Netters come close in two lossesThe Wildcat boys’ tennis team couldn’t quite get over the hump in a pair of dual meets last week, falling to New Richmond and Chippewa Falls by identical 4-3 scores.
By: Bob Burrows, River Falls Journal
The Wildcat boys’ tennis team couldn’t quite get over the hump in a pair of dual meets last week, falling to New Richmond and Chippewa Falls by identical 4-3 scores.
Saturday the Cats went 0-3 at the Wisconsin Valley Conference/Big Rivers Conference Challenge in Eau Claire. They will host Eau Claire Memorial in a BRC dual Thursday at 4 p.m.
Last Tuesday against New Richmond, the Wildcats got straight set wins from Tom Hackbarth at No. 3 singles and David Kujak and Evan Miller at No. 2 doubles. The no. 3 doubles team of Chris Scott and Trenton Manetter held on for a three-set win, 6-3, 2-6, 7-7, to even the team score at 3-3.
That left the outcome to be decided at No. 2 singles, where Aaron Avestruz, after dropping the first set 4-6, battled back from a 1-5 deficit in the second set to tie the score at 5-5, only to come out on the short end of a 5-7 score.
“We certainly had our chances to win this match,” head coach David Markson said. “I saw some very good tennis out there from all our players, at times, but also too many lapses, poor shot selection, and unforced errors on easy balls. Aaron did well to come back as he did — facing three match points against him at 1-5, love-40—but he’d be better off not putting himself in that position.”
Thursday, in the BRC opener at Chippewa Falls, Jimmy Ekman held on for a 6-4, 7-6 win at No. 1 singles, Heath Westberg won 7-5, 6-3 at No. 3 singles, and the No. 1 doubles team of Zane Heinselman and Colin Tomkins-Bergh cruised to a 6-2, 6-0 victory to account for the Wildcat points.
“Today the top of the lineup performed well and we were a little shaky after that,” Markson said. “We missed having our regular No. 2 doubles combo, and that could have been the difference maker.”
Saturday the Cats lost to Marshfield, 2-5, Wisconsin Rapids, 1-6, and Wausau West 2-5, at the WCV/BRC Challenge in Eau Claire.
“The squad was thinned out due to conflicts with state forensics and a jazz band tour, but there was lots of god tennis played, even though there were no team victories, Markson said.
Ekman and Avestruz each went 2-1 on the day playing at No. 1 and No. 2 singles, respectively.
“I was very encouraged by the play at the top, especially Jimmy, who played with confidence and got stronger as the day wore on,” Markson said. “Aaron too made some strides in being more aggressive with his shots and coming through on the clutch points.”
Heinselman and Tomkins-Bergh also picked up a victory against Marshfield at No. 1 doubles.