Netters roll to season-opening win
The Raider boys tennis team kicked off the season on a high note by cruising to a 7-0 victory over Hill-Murray in East St. Paul last Monday.
Hudson won five of the seven matches in straight sets. Freshman Max Hawksford rallied for a third set tiebreaker at No. 2 singles to win in his first varsity match and Stephen Hilding and Joe Hanson won 6-3, 3-6, 6-0 at No. 2 doubles to preserve the sweep.
The Raiders hosted Baldwin-Woodville Tuesday and will open Big Rivers Conference play Thursday at 4 p.m. at home against Menomonie. They will host Tartan in a nonconference match Monday, April 20, at 3:45 p.m.
Last Monday against Hill-Murray, Hudson welcomed three new players to the singles lineup, with all but Saajan Bhakta playing their first varsity match for the Raiders. Bhakta posted a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Hill-Marray's TJ Payzant at No. 3 singles.
Hawksford battled back from a 2-6 setback in the opening set against Max Santrach at No. 2 singles to win the second set, 7-5. The pair went to a tiebreaker in the third set before Hawksford came out on top of a 7-6 score.
"He showed great determination and prevailed," Raider coach Jon Hilding said. "The match will certainly be one he remembers."
Hudson's Vitor Linhares defeated Hill-Murray's Garrett Foley, 6-4, 6-1, at No. 1 singles and Jim Setzer defeated Kevin Shay, 6-2, 6-4 at the No. 4 position.
In doubles play, returning state tournament participant Josh Syzman and sectional qualifiers Hilding and Nick Yannarelly led a solid Raider lineup that lost just one set.
"Their experience will certainly be a benefit as doubles combinations are being set," Coach Hilding said.
Szyman and Eric Kromer teamed up at No. 1 singles and defeated Eric Carlson and Tyler Rice, 7-5, 6-2.
At No. 2 doubles, Hilding and Hanson won their first set, 6-3, against Jack Walsh and Tom Steichen before coming out on the short end of a 3-6 score in the second set. But the pair rebounded with a resounding 6-0 win in the third set to earn the victory.
Yannarelly and Ryan Hanes defeated Alex Ucken and Caleb Ubi, 6-3, 6-2, at No. 3 doubles.