Netters win 2 of 3 at NR TriThe Wildcat girls tennis team won two of three matches at the New Richmond Triangular Saturday to finish in a three-way tie for first place.
By: Bob Burrows, River Falls Journal
The Wildcat girls tennis team won two of three matches at the New Richmond Triangular Saturday to finish in a three-way tie for first place.
The Cats avenged a 6-1 loss to the host Tigers earlier this season with a 4-3 victory over the host team in their opening match before sweeping Rice Lake, 7-0. In the final match, Altoona pulled out a 4-3 victory over River Falls.
All three teams finished 2-1 on the day, although the Wildcats had more total wins by virtue of their 7-0 victory over Rice Lake.
“It was a great day for the girls, all told,” coach David Markson said. “New Richmond had beaten us 6-1 early in the season, so it was nice to reverse that outcome. The revamped line-up seems to be falling into place for end-of-the-season tournament play.”
In the opening match against New Richmond, Ayana Nguyen battled back from an 0-4 start to win 7-5, 6-0 at No. 3 singles, and Emily Gregg and Jourdan Whooley cruised to a 6-1, 6-1 win at No. 2 doubles, the first of three wins on the day for the pair.
Taylor Caldwell also won at No. 4 singles and Annie Avestruz and Kayla Nguyen won at No. 3 doubles.
Haley Zimmerman and Meghan Erickson at No. 1 doubles lost a heartbreaker in a third set super-tiebreak, 6-2, 4-6, (5-10).
Against Rice Lake the Wildcats swept all the flights, including first time varsity wins for Taryn Studer at No. 1 singles, Kayla Garcia at No. 2 singles and Laura Covelli at No. 3 singles — all in super-tiebreaks.
In the final round against Altoona, Covelli continued her winning ways with a 6-4, 6-1 win, Gregg and Whooley concluded their perfect day with a 4-6, 6-0, (10-5) victory, and Julia Bump and Taylor Caldwell teamed at No. 3 doubles and pulled out a 3-6, 6-2, (10-7) win.
Studer had time constraints and had to withdraw from her match trailing 3-6, 0-3; and Garcia also had to withdraw with a sore shoulder, trailing 2-4.
Earlier in the week the Cats were swept by Big Rivers Conference leader Eau Claire Memorial, 7-0, on Tuesday, and dropped a close 4-3 match to Menomonie Thursday.
Caldwell earned the Cats’ only victory in singles play against the Indians, posting a 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 win. Zimmermann and Erickson teamed up for a win at No. 1 doubles while Ayana Nguyen and Miranda Peskar picked up a 6-4, 6-7. 6-1 win at No. 3 doubles.
Markson said he likes the way the Wildcat lineup is shaping up heading into Saturday’s BRC Tournament in Eau Claire.
“Haley and Meghan (Erickson) should compete well at No. 1 doubles, and Emily and Jourdan look like a good fit at No. 2. This was the first time they had been paired and they were so impressive from the start, I just kept them together all day,” Markson said about the pair’s play last Saturday. “Playing freshman Kayla Garcia at No. 2 and senior Laura Covelli at No. 3 seems like a good choice, both battle hard and had nice wins today.
“Taylor Caldwell is solid at No. 4, having only lost to Memorial and Hudson,” Markson added. “I was very happy for Taryn, who earned her first win at No. 1, a role she was forced to shoulder when Meghan Erickson was moved to No. 1 doubles to strengthen the doubles line-up overall. It’s going to be tough for her moving forward, but should make her a better player for next year.”