River Valley Wildcats Tennis — a preview and results from first couple matches
The River Valley Wildcats tennis team includes players from Sleepy Eye Public, St. Mary’s and Springfield High Schools. The relatively inexperienced team finished the 2019 season with a record of 1-15. Their season ended with a loss to Blue Earth, the eventual section champion, in the section tournament.
The Wildcats should compete at a higher level this year with more experience and a number of new players on the team.
Head Coach: Shane Laffen
Assistant Coach: Brandon Andrews
Players lost to graduation: Kathryn Schroepfer and Deniz Demirturk, who finished last year on the 1st and 2nd doubles teams.
Top returning singles players: Brooklyn Moldan and Kaydince Thoms, SEHS juniors.
Top returning doubles players: Megan Stevens, SEHS senior; Alexis Garza and Erika Lozano, SEHS juniors; and Sydne Wahl, Springfield junior.
Others with varsity experience: Jasmyne Windschitl and Lexanna Lazatin, SEHS seniors; Julia Groebner, Springfield senior, Presley Dockter, SEHS sophomore.
Other returning players: Taylor Berkner, SEHS 7th grader; Kiera Lafferty, Erika Wells, and Gabby Anderson, Springfield freshmen.
Wildcat newcomers: Hana Zeig, SEHS 7th grader; Reagan Schmidt, SESM 7th grader; Brissa Hernandez, SEHS 8th grader; Lucy Schmidt, SESM 8th grader; Jillian Mays, Springfield 8th grader; Anna Rossbach, SEHS freshman; Bryn Gordon, Springfield freshman; Courtlyn Runck and Annabella Holles, Springfield sophomores. Hailey Meinart and Carmen Lendt, SEHS juniors and Maya Nelson, SESM junior.
We bring back our top two spots — juniors Brooklyn Moldan (All-Conference last season) and Kaydince Thoms. As you can see, we have many new players, so we have been trying to distinguish our top 10 who will compete on varsity. This top 10 may change throughout the season, as we look to have six to eight players competing for four spots at this point.
Players showing the most improvement from last season are 9th grader Kiera Lafferty (Springfield) and 7th grader Taylor Berkner (SEHS) who played 3rd and 4th singles in our first match against Fairmont on Aug. 24.
Conference: Big South – west division
Teams to beat: Blue Earth, Fairmont and St. James look to be the section favorites.
Season goal: We are still relatively young, but expect to compete at a higher level this season. We will focus on helping all players improve and hope that the competition for varsity spots will put us in a position to compete at an even higher level throughout this season and next season, as we have a strong group of players who will return as seniors next year.
The River Valley Wildcats have home meets on Sept. 3, Sept. 8, Sept. 10, and Sept. 21. Play begins at 4:30 p.m. Varsity plays on the courts at Eagles Park, JV plays at Kiefer Park.
Tennis season underway, play at home today
By Deb Moldaschel, Editor
The River Valley Wildcats tennis team has already played three matches and will host Fairmont today (Thursday) at 4:30 p.m. The Wildcats hope to improve on the results of their season opening match against Fairmont, played in Fairmont on Aug. 24.
Fairmont 7 River Valley 0
1st singles: Brooklyn Moldan lost to Claire Nemmers, 2-6 0-6
2nd singles: Kaydince Thoms lost Briana Joseph, 2-6 0-6
3rd singles: Kierra Lafferty lost to Maggie Totzke, 0-6 0-6
4th singles: Taylor Berkner loss to Abi Peyman, 1-6, 4-6
1st doubles: Megan Stevens and Sydne Wahl loss to Lauren Davis and Emily Hagen, 0-6 3-6
2nd doubles: Alexis Garza and Erica Lozano loss to Lauren Green and Shannon Green, 1-6 2-6
3rd doubles: Jasmyne Windschitl and Lexanna Lazatin loss to Libby Totzke and Hope Klanderud, 1-6 2-6
On Thursday, Aug. 27, the Wildcats hosted St. Peter, with some players having more success. At third singles, Kierra Lafferty took it to three sets, with a super tiebreaker.
St. Peter 7 River Valley 0
1st singles: Brooklyn Moldan lost to Amelia Hildabrandt, 3-6 2-6
2nd singles: Kaydince Thoms lost to Annika Southworth, 1-6 2-6
3rd singles: Kierra Lafferty lost to Rhyan Holmgren, 6-7(6-8) 6-4 4-10 super tiebreaker
4th singles: Taylor Berkner lost to Maddie Kamm, 1-6 3-6
1st doubles: Megan Stevens and Sydne Wahl lost to Lizzy Orth and Emily Salfer, 0-6 0-6
2nd doubles: Alexis Garza and Erica Lozano lost to Josie Wiebash and Jayna Matejeck, 0-6 0-6
3rd doubles: Jasmyne Windschitl and Lexanna Lazatin lost to Molly Voeltz and Raina Roemhildt, 1-6 3-6
On Monday, Aug. 31, the Wildcats traveled to St. Peter for a rematch. Despite a loss, Coach Shane Laffen was pleased with improvements over Thursday’s match. “Taylor Berkner just missed out on a win at 4th singles,” said Laffen. “Kaydince Thoms, at 2nd singles, played a strong match, as did our 1st and 2nd doubles teams.”
St. Peter 7 River Valley 0
1st singles: Brooklyn Moldan lost to Amelia Hildabrandt, 2-6 1-6
2nd singles: Kaydince Thoms lost to Annika Southworth, 2-6 4-6
3rd singles: Kierra Lafferty loss to Rhyan Holmgren, 2-6 3-6
4th singles: Taylor Berkner lost to Maddie Kamm, 6-7(3-7) 6-2 7-10 supertiebreaker
1st doubles: Megan Stevens and Alexis Garza lost to Lizzy Orth and Emily Salfer, 4-6 1-6
2nd doubles: Sydne Wahl and Erica Lozano lost to Josie Wiebash and Jayna Matejeck, 2-6 4-6
3rd doubles: Presley Dockter and Maya Nelsen loss to Molly Voeltz and Macy Weller, 1-6 3-6