The River Valley Wildcats made the long trip to Madison on Sept. 21 to compete in the Colbey Ehlenz Memorial Tennis Tournament, where they were faced with some close matches.
The first meet of the day was a 5-2 defeat to Montevideo. Erikia Ries and Natalie Stevens took a win at No. 1 doubles. The two dropped the first set 2-6 but won the second set 6-3, and then dominately won the super tiebreaker 10-2. The other win for the Wildcats came from the No. 3 doubles team of Sara Haugo and Alyssa Rubey. Haugo and Rubey were able to win the tiebreaker in a close 7-6 second set, which led them to a 10-6 super tiebreaker victory.
Kalyn Haas and Lauren Laffen almost picked up two more wins for River Valley at No. 1 and No. 2 singles. Haas held her own in the No. 1 singles match. She traded multiple games to her opponent but still fell in straight sets. Meanwhile, Laffen forced a tiebreaker in her first set at No. 2 singles, but was unable to execute and lost 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.
The Wildcats then took on Lac Qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd, which turned out to be even closer matches from the start. Laffen got things started for River Valley with a win at No. 2 singles. She won a very close 7-6 second set after winning the tiebreaker 7-5, which led to a dominant 10-3 super tiebreaker victory. It was then that Karlie Ries and Tayler Hoffman picked up the next win, at No. 3 doubles. Their match was a close one as well, after they lost the first set 2-6 but came back and won the next set 7-6 after shutting out their opponents in the tiebreak, which led to the 10-7 super tiebreaker win. Ries and Stevens easily won the final match for the Wildcats, which was a 6-1, 6-0 victory at No. 1 doubles. The matches were tied at 3-3, and so it came down to the No. 1 singles match, which Haas was unable to come out victorious. River Valley lost three matches to four.
Coach Bradd Goede said he was happy to see his team battle hard in all the close matches.
“After losing six of eight third sets only two weeks ago it was nice to see the girls come back and close out four of five of them today,” Goede said. “I think it shows that they are handling the pressure of the situation a little bit better and maybe maturing on court a bit as they gain experience.”
On Sept. 24, the Wildcats traveled to Pipestone where they took a 4-3 hard earned victory. Haas and Laffen took straight set wins at No. 1 and No. 2 singles to lead the way. Ries and Stevens followed with a 6-3 7-6 (7-5) win at No. 1 doubles. Ashley Johnson and Carissa Evers followed with a close 2-6, 6-2, 10-8 win at No. 2 doubles to get a 4-0 lead over Pipestone.
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The Arrows managed to get three wins of their own, but the Wildcats pulled out the victory and move to 4-15 on the season. River Valley will close out the regular season with a match on Sept. 26 against Blue Earth Area. Section 3A seedings and play-in matches take place next week.