2013 River Valley Wildcats

Upcoming Schedule

  • Sunday, November 3 @ 1:00pm End-of-Season Tennis Program, Sleepy Eye Public School Cafeteria

Tennis Pictures from Sleepy Eye Online can be found at

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Wildcats Finish Season at Section 3A Individual Tourney

(October 10 - Redwood Falls) River Valley's tennis season officially came to an end on Thursday when the top singles and doubles players in Section 3A took part in the Individual tournament at Redwood Valley High School.  Each school in the section enters two singles players and two doubles teams in this portion of the section tournament for the chance to advance to state as individuals.  We had our #1 and #2 singles and doubles entered.

We started the day off on a very positive note by winning the first three matches we were involved in.  As we got deeper into the tourney, obviously the competition got stronger, with a lot of returning players back for another year.  

In the play-in round, our doubles pair of Ashley Johnson and Carissa Evers picked up a three-set win over a pair of girls from Martin County West who had beaten them in three sets earlier in the season.  The Wildcat duo kept things close in the first set despite losing the set before they bounced back and played with a little more aggressiveness and took command in the last two sets.  Also in the play-in round, Lauren Laffen picked up her first win of the day in the singles portion of the tournament.  She was playing a girl from Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd who she had defeated towards the end of the season in a tight three-set match and once again, things were tight right from the start in this match.  Lauren played pretty steady and overcame some early jitters and came out ahead in the tiebreaker of the second set to take the win in straight sets.

In the round of 16, things were a bit tougher for our top doubles pair of Erika Ries and Natalie Stevens.  They ran into the #6 seed of the doubles tourney from Yellow Medicine East who just seemed to be firing on all cylinders.  Erika and Natalie played a lot of nice points, but ran into trouble when they started playing shots to their opponents net player who usually ended the points quickly.  The Wildcat duo ended their season with a straight sets loss.  Also in the round of 16, Kalyn Haas overcame some early-match anxiety and a first set loss to take control and win in three sets over her opponent from Martin County West.  Kalyn was fighting some nerves early and maybe pressing a little too much.  Once she relaxed, she played some very good tennis and advanced to the next round.  Lauren Laffen's second match came in the round of 16 and she came up against the #2 seed in the singles tournament from Yellow Medicine East who was just a very solid player who made few mistakes.  Despite dropping the first set and falling behind early in the second, Lauren managed to get to a 4-5 score before eventually dropping the set and seeing her season come to an end.  Our last round of 16 players were Ashley Johnson and Carissa Evers in the doubles portion and they ran into last seasons 4th-place finishers from Luverne, who were too much for the local pair.  Once again they played some very composed tennis and mixed in some aggressive play, but their opponents just brought too much talent and experience to overcome.

Kalyn Haas would run into another common opponent in the quarterfinal round from Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd.  The two had met a few weeks ago in a tourney and played a marathon two-setter that day and this match was looking to be a repeat of that.  In the previous meeting, Kalyn was playing a bit under the weather so it was nice to see both players at full strength for this matchup.  The girls went back and forth early in the first set before Kalyn eventually fell 3-6.  Things didn't start out well for Kalyn in her second set as she fell behind 0-5.  She played a lot of very good shots and the points were close, but she just wasn't getting that finishing point.  We talked at the 0-5 changeover that she just needed to take it point-by-point and game-by-game and just slow things down in her head a bit.  Sure enough, she came out and lengthened the points, played patiently and waited for her opponent to make mistakes.  That change of pace allowed her to come back to 4-5 and regain her confidence.  The tenth game was again back and forth before she finally bowed out on a shot that the wind knocked down and just clipped the line.

All-in-all I felt it was a very good day for the Wildcats and I think everyone showed that they will be a force to be reckoned with in the future as all are underclassmen (as is our entire team).  All six girls that played today showed composure under pressure and all showed the ability to bounce back when they were down and not give up.  This group of girls really gained a lot of on-court leadership by example as the season went on and will be a good base to build from in the future.

Play-In Round
S: Lauren Laffen (RV) def Kamryn Siedschlag (LqPV/D-B) 6-4, 7-6 (7-4)
D: Carissa Evers/Ashley Johnson (RV) def Harley Holtz/ Ily Schlenk (MCW) 4-6, 6-2, 6-2

Round of 16
S: Kalyn Haas (RV) def Alisa Russenberger (MCW) 3-6, 6-1, 6-2
S: Danielle Clark (YME) def Lauren Laffen (RV) 2-6, 4-6
D: Jordan Trotter/Jordan Glad (YME) def Erika Ries/Natalie Stevens (RV) 6-2, 6-2
D: Paige Adams/Kynzie Smedsrud (Luv) def Carissa Evers/Ashley Johnson 6-0, 6-0

Quarterfinal Round
S: Kylie Jahn (LqPV/D-B) def Kalyn Haas 6-3, 6-4

Final Regular Season Class A State Rankings

Below are the final regular season Minnesota Class A state team and individual rankings. Teams and individuals in italics are on our schedule this year.

Class A Rankings

  1. Breck
  2. St. James
  3. Rochester Lourdes
  4. Foley
  5. Osakis
  6. Staples-Motley
  7. Providence Academy
  8. Eveleth-Gilbert
  9. United South Central
  10. Minnewaska and Park Rapids Area (tie)

  1. Sonya Das, St. Paul Academy
  2. Patricia Zhao, Breck
  3. Sunny Tang, Breck
  4. Abby Kantor, Foley
  5. Sofia Terzic, Rochester Lourdes
  6. Stephanie Zerres, Martin County West
  7. Mikayla Wing, Staples-Motley
  8. Eva Sullivan, Providence
  9. Danielle Gannon, Holy Family Catholic
  10. Lisa Dobbelaere, New London-Spicer

Updated Section 3A Tennis Tournament Schedule

(October 4) The seedings and schedule for the Section 3A Girls Tennis Tournament have been set.  The entire schedule is below.

Monday, September 30th
Play-In Round
#9 River Valley def #8 Redwood Valley 4-3
#7 Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd def #10 Pipestone Area 5-2

Wednesday, October 2nd
Top Bracket Quarterfinals
#1 St. James def #9 River Valley 7-0
#4 Luverne def #5 Martin County West 6-1

Bottom Bracket Quarterfinals
#3 Montevideo def #6 Yellow Medicine East 5-2
#2 Fairmont def #7 Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd 7-0

Wednesday, October 9th
#1 St. James vs #4 Luverne at Swanson Tennis Center, Gustavus Adolphus College, 9am
#2 Fairmont vs #3 Montevideo at Swanson Tennis Center, Gustavus Adolphus College, approx. 10:30am
Section 3A Championship at Swanson Tennis Center, Gustavus Adolphus College, approx. 1:00pm

Thursday, October 10th
Individual 1st Rounds at Redwood Valley High School, 11:00am

Monday, October 14th
Individual Semifinals and Finals at Swanson Tennis Center, Gustavus Adolphus College, 9:00am

Wildcats Fall to Saints in Section 3A Quarterfinals

(October 2 - St. James) Sorry, this didn't send on Wednesday during the storms.  Just got behind and forgot to resend so here's another copy.

The River Valley tennis season came to an end on Wednesday evening with a 7-0 loss to top-seeded and state-ranked St. James in the Section 3A quarterfinals.  It was our third time playing the Saints this season and almost to a player, everyone felt that each time we played we kind of closed the gap a little bit more compared to the first time we played.  Everyone continued to play with confidence and put to use many of the things they've been working on throughout the year.

