Netters roll in openerSome of the stiffest competition that members of the Wildcat boys’ tennis team may face this season will come from each other.
By: Bob Burrows, River Falls Journal
Some of the stiffest competition that members of the Wildcat boys’ tennis team may face this season will come from each other.
Head coach David Markson said the senior-dominated Cats are very deep, and the battle within the team for varsity positions should make everyone better.
“There is not much difference between our No. 5 player and our No. 15 player,” Markson said. “The challenge will be to see who steps forward, when we compete amongst ourselves, to claim varsity spots.”
The Wildcats kicked off their dual meet schedule by rolling to a 6-1, nonconference victory over Baldwin-Woodville last Tuesday. The Cats dominated the Blackhawks, easily sweeping the doubles matches and winning three of four singles matches to gain the win.
Bobby Perkins-McIntosh, last year’s Big Rivers Conference runner-up, led the way with a 6-3, 6-1 victory at No. 1 singles while Jackson Rohde posted a 6-1, 6-2 victory at the No. 2 spot. Evan Crayford added a 6-3, 6-1 win at No. 4 singles.
The Cats’ lone loss came at No. 3 singles, where Kusha Rahgozar battled for three sets before falling 2-6, 6-0, 4-6 in a close match.
In doubles play, junior Jimmy Ekman, the lone underclassman in the Wildcat lineup, teamed up with Nick Ambur for a 6-2, 6-2 victory at the No. 1 position. Ryan Foster and Sam Abair won 6-3, 6-4 at No. 2 doubles while Charlie Steinmetz and Luke Voss rolled to a 6-1, 6-0 victory at No. 3.
The Wildcat junior varsity also had an easy time, winning 15 of 18 matches.
The Cats began the season at the Woodbury Doubles Tournament April 4 against Hill-Murray (Minn.), New Richmond and host Woodbury, Minn. River Falls won three of four matches against New Richmond but were swept by both Hill-Murray and Woodbury.
Wining matches against the Tigers were Foster and Perkins-McIntosh at the No. 2 spot, Steinmetz and Voss at No. 3 and sophomores Zane Heinselman and Nolan Hartleben at No. 4.
Markson said he’s hopeful the Wildcats, who have finished fourth in the Big Rivers Conference each of the last two seasons, can improve on that finish this year.
“I am hopeful, with good senior leadership, that we can compete well within the conference and perhaps move up a notch or two,” he said.
The Cats will open BRC dual meet competition Thursday at Eau Claire Memorial and return to Eau Claire Saturday for the Eau Claire North Invite.