Lake Country Publications Sports Director JR Radcliffe provides tidbits and details from the Lake Country prep sports scene to the Wisconsin sports world at large. His weekly column presents exclusive interviews, commentaries and observations.
AHS swimmers clear title favorite (Nov. 11)
Numerous local swimmers advanced to the state meet, to be held Friday and Saturday in Madison after last Saturday's sectional finals. Among them are several top seeds, including five from Arrowhead -- the overwhelming favorite to reach the top of the podium and defend its state title.
Arrowhead's medley relay (Kate Jones, Emma Goral, Caryn Knight, Haley Pietila) is seeded two seconds faster than the second-best team in the field, owning a time of 1:46.28. (State record: 1:42.71, Arrowhead, 2005)
The other two AHS relays have top seeds as well. The 200 freestyle crew (Julia Mikota, Holly Johnson, Tracy Vogel and Goral) have the top seed time at 1:36.74 -- also nearly two seconds faster than the second-best squad. The 400 (Jones, Pietila, Goral, Mikota) sit at 3:30.19 and enjoy a like gap over second-place South-Mukwonago. (State records: 1:33.63, Madison East, 2008 and 3:24.80, Madison East, 2008)
Goral will aim for history in the butterfly. The two-time defending champ will look for a third straight crown when she competes with a seed time of 56.37, easily tops among those in the field. Goral is just a junior and could win the event four straight years. (State record: 54.55, Sarah Wanezek, Brookfield East, 1999)
The sophomore Jones has the top time in the backstroke (57.36) (State record: 55.39, Andrea Boritzke, Arrowhead, 2004)
Kayla Skenandore will have the top seed in the 200-yard freestyle (1:51.07) for Waukesha South/Mukwonago. She hails from South, but MHS swimmers had an impact as well. (State record: 1:48.29, Michelle Jesperson, Madison West, 1992).
Others sending swimmers to state included Kettle Moraine/Waukesha North, Hamilton/Menomonee Falls and Pewaukee.
(Pictured: Emma Goral competes at the sectional at Waukesha South. Photo, Scott Ash.)
Kettle Moraine to play at state (Nov. 11)
I haven't updated Playoff Central in a while, but you can check out coverage of Kettle Moraine at state, including a wrap of its thrilling sectional final over CMH, a preview of the state tournament and a closer look at first-round opponent Middleton.
Kettle Moraine surprisingly dominates against West (Nov. 3)
Waukehsa West came into Tuesday's boys volleyball match against Kettle Moraine as probably the best No. 3 seed in the state. The Wolverines had shared the conference title with KM and Catholic Memorial, defeating the latter and losing to the former in a five-set bonanza. West took second in the Classic 8 meet while the Lasers took third, but KM was playing at another level in its own gym.
KM downed West in three sets in the WIAA sectional semifinal, 25-23, 25-20, 25-20. Check out the story and some video here. The match against Catholic Memorial on Thursday will determine who's going to state -- will KM repeat for a second year?
Arrowhead, meanwhile, came out on the short end, falling to Homestead in five sets. The loss was considered an upset on paper, even though the Warhawks would have had significant trouble with Nicolet in the next round.
(Pictured: Nick Korom of Arrowhead battles with two Homestead defenders in the sectional semifinal Tuesday. Photo, Scott Ash)
Muskego cruises past AHS in state semifinals (Oct. 30)
It was a surprisingly-lopsided setback to end the Arrowhead soccer season when Muskego turned out a 3-0 victory in the WIAA state semifinals at Uihlein Park on Friday. Muskego scored in the first 1:25 of play to take an early lead the Warriors never relinquished. Max Jentsch made six saves, but the Warhawks were unable to reach the Division 1 state title game Saturday.
Mukwonago trumped by Demons (Oct. 30)
Mukwonago's boys volleyball team fell to Burlington last night in the first round of the boys volleyball tournament, 25-13, 25-15, 23-25, 25-16. It's been a bit of a rebuilding season for Rich Glatczak's Indians, but the team has good components returning next year and will keep making strides forward in turning it around.