We actually had early 1st set leads at #1 and #4 singles as well as #1 and #3 doubles and our #2 doubles took their first set of the match.  After that, St. James talent and experience started to take over and the Saints ended up taking straight set wins at every position other than at #2 doubles.  The double pair of Ashley Johnson and Carissa Evers took the first set and stayed close in the second set before falling in three sets.

River Valley finishes the season with a 5-17 record.  The season will continue next Thursday for Kalyn Haas (#1S), Lauren Laffen (#2S), Erika Ries and Natalie Stevens (#1D) and Ashley Johnson and Carissa Evers (#2D) when they participate in the Section 3A Individual Tourney beginning at 11am at Redwood Valley High School.

St. James - 7, River Valley - 0
1S:  Lorena Hernandez (SJ) def Kalyn Haas (RV) 6-2, 6-1
2S:  Julia Boeve (SJ) def Lauren Laffen (RV) 6-0, 6-0
3S:  Aubrey Eckstrom (SJ) def Alyssa Rubey (RV) 6-0, 6-0
4S:  Taylor Nordhausen (SJ) def Sara Haugo (RV) 6-4, 6-1
1D:  Acacia Foss/Ashley Frederickson (SJ) def Erika Ries/Natalie Steven (RV) 6-2, 6-1
2D:  Anna Haler/Morgan Sandmeyer (SJ) def Carissa Evers/Ashley Johnson (RV) 4-6, 6-3, 6-1
3D:  Alejandra Trapero/Alison Durheim (SJ) def Kacie Goblirsch/Karlie Ries (RV) 6-4, 6-2

Wildcats Pick Up Win in Section 3A Playoff Opener

(September 30 - Redwood Falls) The 9th-seeded River Valley Wildcats traveled to Redwood Falls to take on #8-seeded Redwood Valley for the opening round of Section 3A tournament action and outlasted the Cardinals in a 4-3 nail-biter on Monday afternoon.  It was a match full of momentum turns and wasn't decided until the #1 and #2 singles matches were the only ones still on court.

River Valley jumped out to a 2-0 lead with convincing straight-set wins at #1 doubles by Natalie Stevens and Erika Ries and at #4 singles by Sara Haugo.  Redwood Valley would come back to make it a 2-1 match with a win at #3 singles before the momentum swings would take full effect.  The #3 doubles pair of Kacie Goblirsch and Karlie Ries would turn a 2-5 first set deficit into a 7-5 Wildcats win that would lead to a straight sets win and a 3-1 lead in the team score.  Not much later another turn went the Cardinals way as River Valley held a 3-1 third set lead before Redwood's duo ran off 5 straight games to pull the Cardinals within 3-2 for the match.

The drama was just beginning.  Both #1 singles player Kalyn Haas and #2 singles player Lauren Laffen had lost first sets only to bounce back with 6-2 second set wins in their respective matches, sending both to deciding third sets.  River Valley would take early leads in both, but not for long.  In the #1 match, Kalyn would fall behind 4-5 and was down match-point a couple of times but kept battling back to deuce before finally getting the break and taking the final 3 games for a 7-5 win that iced the match for River Valley.  With the match already decided, Lauren kept battling before falling in the third set for the final 4-3 margin.

I felt bad for the girls who held third set leads that didn't get their wins, but having probably 2 of our most experienced players on court in that pressure situation did give a sense of calm knowing that they'd been in that situation in the past.  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.  She's faced some of the best players in the state and took her lumps in a season that's really a learning experience for her.  That made things even that much sweeter to help us move on to the next round.

I was really proud of all the girls who did lose in their first sets and battled back either to make things closer or to come out on top.  This was a great win for the girls  in a season where they have played some very good teams competitively but just didn't have enough to pick up the wins.  We had lost 1-6 to Redwood at a tournament earlier in the year, but were short on varsity players and lost two more to the heat.  It was nice to have everyone back at full strength because it was two very evenly matched teams that got to battle it out right to the end.

Next up is the Section 3A Quarterfinal round where the Wildcats will travel to take on #1 seed St. James on Thursday at 4:00pm.  River Valley is now 5-16 on the season.

River Valley - 4, Redwood Valley - 3
1S:  Kalyn Haas (RV) def Ahnna Malacek (RED) 1-6, 6-2, 7-5
2S:  Alyssa Lueck (RED) def Lauren Laffen (RV) 6-4, 2-6, 6-4
3S:  Carli Grannes (RED) def Alyssa Rubey (RV) 6-2, 6-1
4S:  Sara Haugo (RV) def Alexis Johnson (RED) 6-0, 6-3
1D:  Erika Ries/Natalie Stevens (RV) def Abi Einck/Mackenzie Jeseritz (RED) 6-1, 6-0
2D:  Rhylee Schmidt/Tori Jeseritz (RED) def Ashley Johnson/Carissa Evers (RV) 6-4, 1-6, 6-3
3D:  Kacie Goblirsch/Karlie Ries (RV) def Kylie Doering/Kenzie Manthei (RED) 7-5, 6-3

Gopher Valley All-Conference Players Named

(September 21 - Mankato) Even though the Gopher Valley Conference Championships were rained out on Saturday in Mankato, all-conference and honorable mention awards were given out. Sophomore Kalyn Haas was one of twelve players awarded with All-Conference awards, while junior Erika Ries was one of four Honorable Mention All-Conference winners. Awards were based on outcomes of conference matches played during the regular season.


River Valley Downed in Regular Season Finale

(September 26 - Sleepy Eye) The River Valley girls tennis team closed out their regular season schedule on Thursday with a 6-1 loss in Sleepy Eye to Blue Earth Area.  The Bucs brought a very strong team to Sleepy Eye and took straight set wins across the board with the exception of #4 singles, where sophomore Sara Haugo got the sole Wildcat point with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Lacey Benz.

We knew Blue Earth was going to be tough.  They were Section 2A runners-up a year ago and will enter next weeks Section 2A tourney as the #2 seed behind USC.  They have experience at most positions and some very athletic players.  I don't think any of our players need to feel bad about the way they played against another very talented team.

River Valley finishes the regular season with a 4-16 record.   Next up for the Wildcats is the Gopher Valley Conference Championships which are scheduled to take place on Saturday at Mankato East High School, with matches beginning at 9:00am.  The Wildcats will open Section 3A tournament play next Monday at Redwood Valley in a 4:00pm match.

Blue Earth Area - 6, River Valley - 1
1S:  Karleigh Wolff (BEA) def Kalyn Haas (RV) 6-0, 6-2
2S:  Kaitlin Olsen (BEA) def Lauren Laffen (RV) 6-1, 6-4
3S:  Lindsey Prokop (BEA) def Alyssa Rubey (RV) 6-1, 6-0
4S:  Sara Haugo (RV) def Lacey Benz (BEA) 6-2, 6-3
1D:  Natali Fellows/Karli Olsen (BEA) def Natalie Stevens/Erika Ries (RV) 6-1, 6-3
2D:  Beka Krussow/Paige Darrington (BEA) def Ashley Johnson/Carissa Evers (RV) 6-2, 6-1
3D:  Anikka Wilhelmi/Annaliese Klinkner (BEA) def Tayler Hoffman/Karlie Ries (RV) 6-4, 6-0

Bradd Goede, Head Coach
River Valley Wildcats Girls Tennis

Wildcats Defeat Arrows

(September 24 - Pipestone) The River Valley tennis team picked up win #4 on Tuesday by a 4-3 score over Pipestone Area in Pipestone.  The Wildcats took wins at the top two singles and top two doubles spots to take a 4-0 lead before the Arrows salvaged wins at #3 and #4 singles and at #3 doubles.  Kalyn Haas and Lauren Laffen both played very well in picking up straight set wins at the top of the singles lineup.  Both girls have played some top-notch competition this year so it was nice to see them both come out with some confidence and hit their spots consistently and play with leads throughout most of their matches today.

