New Richmond girls tennis wins 2013 season opener
For an inexperienced team, the New Richmond girls tennis squad couldn't have asked for a better challenge from its opening match.
The Tigers opened the season on Saturday, facing a similarly inexperienced Menomonie team on the Tiger home courts. Nearly every match was a prolonged battle, including five sets that were decided by tie-breakers. The Tigers managed to score a 4-3 team victory over the Mustangs.
Senior Mattie Kidder and junior Christian Weaver are the only Tigers who return from last season's lineup. They moved up to take the top two slots in the team's singles lineup.
Kiddler's one singles match was the only contest that wasn't an extended battle. She was convincing in winning 6-3, 6-2.
Every other match was hotly contended. Tiger coach Denise Devereux said she was impressed with how her young lineup responded to that pressure. She said nearly all the girls looked nervous in their opening games of the day. But once the coaches reminded them to keep moving their feet, the girls relaxed and played up to their abilities.
"This was a giant step for a lot of them," Devereux said of playing at the varsity level.
Weaver made an incredible comeback to get the Tigers their fourth win of the day. Weaver trailed 5-2 in the third set, but scrambled to get the match to a tie-breaker. In the tie-breaker she fell behind 5-0, before putting on an inspired charge to win the tie-break 8-6.
"She just kept battling back," Devereux said.
The only other Tiger with any varsity experience before this season is junior Blaire Ziebol, who was one of the top junior varsity players last season. This season she's playing one doubles along with sophomore Kaitlynn Belisle. They had a battle in their first set, winning 10-8 in a tie-breaker. They gave a better indication of their abilities in the second set, controlling the action for a 6-1 win.
The Tigers' fourth win came at four singles. Maya Dadez was involved in another of the close matches, holding on for a 6-4, 7-6 win.
All three of the Tigers' losses came in three-set matches, showing that the Tigers should be competitive at every flight this season.
The Tigers return to action this Friday with a meet at Altoona. The Tigers' next home match will be played next Tuesday, when they host Bloomer.
New Richmond 4, Menomonie 3
No. 1: Mattie Kidder (NR) def. Natalie Mollen 6-3, 6-2
No. 2: Christian Weaver (NR) def. Alli Norder 1-6, 6-1 7-6 (8-6)
No. 3: Gabe Telsch (M) def. Emma Bakke 6-7, 7-6 (9-4), 7-5
No. 4: Maya Dadez (NR) def. Carley Helland 6-4, 7-6 (7-1)
No. 1: Kaitlynn Belisle and Blaire Ziebol (NR) def. Haley Bomar and Rachel Scott 7-6 (10-8), 6-1
No. 2: Gail JaQues and Jess Loris (M) def. Emily LaPorte and Brianne Kupke 6-1, 0-6, 7-5
No. 3: Sam Edwards and Anne Marie White (M) def. Taylor Stai and Gaby Cruz 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5)