Dahl steps in as boys’ tennis coachThe Raider boys’ tennis team has a new head coach this season, but he’s a very familiar face. Longtime Raider girls’ coach Dave Dahl takes over the reins of the boys program from Jon Hilding this year.
By: Bob Burrows, Hudson Star-Observer
The Raider boys’ tennis team has a new head coach this season, but he’s a very familiar face.
Longtime Raider girls’ coach Dave Dahl takes over the reins of the boys program from Jon Hilding this year. But after serving as a boys’ assistant coach for 15 years alongside Hilding, Dahl expects the transition to be a smooth one.
“Jon had a very successful 17-year run,” Dahl said. “I was Jon’s assistant for 15 years, so it’s going to feel a bit strange this spring without him. We’ll miss him, but will do our best to continue his winning ways.”
Dahl brings Carol Szyman, who has been an assistant with the girls’ team for 12 years, to work with the boys’ program this spring.
Dahl and the Raider boys opened the season with a 5-2 loss at Hill-Murray Monday.
“We were pretty generous out there today,” the new coach said. “But to Hill-Murray’s credit they made fewer errors than we did. We’ll need to play with a lot more consistency as we move on.”
The Raiders open the season looking to replace a senior class that occupied eight of the ten varsity spots last year.
“There will be some growing pains this year,” Dahl said. “We’ll have plenty of challenging opponents, but I think the guys are up to it.”
Monday’s Raider wins came from Jimmy Setzer at No. 4 singles and Andy Mitchell and Alex Lasuik at No. 3 doubles. Setzer won 6-3, 6-4 while Mitchell and Lasuik pulled out a 7-5 win in their opening set before winning the second set 6-2.
“Jimmy Setzer did a nice job of pressuring his opponent from the net to pick up a solid win today,” Dahl said. “It was good to see Andy and Alex get the job done at No. 3 doubles in their first varsity match.”
Max Hawksford and Eric Kromer were each defeated 2-6, 1-6, at the No. 1 and No. 2 singles positions, respectively, while Jeff Dahl lost a 3-6, 5-7 decision at the No. 3 spot.
In doubles play, Ben Duerst and David Nettleton dropped a hard-fought 4-6, 7-6, 4-6 match at No. 1 while Luke Jepperson and Seth Blum lost 2-6, 2-6 at No. 2.
The Raiders will take on Eau Claire North in their home opener Thursday, April 15 at 4 p.m. at the high school courts.