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Riverwood 'resilience' leads to key region win over Marist

On Thursday, the Riverwood Raiders and Marist War Eagles boys tennis were back in action as the War Eagles looked to secure their second straight win while the Raiders looked to bounce back from a region loss to Lakeside. While Riverwood entered the match with their usual singles lines, the War Eagles would be without their top singles player, Pearce Lane, who was away for a college visit, therefore the Raiders would have Michael Kurlyandchik taking on Marist's JD Ford.

With set one underway, Kurlyandchik would take the first two out of three sets to take a 2-1 lead, but Ford eventually tie the set at two all. Kurlyandchik would once again regain the set lead as he would go up 4-3 after the two would battle through another few points, however Ford would once again tie the set at four all. But unable to take the lead himself, Ford would not be able to overcome Kurlyandchik as he would take the next two points to win the set 6-4. In set two, Kurlyandchik would have a more dominating performance as he would win the set 6-0, which would give the Raiders a 2-0 lead on the day as Taichi Shimizu would defeat Marist's Andrew Chatigny 2-0.

The War Eagles would eventually pick up a win as their doubles one duo of Wesley Laborde and Dylan Crawford would take down Riverwood's Mason Goldberg and Harrison Payne, however the Raiders would pick up their third match win as Issei Shimizu would defeat Marist's Ryan Wurst 2-0 in singles three. The Raiders would also get a doubles two win courtesy of Harris Unell and Joshua Greenberg as they battled Marist's Reilly Dickie and Matthew Bordenca in their longest match of the day, picking up a 2-1 win.

After the match, Riverwood head coach, Michelle Finley said that she was pleased with the "resilience" her players displayed which allowed them to pick up their wins. "Line one and line two and then this last group (Unell and Greenberg), fighting hard, never giving up. So that's a good thing, especially going into our region tournament," Finley said. And with the region tournament quickly approaching, Finley noted that her players do have a few areas she would like to see them improve on in order to help them make a successful tournament run.

"We have to work on our volley's, our net game and our doubles. We have some doubles guys that don't generally play together tonight and it's apparent we need some communication, some work at the net," Finley added. The Raiders will be back in action on the courts when they host St. Pius on Tuesday in region play, while Marist will look to bounce back on Tuesday when they host Dunwoody.


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