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Johnson falls in first round of state tourney

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Senior Julia Johnson's high school tennis career ended Thursday with a loss to Lauren Piotrowski of Greendale in the first round of the WIAA State Girls Tennis Championships in Madison.

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Piotrowski defeated Johnson 6-4, 6-4, in a match that featured a number of momentum swings and a bizarre scoring ruling.

Johnson jumped out to a 4-2 lead in the first set only to see that slip away. In the second set, with Johnson up 3-2 and Piotrowski serving at 30-40 in the sixth game, Johnson took the next point for what she thought was a 4-2 set lead.

Raider coach Dave Dahl said for some reason Piotrowski became confused about the score, and an official who did not see the game in question took the point away from Johnson and put the score back to 30-30.

"That was frustrating, because Julia was up 15-40 after four points had been played in the game," Dahl said. "Julia did her best to rebound from a bad situation, but came up short."

Piotrowski went on to lose her second round match to Karyn Guttormsen of Kenosha Bradford, 6-2, 6-3. Top seed Aly Coran, a sophomore from Homestead, capped off an undefeated season by winning the Division 1 singles championship.

Dahl said Johnson's first round loss does not diminish her outstanding tennis career at Hudson High School.

"Her only losses the past three seasons were either at the state tournament, or to opponents who eventually qualified for state," Dahl said. "Making two trips to Madison and being first-team All-Big Rivers Conference for two years is something she can be very proud of. If she wants tennis to be part of her college experience, her skills certainly give her that option."

Dahl said Johnson, who finished her senior season with a record of 26-4, will be missed next year.

"Not only is she great on the court, but she is an all-around great kid and student," he said. "She's been a real gem for us for a long time."

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Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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