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Falcon tennis makes its mark in history

October 18, 2007

The sport of tennis has made its mark at UW-River Falls over the years. With successful teams donning the school colors in the past, it came as no surprise that this season would be no different.

Under the guidance of head coach Lee Lueck, the 2003 WIAC Coach of the year, who is in his eighth season as head coach, the Falcons tore through early season matches with ease, jumping out to a 5-0 start with wins over St. Norbert, Lawrence, Marian and St. Mary’s, as well as a shutout against Ripon.

But just as all good things must come to an end, the same saying goes for streaks, and the early season winning streak the Falcons went on was followed by a three match skid. The Falcons lost to UW-Whitewater and Div. I team UW-Milwaukee. The third loss contributing to the sudden slump was delivered by UW-Stout, as they just edged out the Falcons 5-4.

The Falcons were able to pick up a win in their next match against St. Thomas to end their losing streak for good. UWRF has been nearly unbeatable in every aspect of the game ever sense.

Three well-played matches would follow the St. Thomas win, generating victories over Stevens Point, UW-Oshkosh and Bethel, leaving the Falcon tennis team riding a four-match unbeaten streak into the final two competitions of the regular season.

The Falcons would have their winning streak snapped prematurely for the second time while visiting Eau Claire. With one final match before the postseason the Falcons encountered yet another chance for history to repeat itself, or was it a chance for them to make history instead?

The match: UWRF versus UW-La Crosse. The first meeting between the two teams took place during the 1979-1980 season during which the teams met twice, and then continued to meet on the court, once a season every season, leading up to this one. The Falcons were going into this match with La Crosse looking at 28 consecutive losses. Never in the history of the two teams has UWRF defeated La Crosse, but this was to be a new day. Not only was this the last match of the regular season, but the Falcons were also going up against a competitor that neither they nor any other Falcon before them ever defeated. This was also the last chance for the athletes that make up the UWRF Falcon tennis team to walk into enemy territory and take down the defending WIAC Champions on their own turf, allowing them to enter this year’s championships with all the momentum.

The match was Oct. 9. Wednesday, however, they opened up the record books and made it official. The UWRF tennis team made a mark in history with a victory over the team that has plagued them throughout the program’s existence. As well as knocking off the defending champs and bruising their spirits as they head into the postseason on a sour note, the Falcons will no doubt be taking the momentum they gained with the win, along with the support of everyone who bleeds Falcon red and black, as they set out to make some more history and bring back a championship.