SLEEPY EYE - The River Valley girls' tennis team suffered its first defeat of the season on Thursday, coming on the short end of a 7-0 decision with No. 2 ranked St. James.
Once again the Saints showed why they will be the favorite in Section 3A as they took all seven matches in straight sets.
The closest matches came on the doubles side, where the Wildcats' No. 1 doubles duo of Emily Johnson and Kalyn Haas were knocked off by Michaela Nordby and Acacia Foss by a 6-2, 6-4 score, but played some of their best tennis of the year.
At No. 3 doubles, Alex Chaney and Tayler Hoffman were playing together for the first time and came out on the losing end of a 6-1, 6-4 match against Morgan Rankin and Hannah Christensen.
St. James was dominant in singles action, with Aryn Eckstrom defeating Kallie Smith 6-0, 6-0 at No. 1, Lorena Hernandez winning 6-1, 6-2 against Becky Roiger at No. 2, Julia Boeve earning a 6-0, 6-0 win against Natalie Stevens at No. 3 and Aubrey Eckstrom rounding things out with a 6-0, 6-0 victory against Alyssa Rubey at No. 4.
In JV action, St. James won 3-0, with one match ending in a tie.
The Wildcats will get another look at some great teams two weeks from Saturday when they travel to St. James to take on the Saints as well as perennial state power Rochester Lourdes, currently ranked No. 6 in Minnesota.
Before that, however, River Valley will resume play at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Fairmont. The Wildcats are now 3-1 on the season.