Nine Raiders earn All-Big River Conference tennis honorsThe Raider girls’ tennis team won all three doubles titles and had nine players earn all-conference honors while taking second place at the Big Rivers Conference Championship Tournament Saturday in Eau Claire.
By: Bob Burrows, Hudson Star-Observer
The Raider girls’ tennis team won all three doubles titles and had nine players earn all-conference honors while taking second place at the Big Rivers Conference Championship Tournament Saturday, Sept. 25 in Eau Claire.
The No. 1 doubles team of Morgan Karras and Whitney Theisen, the No. 2 team of Casey Fall and Jenny Fassbinder, and the No. 3 team of Lauren Duffy and Kelsey Scharfenberg all went undefeated to win conference titles and earn All-BRC first team honors.
Morgan Van Allen, at No. 2 singles, and Chel sea Buechler, at No. 3 singles, each took second place while Nicole Buechler took third at No. 1 singles to earn All-BRC second team honors. Racheal Knoke just missed a spot on the All-BRC team with a fourth place finish at No. 4 singles.
“I was proud of all ten girls today, and certainly earning championships in all three doubles flights was a highlight,” head coach Dave Dahl said. “This is the first time we’ve accomplished that as a member of the BRC. To do it in such dominating style—winning seven matches without dropping a set—was awesome.”
The Raider No. 1 and No. 2 doubles teams entered the tournament as No. 1 seeds and earned byes in their opening round.
Karras and Theisen rolled to back-to-back 6-1, 6-2 victories over teams from River Falls and Eau Claire North to earn their title while Fall and Fassbinder posted a 6-1, 6-1 win over Eau Claire North and a 6-3, 6-4 win over Eau Claire Memorial to win their championship.
Duffy and Scharfenberg were the No. 2 seeds at No. 3 doubles and opened with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Chippewa Falls. They went on to defeat Eau Claire North, 6-1, 6-1, ad River Falls, 6-4, 6-3, for their title.
“I expected us to do well,” Dahl said about having the first or second seed in all three flights, but I didn’t anticipate we’d steamroll the opposition. It was clear all six girls were mentally tough and very focused today.”
Van Allen reached the title match at No. 2 singles with victories over Rice Lake and Eau Claire North before falling to Eau Claire Memorial’s Sydney Wolfe.
Chelsea Buechler also lost to an Old Abe player — Beth Richmond — in her title match after wins over Rice Lake and Eau Claire North.
Nicole Buechler won her first match against River Falls and lost her second to eventual champ Annie Reagan of Eau Claire Memorial before defeating Sarah Thune of Eau Claire North, 6-4, 6-3, in the third place match.
“Memorial proved to be too good in singles, sweeping all four of those titles,” Dahl said. “Nicole Buechler avenged a recent loss to North. She’s done pretty well playing in the toughest spot with an arm that is less than 100 percent healthy.
Morgan Van Allen and Chelsea Buechler were clutch in close semifinal wins,” he added. “Their opponents in the finals were awfully good. Racheal suffered a heartbreaking loss in her semifinal, but created many good chances for herself.”
Eau Claire Memorial took the team title with 34 points followed by Hudson with 31. Dahl said the 31 points was two more than the Raiders scored two years ago when they won the BRC championship.
“Now the challenge is to finish even stronger,” Dahl said about the upcoming subsectional and sectional tournaments. “The girls know nothing is ever guaranteed so I know they’ll be pushing each other until the end.”
The Raiders wind up the regular season with a home dual match against New Richmond Thursday, Sept. 30 at 3:45 p.m. Subsectionals are Monday, Oct. 4, at New Richmond with sectionals scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 6, at Marshfield.