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Netters ready for BRC Tourney

Raider senior Morgan Karras prepares to hit a backhanded return in her match with No. 1 doubles partner Whitney Theisen in the girls' tennis team's Big Rivers Conference dual meet against Eau Claire North last Tuesday. Bob Burrows photo

The Raider girls' tennis team closed out the Big Rivers Conference dual meet portion of its schedule with victories over Eau Claire North and Chippewa Falls last week.

The Raiders will take their 5-1 conference record into the BRC Tournament Saturday, Sept. 25 at Eau Claire North.

Last Tuesday at home against the Huskies, three of the seven matches went to three sets and Hudson won two of them to pick up a 4-3 conference win.

The Raiders got solid wins from Morgan Van Allen at No. 2 singles, 6-1, 6-4, and the No. 2 doubles team of Casey Fall and Jenny Fassbinder, 6-2, 6-2. The other two doubles matches both went to three sets, with Morgan Karras and Whitney Theisen losing 2-6, 6-4, 2-6 at the No. 1 spot and the No. 3 team of Lauren Duffy and Kelsey Scharfenberg posting a 1-6, 7-6(5), 6-1 win at No. 3.

The third three-set match of the day came at No. 3 singles, where Chelsea Buechler pulled out a 6-1, 5-7, 6-3 victory to give the Raiders the win.

"Things were looking a little shaky for us," head coach Dave Dahl said. "The doubles win by Lauren Duffy and Kelsey Scharfenberg, and the win by Chelsea Buechler at No. 3 singles, really saved us. I knew there would be close matches right through the lineup today. North was really playing well and it looked like they were going to pull it out, but we found a way to get it done."

Things were a little easier Thursday at Chippewa Falls, where the Raiders picked up a 6-1 victory over the Cardinals.

The Raiders swept the doubles matches, with Karras and Theisen winning 6-2, 6-4, despite falling behind 1-4 in the second set. Fall and Fassbinder cruised to a 6-0, 6-1 victory while Duffy and Scharfenberg won 6-2, 6-3.

Nicole Buechler earned a 6-0, 6-2 win at No. 1 singles and Van Allen won 6-1, 6-0 at No. 2. The other two singles matches both went to three sets, with Chelsea Buechler losing 6-4, 3-6, 4-6 at the No. 3 spot and Racheal Knoke winning 7-5, 5-7, 6-4.

"Nicole and Morgan did a nice job controlling their matches, as did all of our doubles teams," Dahl said. "Chelsea and Racheal each played for about two-and-one-half hours in their singles matches. They both gave a great effort and we came away with one tough loss and one great win."

Following the BRC Tournament Saturday in Eau Claire, the Raiders will wrap up the regular season with a nonconference match against New Richmond at home on Thursday, Sept. 30, at 4 p.m.

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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