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Netters send four to sectional

All four Raider singles players advanced to sectionals by winning their matches at the WIAA Division 1 girls' tennis subsectional Monday in Menomonie.

Sectionals will be held today (Wednesday, Oct. 7) in Marshfield.

Julia Johnson, Nicole Buechler, Morgan Karras and Morgan Van Allen all went undefeated Monday to advance. In doubles play, Hanna Naegeli and Whitney Thiesen at No. 2, and Lauren Duffy and Kelsey Scharfenberg at No. 3, won their opening matches but lost their second to fall short. Alise Riedel and Casey Fall dropped their opening match at No, 1 doubles.

Hudson is in second place going into the sectional round with 18 points. Eau Claire Memorial leads with 20 while Eau Claire North is third with 16 and Menomonie fourth with 14.

"Certainly we were pleased to get all the singles players through today," Raider head coach Dave Dahl said. "It was not meant to be today in doubles. There's some pretty good balance at the top of the league this year as the subsectional team scores indicate. To be represented at four flights still leaves us with a chance to make some noise at the sectional."

Johnson received a bye before posting an easy 6-0, 6-0 win over Rice Lake to advance at No. 1 singles. The three other Raiders had to win two matches to advance.

Buechler defeated Eau Claire North 6-4 and 6-3 and Chippewa Falls 6-3, 6-4 to move on at No. 2 singles, while Karras won 6-0, 6-0 over Chippewa Falls and 6-4, 6-4 over Memorial. Van Allen posted wins of 6-0, 6-0 over Rice Lake and 6-4, 6-1 over Eau Claire North to advance.

Dahl said the toughest part of the day was watching senior captains Riedel and Naegeli play their last matches for the Raiders.

"Alise is a natural leader and the great hands she has as a hockey goalie translated nicely onto the doubles court," he said. "She played all season on a bad hip, but we could always count on her. No one on the team was more competitive than Alise.

"Hanna possessed great tennis strokes and always seemed to be enjoying the game during our matches," the coach added about Naegeli. "She had a great temperament for tennis and won plenty of matches the past two seasons for us. We will greatly miss these two senior captains."

Wednesday's sectional tournament gets underway at 10 a.m. in Marshfield.

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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