Ignore the 7-0 score.
Want to know how tough an opponent Amery was when the New Richmond girls played in a Middle Border Conference tennis match there Thursday? Ask Tiger senior Ari Devereux. Her match in the No. 2 singles flight lasted for three hours, 15 minutes, before she could finally overcome her opponent.
New Richmond coach Denise Devereux went into this match expecting Amery to be the Tigers’ top MBC opponent this season. She held strong to that belief after the 7-0 win, noting how closely and competitive all four of the singles matches were played.
“It was a battle,” Coach Devereux said, emphasizing that the Tigers trailed at times in three of the singles matches.
Senior Mia Bakke played in the top singles flight, facing Amery’s Drew Meyer, who took Bakke to three sets at last year’s MBC tournament. Bakke was on the attack from the first point, rolling to a 6-2, 6-1 victory.
The marathon match with Devereux came at No. 2 singles. Amery has four courts, and this match went out in the first wave. The other three matches in that wave were completed, and then so were all the matches in the second wave before Devereux was able to finish her 6-7, 6-3, 6-4 win over Sophie Whitley. Coach Devereux said there were countless points in each set where the ball was struck more than 50 times before the point was settled.
New Richmond freshman Izzy Brinkman was also defeated in her first set at No. 3 singles. She fought back to take the final two sets, 6-1 and 7-5.
Alanna Knutson played four singles, falling behind 1-4 in the first set. Knutson fought back, getting the set into a tie-break, which she won 9-7. That win gave her a boost of momentum and she won the second set, 6-0.
Amery also has experienced players in its doubles lineup, but the Tigers held the upper hand in all three matches. Katey Eickhoff and Teresa Tenner scored a 6-2, 6-1 win at No. 1 doubles. Brogan O’Flanagan and Sophie Fuchs won by the same score at No. 2 doubles. Onalie Dennis and Rhea Warner had a battle in the first set, winning 7-5, before taking a 6-0 win in the second set at No. 3 doubles.
“It ended up 7-0, but it was a very solid Amery team,” Devereux said.
The Tigers play again Thursday, Sept. 12, when they host Baldwin-Woodville.
The New Richmond girls found a way to gain benefit from playing one of the youngest and least experienced opponents in the area last Tuesday.
The Tigers could have used their varsity lineup and completely overwhelmed the Unity team that only has seven girls. Instead, Devereux elected to rest the top 13 girls in her lineup. This gave a number of girls their first chance to ever compete at the varsity level. Those girls were up for the challenge, winning all the matches as the Tigers notched a 7-0 win.
Seniors who saw their first varsity match play include Eliana Fall, Maggie Scanlan, Anna Dornbush, Elizabeth Lockwood and Evelyn Perez Mora. Also seeing their first varsity matches were junior Liz Counter and sophomore Carolin Fuchs.
Devereux said the Unity girls, especially at the top of the singles lineup, provided good competition. Counter won 6-2, 6-2 in the top singles flight, with Lockwood winning 6-3, 6-3 in the second flight. None of the other Tigers gave up more than one game in their matches.