The #1 doubles pair of Erika Ries and Natalie Stevens continued their late-season improvement by picking up their third consecutive win, also in straight sets, although they did need to win a second set tiebreaker to clinch it.  They were really mixing up power and placement the entire match and limiting unforced errors.  They are definitely playing their best tennis of the season right now.  The winning point came at #2 doubles where Ashley Johnson and Carissa Evers picked up a 10-8 third set tiebreak win.  They started kind of slow and had a lot of issues controlling shots in the first set, but once they made some adjustments to their placement things turned around pretty quickly as they controlled the second set and eventually held on to take the third as well.

Even though we had losses at #3 and #4 singles, both Alyssa Rubey and Sara Haugo continue to show improvement late in the season.  Both had much better patience tonight and found some open court after putting together some good combinations of shots.  A little inexperience and maybe some nerves caught up with us at #3 doubles where Tayler Hoffman and Karlie Ries held a 5-4 first set lead before falling in a set tiebreaker and held a 4-1 second set lead, before falling 5-7.  I think when the Pipestone girls made things closer, we just tightened up a bit and didn't play as relaxed as we had most of the match.  It's still a learning experience every time out and hopefully this will help them move forward and handle things better in the next tight situation they run into.

The win puts the Wildcats overall record at 4-15 on the season.  River Valley will close out the regular season with a 4:30 match Thursday in Sleepy Eye against a very strong Blue Earth Area team.  Section 3A seedings take place Wednesday night with play-in matches beginning next Monday at 4pm.

River Valley - 4, Pipestone Area - 3
1S:  Kalyn Haas (RV) def Abby Steffan (P) 6-1, 6-0
2S:  Lauren Laffen (RV) def Nicole Scotting (P) 6-3, 6-1
3S:  Tayla Sysavath (P) def Alyssa Rubey (RV) 6-3, 6-4
4S:  Lauren Lapthorn (P) def Sara Haugo (RV) 6-1, 6-4
1D:  Erika Ries/Natalie Stevens (RV) def Veronica Johnson/Maya Bledsoe (P) 6-3, 7-6 (7-5)
2D:  Ashley Johnson/Carissa Evers (RV) def Sarah Woelber/Tori Vanessen (P) 2-6, 6-2, 10-8
3D:  Rachel Skyberg/Kirsten Houg (P) def Tayler Hoffman/Karlie Ries (RV) 7-6 (7-2), 7-5
EX:  Kacie Goblirsh won 6-1, 6-4
EX:  Sam Walter/Carissa Evers won 8-2
EX:  Madison Hoffman/Ashley Johnson won 8-3

River Valley Falls in Colbey Ehlenz Memorial Tourney

(September 21 - Madison) The River Valley tennis team made the long trip to Madison on Saturday to participate in the Colbey Ehlenz Memorial Tennis Tournament.  The Wildcats faced two Section 3A foes in Montevideo and Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd.  We played very competitively in both matches after seeing some extremely stiff competition over the last 10 days or so.

In the first match of the day the Wildcats were defeated 5-2 by Montevideo.  Picking up wins for River Valley were the #1 doubles pair of Erika Ries and Natalie Stevens and the #3 doubles tandem of Sara Haugo and Alyssa Rubey.  After falling 2-6 in the #1 doubles match, Natalie and Erika bounced back with a hard-fought 6-3 second set win and then dominated in a 10-2 third set tiebreaker to get the win.  The #3 doubles match was even closer.  Again, the Wildcat netters took a 2-6 loss in the first set and trailed 5-6 in the second set before tying the score and sending the set to a tiebreaker.  Sara and Alyssa eventually held on for a 9-7 win in the tiebreaker to force the deciding third set tiebreaker that they also won by a score of 10-6.  We also got very good play at #1 and #2 singles from Kalyn Haas and Lauren Laffen, but both came up just short of picking up wins for us.

The second match of the day was against the host Eagles of LqPV/D-B and it was a very tight match from start to finish with the Wildcats coming out on the short end of a 4-3 decision.  Lauren Laffen got things started off on the right foot with a comeback win at #2 singles where she lost the first set and came back for a 7-5 second set victory to force the third set tiebreaker, which she won easily by a 10-3 score.  The Eagles picked up wins at #3 singles and #2 doubles to take a 2-1 lead in the match before the Wildcats #3 doubles team of Karlie Ries and Tayler Hoffman pulled off another exciting 3-set comeback win.  After getting beat 2-6 in the opening set, the pair battled back and forth with their opponents until the second set needed to be decided with a tiebreaker which Ries and Hoffman took decisively 7-0.  That brought on another 3rd and deciding set, which the Wildcat girls took by a 10-7 score.  Sara Haugo lost a heart-breaking 11-9 third set tiebreaker at #4 singles and the #1 doubles team of Erika Ries and Natalie Stevens won 6-1, 6-0 to knot the match at 3-3.  That left the #1 singles match as the deciding match and although Kalyn Haas battled valiantly while being a bit under the weather, she ended up falling in a marathon match that gave the Eagles the 4-3 win.

After losing 6 of 8 third sets only two weeks ago it was nice to see the girls come back and close out 4 of 5 of them today.  I think it shows that they are handling the pressure of the situation a little bit better and maybe maturing on court a bit as they gain experience.  All in all it was a pretty good day of tennis today as we head into our last week of the regular season.

River Valley is now 3-15 on the season and will travel to Pipestone on Tuesday for a 4:30 match.

Montevideo - 5, River Valley - 2
1S:  Kailey Maroney (M) def Kalyn Haas (RV) 7-5, 6-4
2S:  Morgan Reidinger (M) def Lauren Laffen (RV) 7-6 (7-5), 6-4
3S:  Ashley Hoehne (M) def Kacie Goblirsch (RV) 6-0, 6-0
4S:  Tina Lipinski (M) def Madison Hoffman (RV) 6-1, 6-1
1D:  Erika Ries/Natalie Stevens (RV) def Macy Peters/Nikki Erickson (M) 2-6, 6-3, 10-2
2D:  Jessa Kack/Mikaela Erickson (M) def Carissa Evers/Ashley Johnson (RV) 6-3, 6-2
3D:  Sara Haugo/Alyssa Rubey (RV) def Natasha Smith/Avery Koosmann (M) 2-6, 7-6 (9-7), 10-6
EX:  Karlie Ries/Tayler Hoffman (RV) def Destiny Unzen/Nicole Aanerud (M) 10-4

