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Raider No. 1 singles player Vitor Linhares charges the net to return a shot in his match against River Falls' Bobby Perkins-McIntosh Thursday in River Falls. Linhares posted a 6-3, 6-2 victory to help the Raiders to a 5-2 win over the Wildcats. Photo by Bob Burrows

Netters coming on strong

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Hudson Star Observer
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Netters coming on strong
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

The Raider boys tennis team had a good week last week, posting a nonconference win over Tartan at home last Monday before defeating Big Rivers Conference foe River Falls on the road Thursday.


The Raiders improved to 5-0 overall, 2-0 in the BRC, and will host perennial BRC powerhouse Eau Claire Memorial Thursday, April 30 at 4 p.m. at the high school courts.

Hudson took a 6-0 decision from Tartan Monday with Ben Duerst's match at No. 4 singles called due to rain. Thursday the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles teams remained undefeated and Saajan Bhakta kept his record perfect as the Raiders defeated River Falls, 5-2.

The Raiders also welcomed Zach Blum back to the singles lineup, and he responded with a pair of victories in his first action of the season.

He has been recuperating from an injury but is a fine singles player, and will certainly make our lineup even more formidable," Raider coach Jon Hilding said.

Blum, playing at No. 3 singles, earned a 6-2, 6-1 victory against Tartan last Monday while Vitor Linhares took a 6-3, 6-1 decision at No. 1 and Max Hawksford won 6-1, 6-2 at No. 3.

In doubles play, Stephen Hilding and Joe Hanson posted a 6-1, 6-0 win at the No. 1 spot, Eric Kromer and Ryan Hanes cruised to a 6-0, 6-0 win at No. 2, and Nick Yannarelly and Will Gaumitz won 6-1, 6-1 at No. 3.

Thursday at River Falls, Linhares defeated Bobby Perkins-McIntosh 6-3, 6-2 at No. 1 singles but Hawksford came out on the short end of a 6-2, 1-6, 4-6, score to Jackson Rohde at No. 2.

Blum defeated Kusha Rahgozar, 6-4, 6-4, at the No. 3 position and Bhakta pulled out a hard-fought 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 decision at No. 4 to give the Raiders three out of four singles victories.

Josh Szyman and Kromer were beaten 2-6, 3-6 by Jimmy Ekman and Nick Ambur at No. 1 singles, but both Hilding and Hanson, and Yannarelly and Hanes stayed undefeated with wins in their matches.

Hilding and Hanson defeated Sam Abair and Ryan Foster 7-6, 6-4 at No. 2 doubles and Yannarelly and Hanes defeated Charlie Steinmetz and Luke Voss, 6-4, 6-1.

"Stephen Hilding and Joey Hanson raised their record to 5-0 and continue to show great teamwork," Coach Hilding said. "Nick Yannarelly and Ryan Hanes raised their mark to 4-0 and are displaying confident shot-making ability.

"In singles play, Saajan Bhakta remains unbeaten and is off to a strong start in his senior season," Hilding added.

The Raiders' visit to Shakopee to play in the Saber Invitational was rained out Saturday.

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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