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Netters cap perfect week

Wildcat Matt Chapin returns a shot at the net as his No. 2 doubles partner William Tuchtenhagen backs him up in the pairs' match against Nick Wlodyga and Brandon Dierich of Baldwin-Woodville in the Cats' 5-2 victory over the Blackhawks last Thursday in River Falls. Bob Burrows photo.1 / 2
Wildcat No. 2 singles player Aric Avestruz returns a shot in his 7-5, 7-6 win over Lennart Wesch of Baldwin-Woodville last Tuesday at the high school courts. Bob Burrows photo.2 / 2

Wildcat boys' tennis coach David Markson mixed up his lineups in the Cats' first four matches of the season last week, but the results were all a "W."

The Cats topped Baldwin-Woodville, 5-2, Thursday in River Falls before beating the Blackhawks by the identical score with an entirely different look in the first match at Saturday's Baldwin-Woodville Invite. They went on to sweep Lake City, Minn., 7-0, and edging Amery, 4-3, later in the day for a perfect start to the season.

"A good day, for sure, but then we expected to do well," Markson said about Saturday's Baldwin-Woodville Invite. "I was especially pleased how Aaron (Schmidt) and Matt (Myers) moved up a spot against Baldwin and fared even better than they did on Thursday."

After posting a 7-6, 6-1 win at No. 3 singles Thursday, Schmidt moved up to No. 2 against the Blackhawks Saturday and posted a 6-0, 6-3 win. He also won 6-0, 6-1 playing at the No. 3 spot against Lake City.

Myers played at the No. 4 singles spot Thursday and earned a 6-2, 6-3 win over his Baldwin-Woodville opponent before winning two matches at No. 3 Saturday — 6-1, 6-4 against Baldwin and 6-0, 6-1 against Lake City. He and French foreign exchange student Hugo Schreckenberg, who won two matches at No. 1 singles and one at the top doubles spot, were the only two Wildcats to go 3-0 Saturday.

After teaming up at No. 2 doubles Thursday, William Tuchtenhagen and Matt Chapin both recorded their first singles victories Saturday — Tuchtenhagen 6-2, 6-2 at No. four singles against Lake City and Chapin 1-6, 7-6 (10-2) at four singles against Baldwin-Woodville.

Schreckenberg paired with Hunter Charles at No. 1 singles Saturday against Baldwin and cruised to a 6-3, 6-2 victory before losing just three games in two No. 1 singles wins against Lake City and Amery.

River Falls swept all four singles matches against the Warriors with Schreckenberg, Aric Avestruz, Schmidt and Myers losing just three games between them, but Amery made the final score close by winning all three doubles matches, including super tiebreak wins at the No. 2 and No. 3 spots.

In Thursday's season opener against Baldwin-Woodville, the Wildcats swept all four singles matches and added a win at No. 3 doubles for a 5-2 victory.

Baldwin-Woodville had its own foreign exchange boost, featuring players from Germany and Spain at No. 2 and No. 3 singles, respectively, but River Falls prevailed in both closely contested matches — Avestruz winning at No. 2; 7-5, 7-6, and Schmidt winning at No. 3; 7-6, 6-1.

Schreckenberg rolled to a 6-2, 6-3 win at No. 1 singles while Meyers completed the singles sweep with a 6-2, 6-3 win at No. 4.

Charles and sophomore Derick Graves recorded the first varsity wins of their careers with a 6-3, 0-6, 6-2 victory at No. 3 doubles.

"Our strength will be in our singles play this year and it was gratifying that they all came through today," Markson said. "Our doubles teams are all pretty evenly matched and the pairings may see some change, but it was nice to see Hunter and Derick shake off a disappointing second set and rebound for a win."

This past Monday's scheduled match at Amery was canceled due to weather. The Wildcats will open Big Rivers Conference play Thursday, April 13, at Eau Claire North before competing at an eight-team flighted tournament in Stillwater Saturday, April 15.

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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