LqPV/D-B - 4, River Valley - 3
1S:  Kylie Jahn (L) def Kalyn Haas (RV) 6-3, 6-1
2S:  Lauren Laffen (RV) def Kamryn Siedschlag (L) 3-6, 7-5, 10-3
3S:  Molly Hacker (L) def Alyssa Rubey (RV) 6-1, 6-2
4S:  Ashtyn Oie (L) def Sara Haugo (RV) 6-4, 3-6, 11-9
1D:  Erika Ries/Natalie Stevens (RV) def Mary Savoy/Kristyne Hamburg (L) 6-1, 6-0
2D:  Courtney Hanson/Karissa Jahn (L) def Carissa Evers/Ashley Johnson (RV) 6-3, 6-2
3D:  Karlie Ries/Tayler Hoffman (RV) def Kathryn Bratsch/Marissa Gearman (L) 2-6, 7-6 (7-0), 10-7
EX:  Kacie Goblirsch/Madison Hoffman (RV) def Katy Breberg/Sierra Keopp (L) 10-5

USC Blanks Wildcats

(September 17 - Wells) River Valley traveled to Wells on Tuesday to take on USC for the second time in four days and came away with a 7-0 loss to their Gopher Valley Conference opponents.  Playing nearly identical lineups as Saturday, the scores came out almost the same as well.  The difference was that in todays match we played very aggressive tennis against the Rebels compared to Saturday where we were much more tentative in most matches.  Like Saturday, the closest match of the day was at #2 doubles where Ashley Johnson and Carissa Evers fell to Carly Weber and Leah Meyer in 3 sets.  On Saturday the Wildcat pair won in another 3 set affair.

Today I thought our doubles, especially Ashley and Carissa as well as our top pair of Natalie Stevens and Erika Ries, came out of the gates and took some chances while making a lot of smart shots at the same time.  The level of speed and aggressive play definitely came up a few notches.  Kalyn Haas was also facing one of the best singles players in the state for the second time in four days in Claire Christian and really battled her throughout the match.  Two very hard-hitting players laying everything out on the court.  They put together some great rallies.  Lauren Laffen, at #2 singles for us, also played one of her stronger matches and was really hitting the ball with a lot of pace and accuracy as well.

The thing that could make this an interesting dual to watch in the future is that between the two teams, only one varsity player was a senior.  There will be lots of good tennis talent coming back for a few years for both of our programs.

River Valley is now 3-13 on the season after a grueling stretch of 7 matches in 6 days that included 4 against state ranked teams.  The Wildcats now get a welcome breather until this Saturday when they travel to Madison to take part in a triangular against section foes Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd and Montevideo.  The River Valley junior high/junior varsity will host St. James in Sleepy Eye on Thursday at 4:30 before traveling to Redwood Falls on Saturday to take on Redwood Valley, MACCRAY and Montevideo.

USC - 7, River Valley - 0
1S:  Claire Christian (USC) def Kalyn Haas (RV) 6-0, 6-1
2S:  Julia Stenzel (USC) def Lauren Laffen (RV) 6-2, 6-2
3S:  Joyce Rubio (USC) def Alyssa Rubey (RV) 6-4, 6-1
4S:  Angela Bixby (USC) def Sara Haugo (RV) 6-1, 6-1
1D:  Kia Legred/Linsey Thisius (USC) def Erika Ries/Natalie Stevens (RV) 6-1, 6-2
2D:  Carly Weber/Leah Meyer (USC) def Ashley Johnson/Carissa Evers (RV) 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
3D:  Emma Brand/Kelly Neubauer (USC) def Kacie Goblirsch/Karlie Ries (RV) 2-6, 2-6

USC JV - 4, River Valley JV - 2
Sam Walter/Madison Hoffman won 6-1
Tayler Hoffman/Hanna Himmelman won 6-2
Lauren Klein/Courtney Engholm lost 6-2
Briana Schmidt/Zoe Macklanburg lost 6-3
Megan Himmelman/Carissa Evers lost 6-0
Kelsey Domeier/Juliann Reindl lost 6-2

Sibley East Defeats River Valley 6-1

(September 16 - Arlington/Gaylord) The Wildcats traveled to Arlington for a match up with Sibley East and came out on the short end of a 6-1 decision in girls tennis on Monday.  Sibley East swept the singles matches and took two of three doubles matches.  The lone Wildcat victory came at #2 doubles where juniors Ashley Johnson and Carissa Evers picked up a hard-fought 7-6 (9-7), 6-3 win over Kim Kurtzweg and Ashley Mercier.

This was our sixth match since Thursday and I think we had some tired legs today, especially in the singles matches.  After going up against three state-ranked teams on Saturday and playing so hard in all of those matches, I think we hit that inevitable wall just a bit today.  We have one more match this week and then we'll get a chance to slow things down a bit and work on fixing things that aren't quite where we want them just yet.

River Valley is not 3-12 on the year and will travel to Wells on Tuesday for a 4:30 match against Gopher Valley opponent USC.

Sibley East - 6, River Valley - 1
1S:  Breann Walsh (SE) def Kalyn Haas (RV) 6-2, 6-0
2S:  Mariah Schrupp (SE) def Lauren Laffen (RV) 6-2, 6-2
3S:  Ella Lundstrom (SE) def Alyssa Rubey (RV) 6-2, 6-0
4S:  Faith Young (SE) def Madison Hoffman (RV) 6-0, 6-0
1D:  Alli Harter/Alicia Kranz (SE) def Erika Ries/Natalie Stevens (RV) 6-3, 7-6 (7-5)
2D:  Ashley Johnson/Carissa Evers (SE) def Kim Kurtzweg/Ashley Mercier (SE) 7-6 (9-7), 6-3
3D:  Liz Thies/Lindsey Flieth (SE) def Karlie Ries/Kacie Goblirsch (RV) 6-3, 6-1

River Valley JV - 9, Sibley East JV - 1
Sam Walter won 6-3, 5-7, 12-10
Tayler Hoffman/Sara Haugo lost 6-4, 6-1
Courtney Engolm/Carissa Havemeier won 8-1
Megan Himmelman/Kelsie Domeier won 8-1
Juliann Reindl/Megan Himmelman won 8-1
Hanna Himmelman won 8-3
Lauren Klein won 8-4
Briana Schmidt won 8-2
Hanna Himmelman/Courtney Engholm won 8-2
Julian Reindl/Briana Schmidt won 8-1

Wildcats Battle State Elite

(September 14 - St. James) The River Valley tennis team got a first-hand look at what state tournament caliber tennis is like when the Wildcats traveled to St. James on Saturday.  The Wildcats began with a morning match against #10-ranked USC and came out on the short end of a 6-1 score.  It was the first match of the day and it was still a bit cool out and we really started kind of slow.  The girls fought through some rough first sets, but came on and played more competitively in the second sets.  The #2 doubles team of Ashley Johnson and Carissa Evers picked up the lone River Valley win by splitting sets 1-6, 7-5 and then coming from behind to take a 10-8 third set tiebreaker.

Next up was #4-ranked and perennial state tourney entrant Rochester Lourdes.  Lourdes took the 7-0 victory, but this was the round where our girls really seemed to turn up their confidence and really battled their way through some nice matches.  It was a match that if you just looked at the scores you'd think that Lourdes dominated when in fact most points were long points and really contested.  There weren't a lot of easy games to win.  I loved the way our kids bounced back after the USC match and really went after Lourdes and didn't just sit back and be intimidated.  Eighth-grader Karlie Ries and junior Kacie Goblirsch came back from a 6-2 first set defeat and pushed the Lourdes #3 doubles pair to the brink of going to a third set before falling 6-4 in the second set.

