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Raider netters continue early season success

Raider No. 1 singles player Julia Johnson reaches low to return a shot at the net in her 6-0, 6-1 victory over River Falls' Jackie Nelson at the River Falls Quad Saturday. Hudson lost just one match all day on its way to defeating Woodbury, Chisago Lakes and River Falls. Photo by Bob Burrows

After finishing in a three-way tie for second place at the Eau Claire Memorial Round Robin Tournament Thursday, the Raider girls' tennis team dominated its three opponents at Saturday's River Falls Quad.

Hudson opened with a 6-1 win over Woodbury before sweeping both Chisago Lakes and the host Wildcats by 7-0 scores to earn the top spot at the tourney.

Hudson will put its 9-2 record on the line this week when it travels to The Green Bay Southwest Super 16 Tournament Tuesday. Thursday, August 27, the Raiders open Big Rivers Conference dual competition at Eau Claire Memorial and Saturday, Aug. 29 they will compete at the Menomonie Quad.

"We've got eight tough matches in a row facing us this week," head coach Dave Dahl said. "I think the girls are up for the challenge. If we can stay healthy, it will be fun to see how we hold up."

The Raiders' home opener is slated for Tuesday, Sept. 1, at 4 p.m. against Menomonie.

Saturday at River Falls, the Raiders dominated singles play while going 3-0 and improve to 9-2 on the season.

In the 6-1 win over Woodbury, Julia Johnson rolled to a 6-0, 6-0 win at No. 1 singles and Nicole Buechler posted a 6-2, 6-2 win at No. 2 while Morgan Van Allen won 6-0, 6-2 at the No. 3 spot and Racheal Knoke won 6-1, 7-5 at No. 4.

The Raiders' only loss of the day came at No. 1 doubles against Woodbury where Morgan Karras and Alise Riedel came out on the short end of a hard-fought 4-6, 7-5, 7-10 decision. Hanna Naegeli and Casey Fall pulled out a 7-6, 6-0 win at No. 2 and Whitney Theisen and Lauren Duffy won 6-4, 6-4 at No. 3.

The Raiders routed Chisago Lakes with singles players Johnson, Buechler, Van Allen and Knoke, and the No. 1 doubles team of Karras and Riedel all winning by identical 6-0, 6-0 scores. Naegeli and Fall had to battle for a 4-6, 7-5, 10-3 win at No. 2 doubles while Kelsey Scharfenberg and Duffy teamed up for a 6-2, 6-0 win at No. 3.

Hudson kept up its strong play in a 7-0 win over River Falls with Johnson posting a 6-0, 6-1 win at No. 1 singles, Buechler winning 6-0, 6-0 at No. 2, Van Allen nailing down a 6-1, 6-1 win at No. 3 and Knoke rolling to a 6-0, 6-0 win at No. 4.

In doubles play against the Wildcats, Karras and Riedel won 6-0, 6-4 at No. 1, Naegeli and Fall won 6-4, 6-4 at No. 2, and Theisen and Scharfenberg pulled out a 6-3, 6-7(4), 13-11 victory at No. 3.

"We really overwhelmed our singles opponents today," Dahl said about Raiders' performance at the River Falls Quad. "I don't recall a showing quite this strong. There were plenty of close matches, and I was pleased with how well we finished in most of those."

Two days earlier, the Raiders went 3-2 at the Eau Claire Memorial Round Robin Tournament, defeating Big Foot/Williams Bay, 6-1, River Falls 6-1 and Beaver Dam 4-3 while losing to Eau Claire Memorial, 6-1 and Eau Claire North, 5-2.

"With so many matches early in the season, we had to shuffle the lineup so we don't wear out our singles players," Dahl noted. "We should play North and Memorial much tougher next time we see them."

With 11 matches in the books so far this season, Johnson leads the team with 10 wins while Van Allen has won nine times.

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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