Raider tennis wins 5 of 7Playing without No. 1 singles player Morgan Van Allen, the Raider girls’ tennis team stepped up to win five of seven matches in a busy week last week.
By: Bob Burrows, Hudson Star-Observer
Playing without No. 1 singles player Morgan Van Allen, the Raider girls’ tennis team stepped up to win five of seven matches in a busy week last week.
Van Allen was sidelined in the Raiders’ first match at the Eau Claire Memorial Round-Robin Tournament last Monday but Hudson still rolled to an 8-1 victory over Beaver Dam.
New Richmond took advantage of Van Allen’s absence in the second match of the day and edged Hudson by a 5-4 score before perennial Big Rivers Conference powerhouse Eau Claire Memorial posted a 9-0 win over the Raiders.
Hudson bounced back to win its final two matches of the day, 5-4 over Eau Claire North and 6-3 over River Falls.
The winning trend continued Saturday at River Falls as the Raiders posted a 5-2 victory over the host Wildcats before beating Woodbury by an identical 5-2 score.
Raider coach Dave Dahl said the team held up well without Van Allen in the lineup at No. 1 singles.
“That’s the toughest spot to try to fill and obviously affects four flights,” he said. “New Richmond took advantage of our misfortune, and we lost to a Memorial team that was simply better, but to win five of seven under the circumstances was not bad.”
Fellow senior co-captain Racheal Knoke stepped in at the No. 1 singles position in Van Allen’s absence and won five of her seven matches.
“Assistant coach Carol Szyman and myself have both been very impressed with Racheal’s efforts so far,” Dahl said. “She’s just been outstanding.”
The Raiders’ No. 1 doubles team of Casey Fall and Jenny Fassbinder also had a good week as they improved to 9-1 together this season.
“They move so well and they do a great job of playing aggressive, which is perfect for doubles,” Dahl said.
Alex Johnson, Sydney Squires and Kelsie Hines all picked up five wins last week while Bailey Knight won four times.
Dahl said he hoped to have Van Allen back for the team’s two-day trip to the Green Bay Southwest Invitational this week, where the field includes three 2010 state-tournament qualifying teams.
“We’ve got plenty of room for improvement in the consistency department as a group, so we’ll keep plugging away,” he said.
Saturday, Aug. 27, the Raiders will compete at the Menomonie Invitational before opening Big Rivers Conference play at Eau Claire Memorial on Tuesday, Aug. 30. The team’s first home match is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 1, at 4 p.m. against Menomonie.