New Richmond tennis unable to advance any players to state meet
It was a good news/bad news WIAA tournament series for the New Richmond girls tennis team.
The good news is: the Tigers were able to get three entries into the sectional tournament since the Tigers became a Division 1 program.
The bad news is: for the first time in several years, the Tigers weren't able to advance any girls to the WIAA State Tennis Championships.
The Tigers were able to advance to the sectional level at one singles, one doubles and two doubles. The Tigers were defeated in all three flights in the opening round of the sectional meet, ending their chances to advance to state.
Mia Bakke advanced to sectionals at one singles for the Tigers. In the opening round of the sectional tournament played last Wednesday in Eau Claire, Bakke drew Wausau East's Savannah Carroll. Carroll was a very strong baseline player and she returned Bakke's best shots, defeating Bakke 6-2, 6-0. In her first season at the one singles flight, Bakke finished with a 20-8 record.
Anna Hop and Katey Eickhoff drew the top seed from the Rhinelander subsectional, a Stevens Point team that entered play with a 20-2 record. Hop and Eickhoff put up a tremendous battle, losing the opening set in a tie-break, 8-6. Point won the second set 6-2.
"That's the best I've seen them play all year," New Richmond coach Denise Devereux said. "Every game was close. It was good, good tennis."
Hop and Eickhoff finish their season with a 19-10 record.
At two doubles, Kerrigan Storie and Sydney Hahn also faced Stevens Point in their opening match. The Tigers played well, but couldn't match the powerful Point team, losing 6-3, 6-0. This played this flight out fully, so the Tigers got to play in the third place match against Marshfield. Storie and Hahn got the rare chance to end their season with a win, defeating Marshfield 6-2, 6-3. That gave Storie and Hahn a 23-7 record for the season.
The Tigers' play at the subsectional was outstanding. With wins at six of the seven flights, and advancing to sectionals in three flights, this was the most successful subsectional tournament the Tigers have played since moving to Division 1 a decade ago.
"In the (subsectionals), everyone played like they are capable of playing," Devereux said.
The one seeds needed to win one match to advance. Bakke did that in singles, defeating River Falls 6-1, 6-1 after Bakke had been named the second seed. Hop and Eickhoff were seeded fifth, but they knocked off fourth-seeded Hudson 6-3, 7-6. The Tigers tore through the opening set. After Hudson did its best to take charge early in the second set, the Tigers regained their level of play to take the set to the tie-break.
The two doubles team of Storie and Hahn was the third seed, but they played beyond that level. To get to the sectional, they needed to second seed Hudson. They opened with a 6-0, 6-0 win over River Falls. When the Tigers faced Hudson, the Tiger girls played their best tennis of the season, knocking out the Raiders, 6-2, 6-3.
While they didn't advance, the Tigers got opening wins in all three of the lower flights in singles. Teresa Tenner opened action in two singles with a 6-0, 6-1 win over River Falls. She then ran up against the top seed from Eau Claire Memorial, losing 6-0, 6-2. Ari Devereux went the same route at three singles. She defeated Eau Claire North 6-2, 6-1 in the first round, then lost to Hudson 6-1, 6-1. Emily Fuchs was the sixth seed at four singles, but defeated River Falls 6-4, 6-3 in the opening round. She was defeated by Eau Claire Memorial 6-0, 6-2 in the second round.
The only flight where the Tigers didn't win was at three doubles, but they came achingly close. Sophie Fuchs and Brogan O'Flanagan battled in an extended match. The Tigers won the opening set 6-2, but River Falls took the final two sets 6-4, 7-6.