The last match of the afternoon was the Wildcats second meeting of the year with #3-ranked St. James.  Again it was a 7-0 defeat, but we played with incredible confidence and ease at every position.  We didn't play too poorly against the Saints earlier in the year, but today we looked like we took ten steps in the right direction from where we were only a few weeks ago.  Sophomore Sara Haugo had an early lead at #4 singles before falling 6-4, 6-4.  Erika Ries and Natalie Stevens also had a nice first set lead at #1 doubles before they were defeated 6-4, 6-1.

I'm really proud of the way the girls came out and battled today.  We saw three state-ranked teams, all of whom are probably favored to win their respective sections at the moment, and we increased the level of tennis we've been playing so much.  Kalyn Haas at #1 singles has had a terribly tough schedule lately, playing the four state-ranked players in the last 3 days and she'll have a rematch with one of them again on Tuesday.  I told her after her last match today that she basically encountered her own mini state tournament all in the matter of a few hours.  She really held up well and lifted her game and hopefully her confidence to another level.

All three of our doubles teams played very strong, aggressive tennis today against some state-tournament tested competition and really held their own.  On the singles side, both Lauren Laffen and Alyssa Rubey looked a lot better and like they may be finding some more consistent and stronger strokes as well.  I think this weekend our kids learned a lot about themselves and the fact that if they step up, they can play with anyone on the rest of our schedule.

River Valley is now 3-11 on the season and will travel to Arlington on Monday for a make-up match at 4:30 against Sibley East.

USC - 6, River Valley - 1
1S:  Claire Christian (USC) def Kalyn Haas (RV) 6-1, 6-1
2S:  Linsey Thisius (USC) def Lauren Laffen (RV) 6-2, 6-0
3S:  Joyce Rubio (USC) def Alyssa Rubey (RV) 6-1, 6-2
4S:  Angie Bixby (USC) def Kacie Goblirsch (RV) 6-1, 6-1
1D:  Kia Legred/Julia Stenzel (USC) def Erika Ries/Natalie Stevens (RV) 6-1, 6-1
2D:  Ashley Johnson/Carissa Evers (RV) def Leah Meyer/Carly Weber (USC) 1-6, 7-5, 10-8
3D:  Emma Barnd/Kelly Neubauer (USC) def Sara Haugo/Karlie Ries (RV) 6-2, 6-0

Rochester Lourdes - 7, River Valley - 0
1S:  Sofia Terzic (RL) def Kalyn Haas (RV) 6-3, 6-0
2S:  Sydney Allison (RL) def Lauren Laffen (RV) 6-0, 6-0
3S:  Ellen Gorman (RL) def Alyssa Rubey (RV) 6-1, 6-1
4S:  Natalie Allison (RL) def Sara Haugo (RV) 6-0, 6-0
1D:  Jess Alexander/Rachel Kamath (RL) def Erika Ries/Natalie Stevens (RV) 6-2, 6-0
2D:  Grace Gorman/Shannon Pederson (RL) def Ashley Johnson/Carissa Evers (RV) 6-2, 6-2
3D:  Elizabeth Hart/Molly Belda (RL) def Kacie Goblirsch/Karlie Ries (RV) 6-2, 6-4

St. James - 7, River Valley - 0
1S:  Lorena Hernandez (SJ) def Kalyn Haas (RV) 6-0, 6-0
2S:  Julia Boeve (SJ) def Lauren Laffen (RV) 6-0, 6-0
3S:  Aubrey Eckstrom (SJ) def Alyssa Rubey (RV) 6-1, 6-0
4S:  Miranda Jacoby (SJ) def Sara Haugo (RV) 6-4, 6-4
1D:  Ashley Fredericks0n/Acacia Foss (SJ) def Natalie Stevens/Erika Ries (RV) 6-4, 6-1
2D:  Hannah Christensen/Anna Haler (SJ) def Ashley Johnson/Carissa Evers (RV)  6-1, 6-3
3D:  Alison Durheim/Hollie Peterson (SJ) def Kacie Goblirsch/Karlie Ries (RV) 6-1, 6-2

Wildcats Back in the Win Column Over Maple River

(September 13th - Sleepy Eye) The River Valley tennis team broke a string of tough losses by taking a Gopher Valley Conference match over Maple River 4-3 in Sleepy Eye on Friday afternoon.  Not only was the match close, it wasn't decided until the final point of the day.

River Valley started out with a straight sets win at #1 singles by Kalyn Haas.  Kalyn had a tough match yesterday against one of the better players she'll face all year, but came back focused and played one of her best matches of the season.  Maple River would come back to take points at #2 and #4 singles to take a 2-1 lead.  The Wildcats would again come back to take a 3-2 lead on the strength of wins by the #1 doubles duo of Erika Ries and Natalie Stevens and the same from #2 doubles partners Ashley Johnson and Carissa Evers.  

Maple River would tie things up at 3-3 by taking a third-set tiebreaker at #3 singles before the River Valley's #3 doubles team of Madison Hoffman and Sara Haugo would get the deciding point in straight sets.  It was nice to see two younger, less experience girls pick up that important win and gain some confidence.  Both have had only limited varsity experience, but they played with a lot of confidence today.

The win ups the Wildcats record to 3-8 overall and evens their Gopher Valley Conference record at 1-1.  Things won't be easy for River Valley as the Wildcats travel to St. James on Saturday where they will begin the day at 9am against #10-ranked USC before taking on #4-ranked Rochester Lourdes and finishing the tourney against #3-ranked St. James.  Each of those teams also features a singles player ranked in the top ten in Minnesota.  It'll be awesome competition and a great chance for our young team to see what it'll take to be an elite program and see how they can stack up against some of the best teams in the state.

River Valley - 4, Maple River - 3
1S:  Kalyn Haas (RV) def Megan Langworthy (MR) 6-2, 6-1
2S:  Hannah Proehl (MR) def Lauren Laffen (RV) 6-2, 6-3
3S:  Rachel Rigdon (MR) def Alyssa Rubey (RV) 6-4, 5-7, 10-8
4S:  Cassie Barkosky (MR) def Kacie Goblirsch (RV) 6-0, 6-0
1D:  Erika Ries/Natalie Stevens (RV) def Emily Spear/Steph Beto (MR) 6-4, 6-3
2D:  Ashley Johnson/Carissa Evers (RV) def Mariah Proehl/Haley Schulz (MR) 7-5, 6-1
3D:  Sara Haugo/Madison Hoffman (RV) def Sarah Stromer/Ashley Cole (MR) 6-4, 6-2

Mavs Take Conference Win Over Wildcats

(September 12 - Sleepy Eye) River Valley was defeated 6-1 Thursday night by Martin County West in Sleepy Eye in a Gopher Valley Conference tennis match.  Once again the younger Wildcats struggled in the close matches, this time against a team in MCW that featured 6 seniors, including the states 8th-ranked singles player in Stephanie Zerres.

The lone win for the Wildcats came from a pair of freshmen at #3 doubles where Sam Walter and Madison Hoffman picked up a 6-4, 6-4 win.  We lost two more three-set matches, at #2 singles and #1 doubles.  Both were very good, competitive matches, but we just didn't get the breaks late when we needed them.  So far this year we've played eight matches that extended to three sets and have lost all eight of them.  We're right there, but need to get over that hump, whether it's physical, mental or a combination.  As we gain more experience I expect some of those losses to turn around, but right now we need to keep battling and not lose confidence as we are still playing some pretty good tennis.

