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Netters post first Raider win of season

Members of the Raider girls' tennis team are all smiles after taking first place at the Husky Invitational at Eau Claire North Saturday. Pictured are, front row from left, Casey Fall, Alise Riedel, Morgan Karras and Lauren Duffy; back row, Morgan Van Allen, Racheal Knoke, Nicole Buechler, Julia Johnson, Kelsey Scharfenberg and Whitney Theisen. Missing from photo is Hanna Naegeli. Submitted photo

The Raider girls' tennis team put Hudson High School's first "W" of the season in the books by going 3-0 to take first place at the Husky Invitational at Eau Claire North Saturday.

The Raiders swept Unity, 7-0, and defeated Altoona, 6-1, before dispatching the host Eau Claire North Huskies, 4-3, to clinch the tourney title.

"It's obviously nice to start the season on a positive note," Raider head coach Dave Dahl said. "Altoona went to state as a team last season and had most of its team back, so that was a good win, and it's certainly satisfying to knock North off at their tourney."

Julia Johnson and Morgan Van Allen both went 3-0 in singles play while Alise Riedel and Morgan Karras teamed up for a pair of wins at No. 1 doubles.

"Julia Johnson got her senior season started in style," Dahl said. "Her opponents from Unity and Altoona were both state-caliber players. She's the best player we've had at the top of our lineup and we look forward to what she will do this year."

Johnson was pushed to a tiebreaker in her opening match against Unity before going on to a 7-6(3), 6-2 victory while Karras posted a 6-1, 6-1 at No. 2 singles. Van Allen rolled to a 6-0, 6-1 win at No. 3 singles and Racheal Knoke cruised to a 6-0, 6-0 victory at No. 4.

In doubles play, Riedel and Hanna Naegeli won 6-4, 6-3 at the No. 1 position, Whitney Theisen and Casey Fall won 6-3, 6-1 at No. 2, and Kelsey Scharfenberg and Lauren Duffy cruised to a 6-0, 6-0 win at No. 3.

In the Raiders' 6-1 victory over Altoona, Johnson won 7-5, 6-2 at No. 1 singles, Naegeli won 6-3, 6-1 at No. 3 and Van Allen posted a 6-0, 6-1 win at No. 4.

Hudson swept the doubles matches, with Riedel and Karras teaming up for a 6-3, 6-2 win at the No. 1 spot, Kate Beemer and Fall battling back after a first set loss to win 6-7(1), 6-2, 10-6 at No. 2, and Scharfenberg and Theisen pulling out a 7-6(2), 3-6, 15-13 win at No. 3.

The Raiders took three of the four singles matches against Eau Claire North and picked up a hard-fought 1-6, 7-6(4), 10-6 win from Riedel and Karras at No. 1 doubles to clinch a 4-3 victory over the Huskies.

"They really shocked North after North stated so fast," Dahl said about the Raiders' top doubles team. "That was really the key win to carry us to the team title."

Hudson also picked up wins in singles play from Johnson at No. 1 (6-1, 6-3), Nicole Buechler at No. 2 (6-2, 6-1) and Van Allen at No. 3 (6-4, 6-2).

"We'll see North a bunch more, so that score is far from settled," Dahl said about the Raiders' Big Rivers Conference foes.

After playing in the Eau Claire Memorial Round Robin Tournament earlier this week (results were not completed at press time), the Raiders will compete at the River Falls Quad Saturday beginning at 9 a.m., and travel to the Green Bay Southwest Sweet 16 Tournament Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 24-25.

"We've got a bunch of challenging opponents in August, so we're going to be tested plenty in the next couple of weeks," Dahl said.

The Raiders first home match of the season is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 1, at 4 p.m. with a BRC dual against Menomonie.

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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