Depth on display for nettersAfter losing 10 of the team’s top 12 players from a year ago to graduation, Wildcat girls’ tennis coach Dave Markson said he didn’t know what to expect going into this season.
By: Bob Burrows, River Falls Journal
After losing 10 of the team’s top 12 players from a year ago to graduation, Wildcat girls’ tennis coach Dave Markson said he didn’t know what to expect going into this season.
It’s safe to say so far he’s impressed.
The Cats opened the season with a pair of wins at the Eau Claire Memorial and a first place finish at the Osceola Invitational before splitting a pair of matches at their own River Falls Triangular last Saturday.
“I’m very pleased with the way the girls have performed so far,” Markson said. “We did a lot of line-up changes in an effort to see who was going to fit best where, and we have more to do. One of our strengths is our depth and we’ll have to see which girls step up and perform the best in these early matches. We have some promising newcomers on the team, as well as improved returnees, and it will be a real challenge to figure out our strongest line-up.”
The Cats opened the season with a 5-4 victor over Eau Claire North early last week at the two-day Eau Claire Memorial Invitational. They dropped a 6-3 decision to New Richmond and were swept by the host Old Abes, 9-0, before coming back to beat Beaver Dam, 6-3. They ended the tournament with a 6-3 loss to Hudson.
Taryn Studer, Taylor Caldwell and Kayla Garcia all won their singles matches against Eau Claire North while Emily Gregg and Ayana Nguyen, and Taylor Oas and Jordan Whooley paired up for victories in doubles play.
The Cats won all four of their doubles matches against Beaver Dam. Hayley Zimmerman and Amanda Peskar won at the No. 1 spot, Kayla Nguyen and Ayana Nguyen won at No. 2, Gregg and Whooley won at No. 3 and Annie Avestruz and Miranda Van Dell won at No. 4.
Caldwell and Tori Foresth earned victories in singles play.
Last Wednesday at Osceola, the Cats earned championships in four flights to take first at the Osceola Invitational.
River Falls swept the doubles flights, where Zimmerman and Peskar won at No. 1,
Kayla Nguyen and Avestruz took the title at No. 2 and Megan Shafer and Whooley won at No. 3. Caldwell also went 3-0 at No. 4 singles to claim a championship in her flight.
Saturday the Cats split a pair of matches, losing to Hudson, 5-2, before beating Woodbury, Minn., by an identical 5-2 score.
Caldwell earned a victory at No. 4 singles and Shafer and Van Dell teamed up for a win at No. 3 doubles against Hudson.
In the Woodbury match, Studer, Ayana Nguyen and Caldwell all won their singles matches while the Cats got victories from Zimmerman and Peskar at No. 1 doubles, and Kayla Nguyen and Julia Bump at No. 2 doubles.
“The girls are competing very well,” Markson said. “We are pretty deep in terms of players who compete at the same level, and the top of our JV squad will be on a par with the bottom of our varsity. It will be a tough chore to give all the deserving girls match play opportunity at the varsity level, and it will be interesting to see which players can rise to the occasion, both vs. other schools and in intra-squad competition.”