River Valley is now 2-10 on the season and will host another Gopher Valley Conference match on Friday at 4:00 when Maple River visits Sleepy Eye.

Martin County West - 6, River Valley - 1
1S:  Stephanie Zerres (MCW) def Kalyn Haas (RV) 6-0, 6-0
2S:  Shawna Dressen (MCW) def Lauren Laffen (RV) 6-3, 4-6, 6-2
3S:  Tori Russenberger (MCW) def Alyssa Rubey (RV) 6-1, 6-3
4S:  Alisa Russenberger (MCW) def Karlie Ries (RV) 6-2, 6-1
1D:  Bailey Ebeling/Harley Holtz (MCW) def Erika Ries/Natalie Stevens (RV) 3-6, 6-2, 6-4
2D:  Ily Schlenk/Sophie Bareiss (MCW) def Ashley Johnson/Carissa Evers (RV) 6-2, 6-2
3D:  Sam Walter/Madison Hoffman (RV) def Jennifer Petersen/Madi Ebeling (MCW) 6-4, 6-4
Ex:  Kacie Goblirsch won 6-4, 6-2

Wildcats Go 0-3 at Redwood Valley Tourney

(September 7 - Redwood Falls) The Wildcats traveled to Redwood Falls on Saturday for the Redwood Valley tourney and came away 0-3 on the day.  We came in shorthanded to start with because of some varsity players needing to be out of town and we also lost two girls during the tourney to the heat so we had to do a lot of re-arranging of the lineups as well as moving up some girls with little or no varsity experience, but we still managed to play some very competitive tennis.

River Valley started the day with a 3-4 loss against MACCRAY in a very tight match right from the start.  How tight?  Four of the seven matches were decided in third-set tiebreakers, including the match the gave the Wolverines the victory.  Lauren Laffen took a straight sets win at #2 singles and Kalyn Haas (#1S) and Lauren Klein and Hanna Himmelman (#3D) took 14-12 and 12-10 third-set tie break wins for the three Wildcat victories.  Unfortunately we also lost two third-set tiebreakers that could have swung things our way.

Next up was a rematch with Fairmont from a little over a week ago.  The result was the same 0-7 score, but even with our patchwork lineup, we seemed to play much more competitively this time around.  Six of the seven matches were straight set losses and the seventh we forfeited due to one of our players not being able to play due to the heat.  Yet, with our number 3 and 4 singles players totaling 2 career varsity matches and our #1 singles player playing that position for the first time ever, we matched or improved on our scores from only 9 days earlier against the Cardinals.

The final match of the day was also the hottest and you could see it in almost all the players as everyone seemed a step or two slower as they willed their bodies to find a little more energy.  Redwood Valley took this match 1-6, but it very well could have went the other way.  We lost all three of our third set tiebreakers and had a fourth match where we had the lead when our player needed to retire due to the heat.  The lone win came from 8th-grader Lauren Klein in her first-ever varsity singles match at #4 singles.  Eighth-grader Hanna Himmelman lost a tough 9-11 third set tiebreaker in what was only her second varsity singles match ever.

All in all, there was a lot of good to take out of today.  It was a tough situation dealing with the heat, but all the teams had to do that.  I'm very impressed with what are younger kids did today in a situation they haven't seen yet and I'm very proud of some of the more veteran players for dealing with a lot of changes and new partners in doubles and making the best of it and playing some very competitive tennis.  We did have 7 third-set tiebreakers and we lost 5 of those, as well as two other set tiebreakers and I think things like that will start to get better for us as we mature and gain a little more experience as the season progresses.

River Valley is now 2-7 on the season and next plays Monday at 4:30pm in Arlington against Sibley East.

MACCRAY - 4, River Valley - 3
1S:  Kalyn Haas (RV) def Amber Wieberdink (M) 6-4, 5-7, 14-12
2S:  Lauren Laffen (RV) def Kim Trulock (M) 6-4, 7-5
3S:  Annie Sandry (M) def Natalie Stevens (RV) 6-3, 2-6, 10-8
4S:  Haylee Sandry (M) def Alyssa Rubey (RV) 6-7 (5-7), 7-5, 10-4
1D:  Jenna Mersbergen/Kaylee Christenson (M) def Carissa Evers/Ashley Johnson (RV) 6-1, 6-0
2D:  Heather Marcus/Bella Brynjulfson (M) def Madison Hoffman/Tayler Hoffman (RV) 6-4, 6-2
3D:  Lauren Klein/Hanna Himmelman (RV) def Emily Woods/Brianna Harguth (M) 5-7, 7-6 (7-3), 12-10

Fairmont - 7, River Valley - 0
1S:  Aubrey Green (F) def Natalie Stevens (RV) 6-1, 6-0
2S:  Missy Viesselman (F) def Alyssa Rubey (RV) forfeit (illness)
3S:  Allison Moeller (F) def Madison Hoffman (RV) 6-1, 6-0
4S:  Ellie Tonder (F) def Lauren Klein (RV) 6-3, 6-2
1D:  Sophie Shelgren/Abby Fitzgerald (F) def Kalyn Haas/Lauren Laffen (RV) 6-2, 6-3
2D:  Jill Paris/Shantel Quist (F) def Ashley Johnson/Carissa Evers (RV) 6-3, 6-4
3D:  Andrea Carstensen/Briana Gratz (F) def Kacie Goblirsch/Tayler Hoffman (RV) 6-3, 6-0

Redwood Valley - 6, River Valley - 1
1S:  Ahnna Malacek (Red) def Kalyn Haas (RV) - 2nd set retire (illness)
2S:  Alyssa Lueck (Red) def Lauren Laffen (RV) 6-2, 3-6, 10-5
3S:  Carli Grannes (Red) def Hanna Himmelman (RV) 2-6, 6-4, 11-9
4S:  Lauren Klein (RV) def Alexis Johnson (Red) 6-2, 6-4
1D:  Abby Ginck/Kenzie Jeseritz (Red) def Natalie Stevens/Ashley Johnson (RV) 6-1, 7-6 (7-5)
2D:  Tori Jeseritz/Rhylee Schmidt (Red) def Madison Hoffman/Carissa Evers (RV) 6-3, 7-5
3D:  Kenzie Manthei/Jillian Read (Red) def Kacie Goblirsch/Tayler Hoffman (RV) 6-3, 3-6, 10-4

Wildcats Taken Down at Luverne

(September 5 - Luverne) The Wildcats made the trek to Luverne on Thursday evening and came away with an 0-7 defeat.  It may have been one of the more deceiving 0-7's you'll see however.  Luverne was able to pick up 3-set wins at #1 doubles, #2 doubles and #4 singles all by way of tiebreaker wins.  

At #1 doubles, Natalie Stevens and Erika Ries took a pretty convincing 6-2 first set and led late in the second set before the Cardinal duo of Brianna Erickson and Danielle Kneip came back to take it 7-5.  The third set was also back and forth with River Valley leading 5-4 before Luverne once again came back to tie it up at 6-6 and send it to the deciding tiebreaker, which they won 7-3.