The other Lake Country teams play Tuesday, with a big-time battle brewing between Waukesha West and Kettle Moraine at KM. Arrowhead will play Homestead that day, and winners will venture to the sectional finals.
(Pictured: Chris Caporale will be one of the many juniors returning to next year's squad. Mukwonago was defeated in the first round of the WIAA playoffs by Burlington on Friday. Photo, Russ Pulvermacher).
Arrowhead soccer shocks Marquette (Oct. 29)
Danny Ziegler's late goal allowed Arrowhead to defeat defending state champ Marquette in the quarterfinals of the state soccer tournament Thursday at Uihlein Soccer Park in Milwaukee. Check out the story and photo gallery here.
(Pictured: Teammates mob Arrowhead's Danny Ziegler (middle of those on turf) after he scores the game winner against Milwaukee Marquette in double overtime on Thursday. Photo, Scott Ash)
End of the road for volleyball teams (Oct. 29)
Mukwonago and Lake Country Lutheran were defeated in the sectional semifinals Thursday night, with the Indians falling to No. 1 seed Burlington, 25-14, 25-17, 25-15 in Division 1. The Lightning fell to Manitowoc Lutheran in Division 4, 25-16, 25-10, 25-21. Both opponents were top-five teams in the coaches association state rankings.
That marks the end of the girls volleyball season in Lake Country.
Pictured: Emily Wineinger hoists teammate Emily Kruk of Lake Country Lutheran after the team won the regional championship last week. State-ranked Manitowoc Lutheran defeated the squad Thursday. Photo, Scott Ash.
Mukwonago, LCL spikers advance (Oct. 24)
Arrowhead and Oconomowoc were downed in regional finals Saturday night, while Mukwonago andLake Country Lutheran moved forward.
Third-seeded Menomonee Falls defeated the sixth-seeded Warhawks, 25-15, 25-16, 25-16 and top-seed
ed Watertown overwhelmed eighth-seed Raccoons, 25-21, 25-20, 25-14.
Fourth-seeded Mukwonago won an absolute thriller over Milton, 22-25, 25-17, 25-22,
23-25, 16-14 and will face top-seeded Burlington next Thursday. All of those matchups took place in the Division 1 bracket.
In Division 4, top-seeded LCL needed four sets to bypass Living Word Lutheran 25-22, 25-17,
24-26, 25-19. Fellow top seed Manitowoc Lutheran awaits Thursday.
(PIctured: Cara Gonring of Mukwonago sets up a teammate earlier this year. Photo, Scott Ash)
Slew of local teams qualify for state (Oct. 24)
The Pewaukee and Arrowhead boys teams moved forward from WIAA sectionals Saturday, as did the
Pewaukee and Lake Country Lutheran girls teams.
Perhaps the biggest story of the day was who did not move forward -- the Arrowhead girls fell short of Wisconsin Rapids for the first time in 11 years.
The Warhawks girls (76 points) were stunned by Homestead (59) and Germantown (72), despite a pair of top-five finishes from the AHS runners. Gabby Levac (sectional champion, 14:46) and Andie Zeman (4th, 15:09) both advanced as individuals, as did Oconomowoc sophomore Mandy Prom, who took sixth.
The AHS boys (46) will make a ninth-straight trip to state with a sectional championship, well ahead of Germantown (59). Members of the team were Russell Sandvold (2nd), Ben Bierman (8th), Kyle Lewin (9th), Brad Lewin (13th), Alec Eberhardt (14th) , Nick Linnan (26th) and Ryan Adamski (28th).
Hamilton senior Marcus Paulson won the sectional with a time of 16:07 and will be among the favorites to win the individual state crown. The Chargers also got good news on the girls side, with Theresa Selestow taking the fifth and final individual qualifier spot on non-qualifying teams.
In Division 2, the host Pirates were nearly untouchable with a pair of titles. The girls (30 points) were especially dominant, and finishers included Hannah Frett (2nd), Lillian Leist (4th), Hailey Henck (5th), Riley Kirchoff (9th), Ali Bacon (10th), Paige Hinkle (13th) and Shannon Kalamarz (23rd).
