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Tennis: Tigers can't get past Menomonie

New Richmond senior Greta Bakke has become one of the best singles players in the area by developing a strong, well-rounded base of tennis skills. Dave Newman / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 2
New Richmond sophomore Katey Eickhoff makes a play at the net during the one doubles match against Menomonie on Sept 11. Dave Newman / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 2

Whenever the New Richmond and Menomonie girls tennis teams clash, it always seems to be a close battle.

It was that way again Sept. 11 when the two teams met on the Tigers' home court. With nearly every match being closely contested, the Mustangs were able to defeat the Tigers 5-2 in the nonconference match.

Both of New Richmond's wins came in the singles column. Senior Greta Bakke chalked up another impressive win in defeating Jennifer Radle 7-5, 6-3. Tiger coach Denise Devereux said Bakke upped her aggressiveness, especially on balls near the net, to make the second set an easier win.

The second win was produced by sophomore Ari Devereux at four singles, where she produced a 6-2, 6-0 win. In recent matches, it's been apparent that Devereux has found a comfort level and has been controlling the action in most of her matches.

Coach Devereux said most of the Tigers weren't able to relax and that was a difference in some of the close matches.

"Menomonie is a good team. I felt our girls played nervous," Devereux said.

The one double match was one of those pivotal matches. The Tiger tandem of sophomores Mia Bakke and Katey Eickhoff was facing a Menomonie team that went to state last year as sophomores. The Tigers took a 5-2 lead, then backed off on their aggressive play and Menomonie came back for a 7-5, 6-0 win.

"Our girls played so well in the beginning," Devereux said.

On Sept. 12, the Tigers played their seventh match in seven days when they faced Osceola. The Tigers were able to score a 6-1 win. Bakke, Devereux, Anna Hop and Teresa Tenner rolled through the singles matches with no trouble. Eickhoff and Bakke had similar success at one doubles, as did Katrina Riba and Margo Gauper at three doubles. The only Tiger loss came at two doubles, where the Tigers had a player out due to illness.

The Tigers will play their final Middle Border Conference dual match Thursday, Sept. 21, when they host Baldwin-Woodville. The postseason begins for the Tigers on Tuesday, Sept. 26, when they play in the conference tournament at Osceola.

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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