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Tough competition helping Tiger tennis

The strong non-conference schedule played by the New Richmond girls tennis team is beginning to pay off.

The Tigers had one of their best finishes ever in the annual Eau Claire Memorial tournament held over the weekend. The Tigers brought home medals earned with their third place performance in the tournament played Friday and Saturday, Aug. 25-26.

The rainy weekend started with losses to Pulaski and Eau Claire Memorial on Friday. The Tigers opened Saturday's action with a 6-1 win over River Falls. They earned the third place medals with a 4-3 win over Onalaska.

The match against Onalaska was important for the Tigers for several reasons. The Tigers have lost several matches against tough opponents by 4-3 scores, so coming out on the positive side of a 4-3 score put a positive spin on the weekend.

The weekend also saw a resolution to the three doubles rotation. Sophomore Margo Gauper has been one half of the three doubles team, but three seniors have been rotating into the other spot in the doubles team. The coaches decided that there needed to be a resolution, so they used the first three rounds of the tournament to give each of the seniors one more audition. Tiger coach Denise Devereux said Katrina Riba won the job with her play against Eau Claire Memorial.

Riba and Gauper earned a 7-5, 6-2 win against Onalaska that turned the team result in the Tigers' favor.

"Katrina showed us she wanted that position. She was moving her feet, working on communication," Devereux said.

The two doubles team of Emma Borgstrom and Kerrigan Storie also earned a win against Onalaska. Singles wins came from Teresa Tenner and Ari Devereux.

Earlier Saturday the Tigers put together an impressive 6-1 win over River Falls. That included a sweep of the singles matches with Greta Bakke, Anna Hop, Tenner and Devereux winning. The one doubles team of Mia Bakke and Katey Eickhoff won handily, as did Borgstrom and Storie at two doubles.

The weather made the entire weekend a challenge. The Tigers didn't play their second match on Friday until 7:30 p.m. and the match against Eau Claire Memorial was held indoors. Memorial is the premier program in western Wisconsin, but the Tigers were competitive in the 7-0 loss.

One of the brightest spots was Eickhoff and Mia Bakke taking the one doubles match to three sets.

"That's a very good accomplishment. I was impressed with them," Coach Devereux said.

Tenner also took her match at three singles to a third set.

In the opening match of the tournament, the Tigers dropped a 4-3 decision to Pulaski. Tenner and Devereux were winners in singles matches, with Storie and Borgstrom winning at two doubles.

The Tigers are scheduled to play their first home match of the season next Thursday when they host Mondovi. It is the first of four straight home events planned for the Tigers.

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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