The boys (58) did not face much of a challenge, either. Racers were Josh Martin (4th), Chris Czech (6th), Max Nonnamaker (8th), Alex Caffentzis (17th), James Taylor (23rd), Peter Lokken (25th) and Scott Wolter (26th).
At the Prairie School in Division 3, the LCL girls finished with 55 points, behind only the host school (40) and easily ahead of Shoreland Lutheran (89) for the second of two qualifying spots.
Members making the voyage are Helaina Marlow (5th), Haley Luebke (12th), Cassie Hopkins (14th), Brittany Hollenbeck (17th), Sara Demman (18th) and Laura Tovar (31st).
LCL also sent a boys runner forward, when Taylor Schleusner took eighth and grabbed the highest spot among runners on non-qualifying teams.
Totally as expected, Molly Seidel won the sectional for University Lake School and advanced as an individual. She will be the heavy favorite to defend her Division 3 state title.
(Pictured: Molly Seidel of ULS ran 14:59 at the tough UW-Parkside Course in the sectional hosted by the Prairie School, nearly a minute faster than second place. She's favored to win next weekend's D3 state title. Photo, Scott Ash)
Drout, Cichacki, Doney qualify for state (Oct. 24)
Mukwonago qualified a pair of cross country runners for the WIAA Division 1 state meet, and the Kettle Moraine boys sent one forward as well, though none of the programs went through as a team.
The MHS boys, trying to pull off an impressive feat -- qualifying for a second straight state meet despite an entirely new set of seven runners -- fell eight points shy of the second and final team-qualifying spot. Waukesha West ran away from the field at the WIAA sectional at McCarty Park in West Allis with 34 points, and Waukesha North (91) edged out the Indians (99).
Sophomore Ian Cichacki (17:15), wrapping up his first full year with the CC team, took fifth among individuals and third among runners on non-qualifying teams. Brian Drout (17:33) of Kettle Moraine took the fifth and final qualifying spot of runners fitting that description.
Blair Doney of MHS (14:58) took second in the girls race, behind Jenna McMiller of Waukesha North (14:55). West (60) and North (70) earned qualifying berths, and MHS took third with 113.
The state meet will take place at Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids next weekend.
(Pictured: Brian Drout of Kettle Moraine. Photo, Scott Ash).
Gosh leads Cooney in regional opener (Oct. 22)
Lindsey Gosh, who will play for Marquette University after next season, certainly looked like a Division 1 college player Thursday night in the first round of the WIAA girls volleyball regionals.
Gosh threw down 30 kills -- which would be amazing if the match had gone to the full five sets, let alone four. Oconomowoc defeated Waukesha West, 23-25, 25-21, 25-17, 25-16.
It was a successful night in general for Lake Country teams. Arrowhead destroyed Waukesha South, 25-8, 25-8, 25-19, with Rachel Keith dishing out 33 assists. Mukwonago had no trouble with Beloit Memorial, 25-23, 25-20, 25-8, with Ashley Radtke throwing down 10 kills.
Cedarburg did down Sussex Hamilton, 25-10, 25-18, 25-16, and Elkhorn got the best of Kettle Moraine, 25-18, 25-18, 20-25, 25-17.
(Pictured: Lindsey Gosh of Oconomowoc. Photo, Scott Ash)
Arrowhead marches to soccer sectional final (Oct. 22)
(Pictured: Jared Kobriger of Kettle Moraine (left) and his teammates were ousted by Madison La Follette, but Jordan Dai (2) of Arrowhead kicked the game-winner to help the Warhawks move on against Menomonee Falls. Photo, Carol Spaeth-Bauer).
The two Lake Country soccer teams still alive in the WIAA playoffs split their matches Thursday at the sectional semifinal level amidst the rainy and cold conditions.
Kettle Moraine fell to a talented Madison La Follette team, 4-1, with a late penalty kick accounting for the lone score. The Lasers were missing three starters with illness and couldn't crack through an active LaFollette defense.
