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Tennis team rebounds to take second in conference

After a challenging week with losses on Thursday and Friday to the powerful Eau Claire teams -- North and Memorial -- the Raider tennis team rebounded with a great effort at the Big Rivers Conference tournament to finish second in the BRC.

Memorial ended first with 42 points, Hudson second with 24, and North third with 18. Conference standings are based on a combination of the regular season dual meets and the tournament, and the Hudson result there moved them up to second in the standings. All three doubles teams were conference runner-ups and all four singles players finished third.

Hudson players earned these all-conference honors: First team, the doubles duo of John Dahl and Josh Szyman, and second team, Zach Blum, Stephen Hilding, Nick Yannarelly, David Sjoberg and Eric Kromer.

"The doubles were particularly strong ... John Dahl and Josh Szyman had a very exciting match in the semifinals, defeating Swanson and Turner from Eau Claire North 3-6, 6-2, 7-6," Coach Jon Hilding said. They then lost to Minton and Lubinsky from Memorial 0-6, 1-6.

Stephen Hilding and Nick Yannarelly, Hudson's No. 2 doubles team, also played well, defeating Kuesten and Fastner from Chippewa Falls 6-0, 6-1, in the opening round. The Hudson pair then defeated Weber and Lynett from North 4-6, 6-2, 6-4. This was a team that had defeated them just two days earlier. Again, Hudson fell to Falch and Leigel from Memorial in the finals.

The number three doubles team of David Sjoberg and Eric Kromer received a bye the opening round but then defeated Jenkins and Gerbec of River Falls in the semifinals 6-4, 6-3. The Hudson duo also fell to Memorial's Wollum and Kashaba 2-6, 2-6 in the finals.

All four singles players earned third place in the tournament, meaning they lost in the semifinals but rebounded in their last match of the day. Zach Blum at No. 1 singles defeated Max Docksey from Chippewa Falls 6-0, 7-5, in his third-place match. Joe Hanson defeated Michael Lund of North 6-0, 5-7, 6-4, in his last match of the day to capture third.

Ryan Hanes beat David Mollan of Menomonie 6-4, 6-4, in his third-place match. James Meincke defeated Jimmy Eckman of River Falls 6-4, 6-1, to capture third.

"I am very pleased with the good effort and with the team on finishing second in the conference," Hilding said.

These were the winning matches against Eau Claire in the time leading up to conference:

  • Dahl and Szyman defeated Skip Turner and Marcus Bachmeier of North 6-3, 6-1.
  • Sjoberg and Kromer beat Scott Anbelay and Andy Brandt of North 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.

    "The Raiders played with intensity, but just fell short against a tough Eau Claire North squad," Hilding said. "Our doubles continues to be a strength on this team."

  • Sjoberg and Kromer also defeated Tim Kashaba and Joe Wollum of Memorial 1-6, 6-2, 6-4.

    "David Sjoberg and Eric Kromer played a masterful match, defeating a team from the always tough Eau Claire squad," Hilding said.

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