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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Wildcat volleyball coach Sara Kealy wanted to give her team some tougher competition when she signed them up for the Watertown Invitational last Saturday, Sept. 16. The rest of the teams probably wish she didn't. The Cats went 5-0 at the invite to cap a 7-0 week and improve to 23-0 on the season. They opened the week with three-set wins at Prescott Tuesday, Sept. 12 and Rice Lake Thursday, Sept. 14. But Kealy said the team had the most fun at Watertown, located about 50 miles east of Milwaukee.
The Menomonie girls swimming and diving team won the last three events of the night to steal a two-point victory over River Falls, 94-92, in a Big Rivers Conference dual meet in River Falls Thursday, Sept. 14. The Wildcats posted five first place finishes, including sweeping the top three spots in the 200 yard freestyle, but Menomonie made a late charge and won the final event of the night—the 400 freestyle relay—by four seconds to earn the win.
The UW-River Falls volleyball team avenged an early season loss to Carleton College and christened its new home, Page Arena, with a win in the process with a five-set victory over the Knights Wednesday, Sept. 13. The Falcons battled back from a 2-1 deficit to earn the victory by scores of 14-25, 25-23, 18-25, 25-18, 15-9.
Olivia Kittleson and Liz Radosevich pulled out a big three-set win at No. 1 doubles to give the Wildcat girls tennis team a 4-3 victory over Chippewa Falls in a Big Rivers Conference match in Chippewa Falls Tuesday, Sept. 12. Kittleson and Radosevich squeaked out a 7-6 (5) victory in the first set and lost the second set, 1-6, before storming back for a 6-2 third set victory to tilt the outcome in River Falls' favor in the final match of the day. Wildcat head coach Chad Forde said the pair showed a lot of toughness to come back and win the final set.
The Wildcat boys soccer team posted a 1-0 shutout over Eau Claire North before losing to Hudson, 2-0, in a pair of Big Rivers Conference matches last week. Connor Weinzirl scored the only goal of the game Tuesday, Sept. 12, off an assist from Devlin Laidlaw, in the Cats' first BRC win of the season over Eau Claire North. Jari Zoller recorded seven saves as the Huskies outshot the Wildcats, 12-5.
Keep the momentum going. That's what River Falls cross country coach Kari DeLuca keeps telling her runners. And they took that to heart Saturday, Sept. 16, at the 60th annual Smiley Invitational at the American Legion Golf Course in Wausau. The Wildcats posted a number of personal best times as the boys finished third in the 13-team Division 1 Small Division while the girls finished fourth.
The UW-River Falls football team scored on its first two possessions of the game and the defense held Missouri Baptist to negative-26 rushing yards in a 30-3 Falcon win in their final nonconference game of the season Saturday, Sept. 16, in St. Louis. Michael Diggins rushed for 171 yards and two touchdowns and Travon Hearns tossed a pair of touchdown passes as UWRF improved to 2-1 heading into its bye week. The Falcons will open WIAC play Saturday, Sept. 30, at UW-Eau Claire.
Eau Claire Memorial needed a 55-yard bomb midway through the fourth quarter to snap a 7-7 tie, then recovered a fumble in the end zone in the final minute, to defeat River Falls, 21-7 in Big River Conference football game at Carson Park Friday, Sept. 15. The win kept the Old Abes undefeated at 5-0 overall, 3-0 in the BRC, while River Falls slipped to 0-5, 0-3 in conference play.
There are plenty of reasons to love UW-River Falls' new Don Page Arena, but Falcon volleyball coach Patti Ford came up with a new one after her team played the first-ever game at the new facility. "I was thinking that if we were playing in Karges it would have been sopping wet in there," she said, referring to the hot, humid night. "So the fact we get to play in a nice air conditioned facility is just another thing to love about it."
River Falls football coach David Crail said the Wildcats have some work to do after slipping to 0-4 on the season with a 41-6 loss to Rice Lake Friday night, Sept. 8, at David Smith Stadium at Ramer Field.