At #2 doubles, things were reversed as Ashley Johnson and Carissa Evers fell 4-6 in the first set before coming back with a strong 6-2 second set win to force the deciding third set.  Once again we held a 6-5 lead in the third set before the Luverne pair of Lexie Severtson and Tatiana Gust tied it up at 6-6 and then took the tiebreaker 7-2.

At #4 singles, eighth-grader Hanna Himmelman was making her varsity debut and took a tight 6-4 first set win over Samantha Pierce before falling 2-6 in the second set.  Both players battled back and forth before Pierce came from behind to tie it up at 6-6 and then go on to the 7-4 tiebreaker win.

Those three positions combined to play 95 games plus 30 tiebreaker points in some very intense and back-and-forth tennis.  I think our lack of experience definitely showed in those situations, but at the same time it's a good experience for those players to be put in such a pressure situation and I think they'll be more comfortable if they are faced with the same again later in the season.

River Valley is now 2-4 on the season, while Luverne moves to 8-3 overall.  River Valley's next action comes Saturday at the Redwood Valley Tourney where the Wildcats will get a rematch with Fairmont, see section opponent Redwood Valley and non-conference opponent MACCRAY.  Matches begin Saturday at 9am.

Luverne - 7, River Valley - 0
1S: Paige Adams (L) def Kalyn Haas (RV) 6-1, 6-1
2S: Kynzie Smedsrud (L) def Lauren Laffen (RV) 6-0, 7-5
3S: McKenzi Wenninger (L) def Alyssa Rubey (RV) 6-1, 6-2
4S: Samantha Pierce (L) def Hanna Himmelman (RV) 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-4)
1D: Brianna Erickson/Danielle Kneip (L) def Natalie Stevens/Erika Ries (RV) 2-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7-3)
2D: Lexie Severtson/Tatiana Gust (L) def Ashley Johnson/Carissa Evers (RV) 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (7-2)
3D: Monaya Hustoft/Brooke Nattress (L) def Madison Hoffman/Sam Walter (RV) 6-2, 6-2

Fairmont Downs Wildcats

(September 3 - Sleepy Eye) The River Valley girls tennis team was defeated 7-0 Tuesday evening by Fairmont.  The Cardinals came to Sleepy Eye with probably the most veteran team we'll see all season.  They have 6 seniors and almost every player was a staple on their varsity team last year.  That experience showed as they played a very aggressive and confident style of tennis and took 6 of the points in straight sets. 

Our girls played a bit tentative early in the match, but played with much more confidence as the matches wore on.  Unfortunately, Fairmont's experience at the varsity level was too much for us.  They never cracked and seemed to be in control of points on every court no matter how many good shots we made.  They are definitely one of the top teams in our section, along with St. James.

We did show some resolve by bouncing back and extending points in the 2nd sets of many matches and made a lot of very nice shots that just didn't end in points for us.

River Valley is now 2-3 on the season and will travel to Luverne on Thursday for a 4:30pm match.  Fairmont is now 5-1 on the season.

Fairmont - 7, River Valley - 0
1S: Aubrey Green (F) def Kalyn Haas (RV) 6-0, 6-1
2S: Missy Viesselman (F) def Lauren Laffen (RV) 6-0, 2-6, 6-0
3S: Allison Moeller (F) def Erika Ries (RV) 6-1, 6-0
4S: Ellie Tonder (F) def Sara Haugo (RV) 6-2, 6-1
1D: Sophie Shelgren/Abby Fitzgerald (F) def Natalie Stevens/Alyssa Rubey (RV) 6-3, 6-2
2D: Jill Paris/Shantel Quist (F) def Carissa Evers/Ashley Johnson (RV) 6-1, 6-2
3D: Andrea Carstensen/Briana Gratz (F) def Tayler Hoffman/Kacie Goblirsch (RV) 6-0, 6-0

River Valley JV - 10, Fairmont JV - 1
Sam Walter/Madison Hoffman won 6-2, 6-4
Hanna Himmelman/Courtney Engholm won 6-2, 6-2
Karlie Ries/Lauren Klein won 6-1
Briana Schmidt/Kelsie Domeier won 6-3
Zoe Macklanburg/Megan Himmelman won 6-1
Carissa Havemeier/Julieann Reindl won 6-0
Megan Himmelman/Zoe Macklanburg won 6-0
Carissa Havemeier/ Julieann Reindl won 6-1
Karlie Ries/Briana Schmidt won 6-0
Lauren Klein/ Megan Himmelman lost 5-6
Zoe Macklanburg/Carissa Havemeier won 6-2

Wildcats Fall to #3-Ranked St. James

(August 29 - St. James) The River Valley tennis team traveled to St. James on Thursday evening to take on the #3-ranked Saints and found out what many others will this season - that they are still good.  St. James knocked off the Wildcats 7-0.  The Saints, who feature a couple of girls with multiple state tournament appearances as well as a long-running tennis tradition, were just too strong as they took straight-set wins at all seven positions.

I thought our kids did a really nice job of coming in and not being intimidated.  We played very well against one of the best teams in Minnesota.  Our singles players lengthened out a lot of points with some good rallies and our doubles teams held early leads before St. James managed to come back.  It's a good learning experience of where our young team would someday like to be.

River Valley is now 2-2 on the season and will hold another top Section 3A team on Tuesday when Fairmont comes to Sleepy Eye.  St. James is now 7-1 on the season.

St. James - 7, River Valley - 0
1S: Lorena Hernandez (SJ) def Kalyn Haas (RV) 6-1, 6-0
2S: Julia Boeve (SJ) def Lauren Laffen (RV) 6-0, 6-0
3S: Aubrey Eckstrom (SJ) def Natalie Stevens (RV) 6-0, 6-0
4S: Taylor Nordhaussen (SJ) def Kacie Goblirsch (RV) 6-2, 6-1
1D: Acacia Foss/Ashley Frederickson (SJ) def Erika Ries/Alyssa Rubey (RV) 6-2, 6-1
2D: Anna Haler/Hannah Christensen (SJ) def Carissa Evers/Ashley Johnson (RV) 6-4, 6-0
3D: Morgan Sandmeyer/Alejandra Trapero (SJ) def Tayler Hoffman/Sara Haugo (RV) 6-1, 6-1

River Valley JV - 4, St. James JV - 3
Hanna Himmelman/Courtney Engholm lost 2-4, 4-1, 6-10
Karlie Ries/Lauren Klein won 4-3, 4-0
Briana Schmidt/Kelsie Domeier lost 3-4, 2-4
Zoe Macklanburg/Megan Himmelman won 2-4, 4-3, 10-6
Carissa Havemeier/Briana Schmidt lost 3-4, 2-4
Sam Walter/Madison Hoffman won 2-4, 4-0, 10-7
Sam Walter/Madison Hoffman won 4-2, 3-4, 10-6

Wildcats Make it Two in a Row With Shutout of New Ulm

(August 23 - Sleepy Eye) The River Valley tennis team made it back to back wins by defeating New Ulm 7-0 Friday night in Sleepy Eye.  The Wildcats managed to take straight set wins in 6 of the 7 matches against the very young New Ulm team.  New Ulm is in a rebuilding phase and they have a lot of young kids playing and they battled against us.  Even though we have a young team ourselves, our experience paid off.  

