland and Stephanie Tromel (WW) def. Heather Pederson and Beth Plourde 7-5, 6-3

No. 3: Ellen Railsback and Katie Suo (NR) def. Tiffany Marcum and Katie Vorpahl 6-1, 6-4

New Richmond 5, East Troy 2


No. 1: Kristen Holle (NR) def. Sally Bloom 6-2, 6-3

No. 2: Casey Anderson (ET) def. Ashley Davis 6-4, 6-1

No. 3: Alyssa Jerlow (NR) def. Andrea Barth 6-3, 6-2

No. 4: Laurel Hay (NR) def. Laura Bloom 6-0, 6-1


No. 1: Julie Morinda and Melissa Twist (ET) Ellen Railsback and Heather Pederson 6-1, 6-1

No. 2: Beth Plourde and Jessie Meyers (NR) def. Chelsea Zess and Erin Newland 6-4, 6-4

No. 3: Gretchen Anderson and Mary Moe (NR) def. Melissa Kammers and Steph Wexler 6-3, 6-0

Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
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