Eight is enough to go to sections, but netters would have liked 10The Raider tennis team used occasionally dominant tennis as rain held off to advance eight of its 10 girls to sectionals.
The Raider tennis team used occasionally dominant tennis as rain held off to advance eight of its 10 girls to sectionals.
Julia Johnson at No. 1 singles beat River Falls 6-1, 6-1 to advance beyond sub-sectionals, and at No. 2 it was more of the same, with Molly Krohn beating Eau Claire North 6-1, 6-2 and New Richmond 6-1, 6-3 to move on.
Nicole Buechler at No. 3 was even more dominant, beating both River Falls and Menomonie by 6-1, 6-0 scores. Hanna Naegeli closed out the singles winners, defeating River Falls 6-1, 6-0 and Eau Claire North 7-6(5), 6-4 to advance.
At No. 1 doubles, Maggie Whitacre and Maddie Karras beat River Falls 6-4, 6-4 to continue on, and at No. 3, Rose Schuler and Lauren Scharfenberg defeated River Falls 6-3, 6-2 and then North 6-4, 6-4.
“We set a lofty team goal before the tournament to get all seven flights and all ten girls playing in Wausau and came within a couple of games of making it happen,” said Coach Dave Dahl. “Once again, the girls came through with an outstanding effort.”
They were the top scoring team in the sub-sectional with 22 points, six ahead of second-place North.
“Even though we’ll be the lower seed in most of our first-round sectional matches, we look forward to the challenge,” Dahl said. “The girls have been great at seizing opportunities all season.”
“Our 2 doubles loss was a real heartbreaker. Alise and Morgan have done so many good things for us this season, but it still stings to come so close,” Dahl said. The scores were a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Rice Lake, but then a loss to North, 6-7(6), 5-7.
Sectionals were scheduled for Wednesday at Wausau East.
A last dual meet that was a tune-up for the postseason was against New Richmond, and Hudson won 5-2.
“It is not that often that five of the seven matches go the full three sets,” Dahl said. “Julia and Hanna made short work of their opponents, but after that, we had some pretty intense battles.” Johnson won 6-0, 6-0 and Naegeli 6-0, 6-2.
Krohn was down 3-4 in the third set before winning 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. Maddie Karras and Whitacre fought off a couple of match points before finally taking control in their third-set tiebreaker to win 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(1).
Riedel and Morgan Karras were down 4-6, 0-3 before charging to their win with 6-3, 6-2 wins. Schuler and Scharfenberg just missed knocking off New Richmond’s undefeated 3 doubles team by a 4-6, 7-5, 6-7(4) score. Buechler was slowed by an injury in her third set and ended up losing 4-6, 6-1, 1-6.
“This one took a long time to sort out, but we knew New Richmond was a good team and they’d be gunning for us,” Dahl said. This regular-season-ending match-up had more importance than in most years because of play off seed considerations. “I was pleased that our girls were up to the challenge,” Dahl said. Their final overall record rose to 15-5.