NEW RICHMOND, Wis .-- Despite a stuttered start to the season the New Richmond girls’ tennis team got off to a 2-1 start at the Altoona Quad Friday, Aug. 21.

The Tigers beat Ashland, 6-1, and swept Baldwin-Woodville 7-0 before losing a close 4-3 decision to host Altoona.

“Overall, the girls played very well for the first tournament of the season, especially with all the limitations of not having courts to play on in the spring and at the beginning of the summer until some Covid regulations lifted,” coach Denise Devereux said. “We graduated our top five players in the line-up, but even with everyone shifting up the girls looked good and the new players are hungry to show what they can do.”

Onalie Dennis 3-0 and Avery Knutson both went 3-0 at No. 2 and No. 3 singles, respectively, while No. 1 singles player Izzy Brinkman’s only loss came to Altoona’s top player Ayla Westland.

The Tigers used three different players at No. 4 singles, with Lily Brinkman and MhKellen Storie both winning 6-0, 6-0 against Ashland and Baldwin-Woodville and Liz Counter falling 4-6, 4-6 against Altoona.

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Devereux highlighted the play of the Tigers’ doubles teams in the season opener, particularly the play of the new No. 1 doubles team of Brogan O'Flanagan and Rhea Warner, despite losing a pair of matches to tough opponents from Ashland and Altoona.

“The first match when Brogan and Rhea lost to Ashland, they lost to a very strong team that has participated in state before,” Devereux noted. “Moving up to No. 1 is a big jump for both of them with Brogan having played at two doubles and Rhea at three doubles last year, but it is a jump that both of them are ready for.”

Devereux said she was also pleased with the debut of freshman Bella Baillargeon, who teamed up with Storie for a pair of tiebreaker wins at No. 2 doubles against Ashland and Altoona and Caroline Fuchs for a straight set win at two doubles against Baldwin-Woodville.

“In her first tournament as a freshman, she went 3-0 at two doubles with two different partners and looks promising,” the coach said.

The Tigers have a pair of home matches this week against Ellsworth Tuesday, Aug. 25, and Eau Claire Regis Thursday, Aug. 29, both at 4:15 p.m.