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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In its best chance to record a Middle Border Conference win this season, the New Richmond volleyball team rose to the challenge last Thursday. The Tigers faced Amery, with both teams looking for their first conference win. The Tigers played one of their most complete matches while beating Amery in four games. New Richmond won the first game 25-17. Amery came back to capture the second game 25-18. New Richmond then made its charge, winning the next two games 25-17 and 25-23. Tiger coach Bob Fisher said he saw improvement in every aspect of the game during the win.
The focus for the entire day for the Somerset girls golf team at the WIAA regional tournament last Wednesday was to play their way into the sectional tournament. The Spartans suffered through a few rocky holes in the middle of the round, but finished with a flourish to qualify for this Tuesday's WIAA Division 2 sectional tournament at Pheasant Hills Golf Club in Hammond. St. Croix Central wasn't as fortunate at the regional meet.
There have been some wickedly cold and wet conditions for cross country races over the years, but New Richmond coach Beth Kelly said she'd never experienced conditions like those that the Tigers ran in last Thursday. The Tigers competed in the Chippewa Falls Invitational last Thursday, which was held at the Wissota Golf Course, on the shores of Lake Wissota. The weather was windy and cold when the Tigers left home that afternoon, but that was mild compared to what they faced. "It's probably the worst weather I've had at a meet," Kelly said.
By the end of Saturday's action, the Somerset boys soccer team members were worn out. Who can blame them? After playing six games in six days, the Spartans didn't have anything left to give. The week began with the Spartans earning their first three-game winning streak in team history. But as the grind of the week bore down on the team, the Spartans weren't as successful in the second half of the week. MBC finale The Spartans finished their Middle Border Conference regular season schedule with a 10-3 win over Spooner last Tuesday.
New Richmond's number one singles player and one doubles team have qualified for this Wednesday's WIAA Division 1 tennis sectional tournament in Stevens Point. They qualified during the Eau Claire Memorial Division 1 Subsectional Meet, played on Monday. Senior Amy Kukacka and sophomore Mattie Kidder advance as the Tigers' number one doubles team. Junior Kaycie Anderson advances as the Tigers' top singles player. Anderson went into the subsectional meet seeded third among the one singles players. She drew Natalie Berger of Superior as an opening opponent.
The two losses suffered by the St. Croix Central volleyball team showed how different a team can play in coming out on the losing end of matches. The Panthers lost Dunn-St. Croix Conference matches to Pepin and Plum City. While last Tuesday's loss to Pepin was viewed as an abject failure by the Panthers, there were many positives to their performance in their loss at Plum City last Thursday. The Panthers lost at Plum City on Thursday 25-20, 25-7, 25-23. The Panthers were active and intent on atoning for their play on Tuesday. They did so.
Spirited special teams and a defense that had all the answers led the New Richmond football team to a 26-7 win over Ellsworth last Friday. Ellsworth came into the game as one of the intriguing teams in the Middle Border Conference. The Panthers were fresh off a 28-22 win over Baldwin-Woodville, a win that made people take notice that Ellsworth has a legitimate chance to be a WIAA playoff team this year and possibly even a contender for the MBC title.
The New Richmond girls tennis team has earned its fifth straight Middle Border Conference championship, but this will be the first of those five titles that the Tigers have had to share. The Tigers locked up their share of the 2011 MBC championship by earning a 6-1 win at Amery on Thursday.
The New Richmond boys soccer team has completed a sweep of its regular season Middle Border Conference games. The Tigers now move into the MBC tournament. By virtue of finishing with the top record in the MBC regular season, the Tigers will be the top seed in the conference tournament. Their first game will be at home on Friday, when they face the winner of Thursday's play-in game between Somerset and Spooner. The Tigers completed their perfect MBC regular season by winning at Baldwin-Woodville last Thursday, 2-0.
Somerset's varsity offense was unstoppable when the Spartan football team played at Amery last Friday. The varsity offense got to play for six possessions in the game. They scored on all six chances, resulting in a 48-0 win over the Warriors. The win keeps the Spartans in a tie for the Middle Border Conference lead. They currently hold a 3-1 record, as does New Richmond and Durand. The Spartans have a chance to lock up a place in the 2011 WIAA state playoffs with a win this Friday. The assignment for the Spartans will be to win in Baldwin-Woodville on Friday.