The River Valley Wildcats have advanced to the Section 3A quarterfinal after defeating Redwood Valley 4-3 in the opening round of the Section 3A tournament on Monday.
The Wildcats were in Redwood Falls on Sept. 30 as they took on the Cardinals. River Valley jumped to a quick 2-0 lead after convincing straight set wins by Natalie Stevens and Erika Ries at No. 1 doubles and Sara Haugo at No. 4 singles. Redwood managed to win a match at No. 3 singles, but not before the No. 3 doubles team of Kacie Goblirsch and Karlie Ries took a close win for the Wildcats. The deciding match of the meet was at No. 1 singles, where Kalyn Haas was able to knock out a 1-6, 6-2 (7-5) victory despite being down match point a couple of times. This was River Valley’s fourth win, which was enough for them to win the best of seven matches.
Head Coach Bradd Goede said he was very proud of the way his team played, especially since the Wildcats fell 1-6 to Redwood at a tournament earlier in the season.
“I'm really proud of how Kalyn, especially, stayed calm on the outside and just kept playing the same steady tennis that she played throughout her entire match,” Goede said. “That made things even that much sweeter to help us move on to the next round.”
River Valley moves its record to 5-16 on the season and will travel to St. James on Oct. 3 to take on the No. 1 seed Saints for the Section 3A quarterfinal.
On Sept. 26, the Wildcats closed out their regular season with a 1-6 loss to Blue Earth Area in Sleepy Eye. The Buccaneers took straight set wins across the board with the exception of No. 4 singles, where sophomore Sara Haugo won 6-2, 6-3 to take River Valley’s only win of the day.
Two days later, the Wildcats traveled to Mankato for the Gopher Valley Conference Championships, but the event was rained out. Haas earned All-Conference honors while Ries earned Honorable Mention All-Conference for points earned during conference play during the season.
River Valley 4
Redwood Valley 3
No. 1 singles: Kalyn Haas (RV) def. Ahnna Malacek (RED) 1-6, 6-2, 7-5. No. 2: Alyssa Lueck (RED) def. Lauren Laffen (RV) 6-4, 2-6, 6-4. No. 3: Carli Grannes (RED) def. Alyssa Rubey (RV) 6-2, 6-1. No. 4: Sara Haugo (RV) def. Alexis Johnson (RED) 6-0, 6-3. No. 1 doubles: Erika Ries/Natalie Stevens (RV) def. Abi Einck/Mackenzie Jeseritz (RED) 6-1, 6-0. No. 2 doubles: Rhylee Schmidt/Tori Jeseritz (RED) def. Ashley Johnson/Carissa Evers (RV) 6-4, 1-6, 6-3. No. 3 doubles: Kacie Goblirsch/Karlie Ries (RV) def. Kylie Doering/Kenzie Manthei (RED) 7-5, 6-3.