Raider tennis hot from the start; Girls take first at ECN InviteHudson girls’ tennis coach Dave Dahl said it may be the start of the fall high school sports season, but his team had to play through some pretty intense summer heat at the Eau Claire North Invitational last Saturday.
By: Bob Burrows, Hudson Star-Observer
Hudson girls’ tennis coach Dave Dahl said it may be the start of the fall high school sports season, but his team had to play through some pretty intense summer heat at the Eau Claire North Invitational last Saturday.
In the end, the Raiders beat the heat and all three of their opponents on their way to taking first place at the inaugural event of the season.
Hudson defeated Eau Claire Regis, 5-2 and Merrill, 4-3, before dispatching of host Eau Claire North, 6-1, in the championship match.
“When it came to the championship match against North, I thought we dealt with the heat much better than did the Huskies,” Dahl said. “I was real proud of the way the girls held up.”
Nicole Buechler, Morgan Karras, Whitney Theisen and Casey Fall all went 3-0 on the day while alternating between singles and doubles play. Morgan Van Allen was the only Raider to play three singles matches and came away with a record of 2-1.
In the 5-2 win over Eau Claire Regis, Buechler posted a 6-1, 6-4 victory at No. 1 singles, Van Allen won 6-2, 6-1 at No. 2, and Karras won 6-1, 6-1 at No. 3. The other Raider wins came in three set tiebreakers at the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles spots.
Theisen and Fall came back from a 5-7 loss in their opening set at No. 1 doubles to win 6-3, then earned an 11-9 victory in the tiebreaker, while Kelsey Scharfenberg and Lauren Duffy dropped their first set, 2-6, before coming back to win the second, 7-6(7) and winning the tiebreaker, 11-9.
Against Merrill, Fall posted the only Raider win in singles play, 6-3, 6-1, at the No. 3 spot, but the Raiders swept all three doubles matches to earn a 4-3 victory.
Karras and Buechler won 6-1, 6-2 at No. 1 doubles, Theisen and Jenny Fassbinder won 6-2, 6-2 at No. 2, and Scharfenberg and Duffy won 6-2, 6-2 at No. 3.
Hudson swept all four singles matches and won two of three in doubles play in their 6-1 title-clinching victory over Eau Claire North.
Buechler won 6-0, 6-1 at No. 1 singles, Van Allen won 6-2, 6-1 at No. 2, Karras won 6-0, 6-0 at No. 3 and sophomore Bailey Knight pulled out a 4-6, 6-0 (10-6) win at No. 4.
“She picked up a big win in her first varsity match and showed that she will challenge for a top ten spot this year,” Dahl said.
In doubles play, Theisen and Fall won 6-1, 6-4 at the No. 1 spot and Fassbinder and Racheal Knoke won 7-6(2), 6-1 at No. 3.
“Obviously, it’s nice to start the season with three wins,” Dahl said. “The girls would tell you there’s plenty of things to work on though. We’ve got a busy schedule in August, so we’ll have many chances to get better.”
The Raiders return seven of their top ten players from a year ago, and Dahl said captains Karras, Buechler and Scharfenberg will provide great leadership.
“Eau Claire Memorial will again be the favorite, but we’ll do our best to challenge them,” the coach said.
The Raiders will be in action this Saturday, Aug. 21, at the River Falls Quad where they will face the Wildcats, Chisago Lakes and Woodbury beginning at 9 a.m. They will travel to the Green Bay Southwest Tournament Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 23-24, before opening the Big Rivers Conference schedule with a home match Thursday, Aug. 26, at 4 p.m. against Eau Claire Memorial.