Tennis sets up showdown with ECMThe Raider boys’ tennis team remained undefeated in Big Rivers Conference play and improved to 6-0 overall with wins over River Falls last Thursday and Tartan this past Monday.
By: Bob Burrows, Hudson Star-Observer
The Raider boys’ tennis team remained undefeated in Big Rivers Conference play and improved to 6-0 overall with wins over River Falls last Thursday, April 28 and Tartan this past Monday, May 2.
The Raiders won both matches by identical 5-2 scores. They face a big challenge this Thursday, May 5, when they host Eau Claire Memorial at 4 p.m. at the high school courts. The Old Abes have won 14 straight Big Rivers Conference titles and are tied with the Raiders for first place in the conference with a record of 3-0.
“We’ll have our hands full with Memorial Thursday, but we look forward to the challenge,” Raider coach Dave Dahl said after Monday’s win over Tartan.
Max Hawksford and Jeff Dahl cruised to straight set wins at the top two singles positions and Tanner Owens and Koyla Hawksford battled back from a 0-3 deficit in the opening set to win, 6-3, 6-3, at No. 2 doubles against Tartan Monday but the Raiders had to work hard for their other two wins.
Griffin Robertson pulled out a 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 at No. 4 singles while Andy Mitchell and Alex Lasiuk needed three sets to earn a 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 win at No. 1 doubles.
“Max and Jeff once again did not allow much breathing room for their opponents, and Griffin did a great job closing out the third set of his match in his first singles action of the season,” Dahl said. “Three set matches are becoming the norm for Andy and Alex at the always tough one doubles flight. They did a nice job closing the door in the third set today.”
Ben Koch teamed up with Jake Shreffler for his first varsity action of the season at No. 3 singles and the pair split the first two sets, 3-6, 6-4, before dropping the third, 3-6.
“They started strong and created plenty of good chances for themselves, but came up short,” Dahl said.
Last Thursday at River Falls, the Raiders swept all four singles matches but had their hands full in doubles play as River Falls took two of three there.
Max Hawksford won 6-0, 6-0, at No. 1 singles and Dahl won 6-1, 6-0 at No. 2 while Seth Blum recorded a 6-0, 6-0 victory at No. 3 and Jon Paquette won 6-4, 6-1 at No. 4.
Robertson and Shreffler had to work hard to post a 6-4, 7-6 victory at No. 3 doubles, but the other two doubles matched and both went to three sets before falling the Wildcats’ way.
Mitchell and Lasiuk were defeated 7-5, 4-6, 4-6 at the No. 1 spot while Owens and Koyla Hawksford lost 1-6, 7-6, 4-6 at No. 2.
“Our singles were very solid again,” Dahl said. “The real battles were on the doubles courts. All three matches were very tightly contested and I give River Falls credit for their doubles play today.”
Following Thursday’s crucial BRC match against Eau Claire Memorial, the Raiders will travel to Madison for the Madison LaFollette Quad Saturday and visit Woodbury to face East Ridge Monday before returning home to host Chippewa Falls.
“If the weather cooperates, we’ll double our match total for the season in just six days,” Dahl noted.