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Tennis off to good BRC start

No. 1 singles player Kelsie Hines reaches low to return a shot in her 6-1, 6-0 victory over Rice Lake last Thursday at the high school courts.

The Raider girls' tennis team kicked off Big Rivers Conference with victories over Menomonie and Rice Lake last week.

The Raiders edged the Mustangs, 4-3, on the road last Tuesday before downing the Warriors, 6-1, Thursday at home.

The two victories improved Hudson's dual record to 10-5 overall, 2-0 in BRC play, heading into this past Tuesday's match at perennial conference powerhouse Eau Claire Memorial. The Raiders host Chippewa Falls Tuesday, Sept. 11, at 4 p.m.

Last Tuesday at Menomonie, MacKenzie Uecker and Kate Johnson pulled out a 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 win at No. 3 doubles to help the Raiders sweep doubles play and secure the 4-3 team victory.

"Menomonie was a bit closer than we liked, but MacKenzie and Kate really buckled down in the third set," coach Dave Dahl said. "Menomonie's plan was to load their singles lineup and sweep us there, but Kelsie Hines made sure that did not happen."

Hines earned a 6-1, 7-6 win at the No. 1 spot for the only Raider win in singles play. The other Raider victories came from Alex Johnson and Bailey Knight, 6-0, 6-0 at No. 1 doubles, and Julia Douglas and Sydney Squires, 6-1, 6-0, at No. 2 doubles.

Thursday's match against Rice Lake was moved up to 9:30 a.m. to escape the forecast searing temperatures and the Raiders responded by winning six of seven matches.

"I was proud of the way the girls stepped up against Rice Lake," Dahl said, adding the Warriors returned all 10 starters from a year ago. "We started at 9:30 a.m. to beat the extreme heat, but it was still pretty brutal out there. I thought we held up much better in the trying conditions than did the Warriors."

Hines cruised to a 6-1, 6-0 win at No. 1 singles and Emily Schertz won, 7-5, 6-0, at the No. 2 spot while Mackenzie Murphy posted a 6-2, 6-0 win at No. 3.

For the second straight match the Raiders swept doubles play, with Alex Johnson and Knight winning 6-0, 6-1, Douglas and Squires 7-5, 6-1, and Uecker and Kate Johnson pulling out a 6-7, 7-6, 6-2 victory.

"This is the start we needed in conference play," Dahl said.

Douglas and Squires have posted a 13-2 record together at No. 2 doubles while Alex Johnson and Knight are 12-3 at the No. 1 spot and Kate Johnson and Uecker are 9-1 at No. 3. Hines leads the Raider singles players with a mark of 10-5.