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The Ripon High School Tiger girls’ tennis team took part in the Lodi Quadrangular last week Saturday, finishing with a 1-2 record.

Ripon dropped matches to host Lodi 7-0 and Onalaska Luther 6-1, while narrowly defeating Waupun 4-3.

“It was a very long and tiring day for our girls,” Ripon co-head coach Sue Novak said. “There was a light mist in the air and the wind was cool. I think they realized how difficult it is to play three matches in one day. I believe they all did their best and played as hard as they could. It was a great learning experience and fun to play three other schools.”

One of the highlights of the quadrangular for Novak was the 4-3 victory over Waupun.

The Ripon co-head coach noted she is hopeful that it helps the Tigers (5-7 overall) prepare for their conference dual against them Thursday.

“Our girls are now familiar with some of their players and have the confidence that we can do it again,” she said.

In three of the matches against Waupun, Ripon won on third-set tiebreakers. Recording those wins for the Tigers were Quinn Diedrich at No. 2 singles (4-6, 6-0, 11-9), Ava Nankervis at No. 3 singles (6-3, 4-6, 16-14) and the No. 2 doubles team of Paige Kouba and Katelyn Story (5-7, 7-6[2], 10-4. The win for Diedrich was her first singles victory of the year.

“This is a big confidence boost for those players,” Novak said. “To come back like they did and have the stamina and mental toughness to win in the third set is huge. It is our hope that they remember that moment and what they had to do to win. And next time they’re in that position, they know that they have the ability to dig deep and pull it out.”

The match against Waupun wasn’t the only one that went three sets for Nankervis as both of her other matches also went the distance. The senior picked up Ripon’s lone win over Onalaska Luther 7-5, 5-7, 10-4, while narrowly dropping her match against Lodi 6-2, 2-6, 10-6. The loss marked just her second of the season as she now is 10-2.

“She is a very smart player who knows how to push her opponents to the limit,” Novak said of Nankervis. “We are hoping she can share some of her experience, knowledge and mental toughness with our underclassmen.”

Novak added it’s hard sometimes, especially for a singles player, to pump themselves up with positive self talk once they get down, but that Nankervis “is able to overcome these challenges” and “is a fighter who is determined to win.”

The Ripon co-head coach also was pleased with Ralissa Rudolf. Normally a singles player, Rudolf stepped up to help the team and played doubles. Although she did not win a match, Rudolf and her No. 3 doubles partner, Lizzy Weiske, took Waupun to three sets, where they lost a 10-8 tiebreaker. They split the first two sets 1-6, 7-5.

“She proved that she has the skills to play singles and doubles and is a valuable asset to the team,” Novak said.

Reese Brooks also had a strong day at No. 4 singles as she defeated her Waupun opponent 6-0, 6-2 and forced three sets against Onalaska Luther before falling 6-4, 3-6, 10-4. In her match against Lodi, she lost 6-3, 6-2.

Up next

Ripon will try to repeat its success against Waupun Thursday, when it hits the road for a 4 p.m. conference dual.

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