Tennis ties for 2nd at Big River Conference tourneyThe Raider boys’ tennis team tied for second place with Chippewa Falls at the Big Rivers Conference Tournament that concluded Monday in Eau Claire, but a loss to the Cardinals in the final BRC dual meet of the season last Tuesday left the Raiders in third place in the final conference standings.
By: Bob Burrows, Hudson Star-Observer
The Raider boys’ tennis team tied for second place with Chippewa Falls at the Big Rivers Conference Tournament that concluded Monday, May 16 in Eau Claire, but a loss to the Cardinals in the final BRC dual meet of the season last Tuesday left the Raiders in third place in the final conference standings.
Eau Claire Memorial took first at the tournament, which was halted Saturday by rain and continued on Monday. The win gave the Old Abes their 15th straight BRC title and left the Raiders and Cardinals to battle it out for second place.
Hudson earned a pair of second place finishes from Max Hawksford at No. 1 singles and the No. 3 doubles team of Griffin Robertson and Jake Shreffler, and third place efforts from Jeff Dahl at No. 2 singles, Seth Blum at No. 3 singles, and Andy Mitchell and Alex Lasiuk at No. 1 doubles, but when the dust settled the Raiders and Cardinals were tied for second place, each with 20 points, leaving the Cardinals ahead of the Raiders in the final conference standings by virtue of their dual victory last Tuesday.
“We knew we had to outscore Chippewa Falls in the BRC tourney to catch them for second place, so it was disappointing to get that close and fall just short,” Hudson coach Dave Dahl said. “There’s still plenty of tennis to be played, so we’ll continue to work to get better.”
The Raiders will host New Richmond on Thursday, May 19 and travel to Onalaska and La Crosse Central Saturday, May 21 before beginning postseason play at the WIAA Subsectional Monday at New Richmond.
Last Saturday and this past Monday, at the BRC Tournament, Hawksford placed second at No. 1 singles with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Menomonie in the semifinals and a 6-7, 3-6 loss to Eau Claire Memorial in the finals. The Old Abes took home titles in all seven fights.
“Max gave it another good run against Eau Claire Memorial,” Dahl said. “Max is the only player in the area who has given the Memorial player anything to worry about. Max has high expectations as we head to subsectionals and I think for good reason.”
Robertson and Shreffler defeated Menomonie 6-2, 6-2 and Chippewa Falls, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6, before losing in the No. 3 finals to Eau Claire Memorial.
“The win over Chippewa Falls was huge and these guys finishing in second place is what we were hoping for,” Dahl said.
Jeff Dahl lost his semifinal match at No. 2 singles to Chippewa Falls, 6-4, 3-65, 4-6, before beating Menomonie 6-2, 6-0 for third place.
“Jeff took a tough loss to the Chippewa Falls kid and hopefully learned some valuable lessons that will help him down the road,” his father and coach said.
Blum defeated an Eau Claire North player, 6-2, 6-3, in the No. 3 singles quarterfinals before losing to Chippewa Falls, 1-6, 4-6 in the semifinals. He came back to capture third place with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Menomonie.
Mitchell and Lasiuk beat Chippewa Falls, 6-3, 6-1 in the quarterfinals at No. 1 doubles before losing to River Falls, 5-7, 4-6 in the semifinals. They bounced back with a 7-6, 4-6, 6-3 win over Eau Claire North in the third place match.
“They were really tough at crunch time in the third set vs. North,” Dahl said. “This was a big win for this pair as we head towards subsectionals.”
Jon Paquette defeated Eau Claire North in the quarterfinals at No. 4 singles before losing to Eau Claire Memorial, 2-6, 0-6, and Menomonie, 2-6, 1-6 to finish fourth, while the No. 2 doubles team of Kolya Hawksford and Dominic Meincke lost to Eau Claire North, 7-5, 6-7, 2-6 before defeating Menomonie, 6-4, 6-2 to finish in fifth place.
“They just missed pulling the upset over North, but scored an important team point in finishing fifth,” Dahl said.