The reward was the opportunity.
Seniors Mia Bakke, Katey Eickhoff and Teresa Tenner have been standouts in the New Richmond tennis program for four years. They ended their high school careers at the ultimate venue, the WIAA Division 1 Individual State Championships.
All three Tigers reached the state tournament as special qualifiers, but they proved they belonged in the field at Nielsen Tennis Stadium in Madison on Thursday. Bakke, in singles, and the team of Eickhoff and Tenner in doubles, were defeated in their opening match at state.
Bakke had a difficult draw, facing 12th seed Hailey Munz of Monona Grove in the opening round. Munz was a Division 1 state champion in doubles during her sophomore season.
Bakke has played toe-to-toe with some of the best players in the state this season and that continued at state. Bakke won the opening set, 6-2. Munz won the second set, 6-2, forcing a third set tie-break. Munz won the tie-break 10-6. Munz also won her second match by a 6-1, 6-0 score. She was beaten in the third round by the girl who placed fourth in the Division 1 singles bracket.
“Mia played the best she ever has,” said Tiger coach Denise Devereux. “Even in the second set when she went down, she never got tight. She played beautifully.”
In an odd turn of scheduling, Eickhoff and Tenner drew the same opponent that defeated them at the WIAA sectional meet in Eau Claire. That team was Zoe Briquelet Miller and Lee Ratanawong of Wausau East. The Tigers weren’t at their sharpest, losing 6-3, 6-1.
This year’s seniors are one of the most successful classes in recent memory for the Tiger girls program. Devereux said the trio was admirable on and off the court in their time at Madison.
“I am so proud of all three. I’m proud they always have quality sportsmanship, whether they are winning or losing,” Devereux said. “They were good ambassadors for New Richmond.”
Hudson’s No. 1 singles player Ella Diedrich, and the No. 1 doubles team of seniors Morgan Miller and Quinn Winkoski, both lost in the first round of the WIAA Division 1 Individual Girls State Tennis Tournament last Thursday, Oct. 17, at Nielsen Tennis Stadium in Madison.
The losses did nothing to diminish the Raider’s success this season however. The team placed second in both the Big Rivers Conference and the WIAA Sectional behind only perennial conference powerhouse Eau Claire Memorial.
“Thrilled to get all three senior captains down to Madison. State is an amazing experience for any player,” Hudson coach John Dahl said. “And very proud of the team taking a second place finish in the sectional. Another great season for the Raiders.”
Diedrich, the sectional runner-up, took a record of 18-10 into state and lost her first round match 6-3, 6-2 to sixth-seeded Autumn Bruno of Whitnall. Bruno went on to lose the fifth place match to eighth-seeded Natasha Bailey of Wausau West for just her second loss of the season.
Miller and Winkoski advanced to the state tournament as special qualifiers with a record of 21-4 and lost their first round match to Kaitlyn Krause and Kayla Maurer of Union Grove, 6-1, 6-2. Krause and Maurer were defeated in the second round by eventual third place finishers Kate Wade and Sasha Shapsis of Homestead.