Kalyn Haas and Lauren Laffen, at #1 and #2 singles respectively, had been in some very long, tough battles earlier this week that didn't go their way, so it was nice to see them get wins today. The Wildcats did struggle at points in the match against the Eagles and a strong wind blowing, but in the end we toughed it out and overcame some mistakes that we may have been making earlier and finished all sets strong.  We actually had 3 positions come from behind in their second sets to finish with wins.  Natalie Stevens moved from #3 singles to one of the #1 doubles spots today and helped partner Alyssa Rubey garner a win, while Rubey's partner in the first two matches of the season, Erika Ries, moved over to the #3 singles spot and picked up a quick win.  Kacie Goblirsch also moved to 3-0 on the season at #4 singles.  It's nice to have a little flexibility within the lineup as you never know when injuries, illnesses or absences will happen.  

River Valley is now 2-1 on the young season and will host Maple River on Tuesday at 4:30pm in Sleepy Eye.

River Valley - 7, New Ulm - 0
1S: Kalyn Haas (RV) def Miriam Jakel (NU) 6-0, 6-1
2S: Lauren Laffen (RV) def Taylor Balduan (NU) 6-4, 7-5
3S: Erika Ries (RV) def Sicily Trullinger (NU) 6-1, 6-0
4S: Kacie Goblirsch (RV) def Abby Frauenholtz (NU) 6-3, 6-4
1D: Natalie Stevens/Alyssa Rubey (RV) def Jane Arnoldt/Sara Guymon (NU) 6-1, 6-3
2D: Carissa Evers/Ashley Johnson (RV) def Rose Dobie/Hayley Babcock (NU) 6-3, 6-0
3D: Tayler Hoffman/Sara Haugo (RV) def Claire Dobie/Meleah Reinhart (NU) 3-6, 6-4, 14-12

River Valley JV - 8, New Ulm JV - 1
Hanna Himmelman won 6-2
Courtney Engholm won 6-5
Briana Schmidt won 6-1
Sam Walter/Madison Hoffman won 6-3
Karlie Ries/Lauren Klein won 6-0
Zoe Macklanburg/Megan Himmelman won 6-0
Kelsie Domeier/Hanna Himmelman won 6-3
Carissa Havemeier/Julieann Reindl lost 2-6
Sam Walter/Courtney Engholm won 5-1

Wildcats Even Record With Win Over Marshall

(August 22 - Sleepy Eye) The River Valley tennis team bounced right back from a Tuesday loss with a 5-2 win over Marshall on Thursday in Sleepy Eye.  Marshall is in a rebuilding year, losing 6 seniors off of last years team, the same as the Wildcats.  The Tigers picked up wins from their 3 seniors at #1 doubles and a 3-set win at #1 singles.  River Valley managed to pick up the other five spots fairly handily, however, for the win.  

It was nice to see everyone come back from the marathon match on Tuesday in the heat and humidity and play very good tennis today.  It's been kind of hard luck for our new #1's early on.  Kalyn Haas has had 3-setters in each of her first two matches and our #1 doubles pair of Erika Ries and Alyssa Rubey have come close in both of their early matches as well.  Considering we go 10th, 10th and 11th grade at the two number 1 spots and all have moved up since last season, they are all playing very well.  All five Wildcat wins came in straight sets.  

The win evens River Valley's record at 1-1 and the Wildcats will play their 3rd home match of the week on Friday when they host New Ulm at 4:30 in Sleepy Eye.

River Valley - 5, Marshall - 2
#1S: Jenna Gannott (M) def Kalyn Haas (RV) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
#2S: Lauren Laffen (RV) def Tori St. Aubin (M) 6-4, 6-3
#3S: Natalie Stevens (RV) def Linnea Bader (M) 6-1, 6-1
#4S: Kacie Goblirsch (RV) def Sara Schraeder (M) 6-1, 6-0
#1D: Brittany Soupir/Rachel Landmark (M) def Erika Ries/Alyssa Rubey (RV) 2-6, 6-7 (5-7)
#2D: Ashley Johnson/Carissa Evers (RV) def Meghan Naughton/Crista Schultze (M) 6-4, 6-3
#3D: Tayler Hoffman/Sara Haugo (RV) def Cheyenne Demuth/Amy Harrison (M) 6-1, 6-3

River Valley JV - 2, Marshall JV - 0
Madison Hoffman/Sam Walter won 6-1
Karlie Ries/Lauren Klein won 6-0

Wildcats Open Season With Rollercoaster Loss

(August 20 - Sleepy Eye) River Valley and Worthington kicked off their respective girls tennis seasons on Tuesday in Sleepy Eye and it turned out to be a marathon of action.  Worthington would come out on top by a score of 5-2, but things were much closer than that.  Three matches went to deciding third sets and two of those three went over the 3 hour mark.  There were also 3 other sets decided by tiebreakers.

Worthing players picked up first set wins at #1 and #2 singles and #2 doubles before River Valley bounced back to take the second set of all three of those matches.  Unfortunately for the home team, Worthington would bounce back in all three roller coaster matches to take a 3-0 lead.  The Trojans would ice the match with a fourth win at #1 doubles as well as picking up a win at #3 doubles where both sets were decided by tiebreakers.

Picking up wins for River Valley were Natalie Stevens at #3 singles and Kacie Goblirsch at #4 singles.  Worthington has been down for a few years, but they brought back a good number of experienced, core players who stuck with it through the tough times and all played very good tennis.  As far as our River Valley girls, we've got a pretty good number of players returning from last years team, but all the top spots are filled with players who had to make a big jump this year.  All played very good tennis and didn't beat themselves.  I think even in the loss there was a lot of confidence gained by the way we played in our first match.  The girls showed that they could bounce back from a tough start and play with great confidence and poise.  To start out the season with such a close match at every position and be put in some stressful spots will play out well for us down the road.

Worthington is 1-0 on the season and River Valley is 0-1.  River Valley will host Marshall on Thursday at 4:30 in Sleepy Eye.

Worthington - 5, River Valley - 2
1S: Emily Williamson (W) def Kalyn Haas (RV) 6-3, 5-7, 6-1
2S: Rachel Drietz (W) def Lauren Laffen (RV) 6-3, 2-6, 6-4
3S: Natalie Stevens (RV) def Laura Wetering (W) 6-4, 7-6 (7-4)
4S: Kacie Goblirsch (RV) def Alicia Khatt (W) 6-2, 6-1
1D: Annie Lesnar/Brianna Kempema (W) def Erika Ries/Alyssa Rubey (RV) 6-2, 7-5
2D: Sarah Janssen/Miranela Lebrun (W) def Carissa Evers/Ashley Johnson (RV) 6-4, 4-6, 6-1
3D: Makensie Carstensen/Erika Schutte (W) def Tayler Hoffman/Sara Haugo (RV) 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-3)

River Valley JV - 9, Worthington JV - 3
Sam Walter/Madison Hoffman won 6-0, 7-5
Karlie Ries/Lauren Klein lost 5-6
Hanna Himmelman/Courtney Engholm won 6-1
Briana Schmidt/Megan Himmelman won 6-0
Zoe Macklanburg/Kelsie Domeier won 6-1
Carissa Havemeier/Juliann Reindl won 6-5
Carissa Havemeier/Courtney Engholm won 6-4
Karlie Ries/Lauren Klein won 6-0
Hanna Himmelman/Kelsie Domeier won 6-1
Megan Himmelman/Zoe Macklanburg lost 4-6
Julieann Reindl/Courtney Engholm lost 2-6
Briana Schmidt won 6-2

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