Arrowhead's Jordan Dai scored on a free kick in the 63rd minute to lif the Warhawks over Menomonee Falls, 1-0. AHS will play for a berth in the state tourney Saturday at Brookfield Central.
KM, Arrowhead take No. 2 seed in boys tourney (Oct. 22)
The boys volleyball pairings have been out for a few days, and many teams will have a chance to reach the state tournament with a couple wins. The sport still only has 51 teams, but it's growing incrementally each year.
(2) Kettle Moraine will face (3) Waukesha West and (6) Madison East in the second round on Tuesday, Nov. 3. That will almost certainly be a rematch of the five-set Classic 8 thriller, when KM trumped West to create a three-way tie for the conference title. The third part of that triumvirate, Catholic Memorial, is the top seed in that sectional.
(2) Arrowhead also has a first-round bye and will face (3) Homestead or (6) Germantown on Nov. 3. The Warhwaks are staring at (1) Nicolet on the other side of the bracket.
(Pictured: Arrowhead's Eric Johnson digs out a ball in a match earlier this year. Photo, Scott Ash)
Two girls volleyball teams fall in playoffs (Oct. 20)
The girls volleyball playoffs began tonight, though only below Division 1, which gets into gear Thursday. (6) Pewaukee fell in four sets to (3) New Berlin Eisenhower, 25-20, 29-31, 25-16, 25-12 in DIvision 2. In Division 4, (6) University Lake School fell to (3) Hustisford, 25-16, 25-18, 25-13.
The Division 1 teams -- Oconomowoc, Arrowhead, Kettle Moraine, Mukwonago and Sussex Hamilton -- will begin the playoff run in two days, and Lake Country Lutheran, a top-seeded team in Division 4, will host a match Friday.
(Pictured: Senior Amanda Tschan and her Pewaukee teammates battled Eisenhower for two hotly-contested sets Tuesday before the Lions pulled away. Photo, Scott Ash).
Locals bounced from state tennis tourney (Oct. 15)
The Lake Country tennis season ended quietly Thursday when all three entrants at the WIAA Individual State Tournament fell in the first round, eliminating them from the postseason.
The state meet takes place at Nielsen Tennis Stadium in Madison.
Kettle Moraine pair Jessica Phillips and Zoe Roecker had the most spirited battle of the day, falling by a 7-5, 7-6 (5) score to Liz Eggart and Megan Rosenberg of Appleton East.
Erin Cole and Katie Hammond of Fond du Lac defeated Arrowhead's Rachel Bero and Abby Kolbow, 6-2, 6-2. Those two will be back -- Bero is a sophomore and Kolbow is just a freshman. Roecker is also a freshman, though Phillips is a senior.
Junior Heather Bong of Arrowhead was defeated by Kristi Kroker of LaCrosse Logan in singles, 6-3, 6-3.
(Pictured: Jessica Phillips of Kettle Moraine competes at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium in Madison, completing her senior season in the state doubles tournament. Photo, Scott Ash).
KM, Arrowhead soccer teams advance (Oct. 15)
Kettle Moraine and Arrowhead's soccer teams are still playing after Thursday's cold and rainy round of soccer games.
The rundown from WIAA regional finals:
Arrowhead 2, Wauwatosa West 0
Kettle Moraine 5, Waukesha North 2
Waukesha West 2, Mukwonago 1
Delavan-Darien 2, Pewaukee 2 (Delavan-Darien wins in shootout, 4-3)
Whitewater 2, St. John's Military Academy 1
(2) Kettle Moraine will battle (3) Madison LaFollette next Thursday after a 6-0 blowout over Watertown. Top-seeded Arrowhead will face (4) Menomonee Falls after the Indians defeated Wauwatosa East, 3-0. Both local teams will serve as hosts.
(Pictured: James Mahoney and Kettle Moraine are on the lookout for the school's second-ever state-tourney qualification. Photo, Scott Ash)
Girls volleyball brackets released (Oct. 15)
The WIAA released brackets for the girls volleyball postseason, which begins next week Thursday. A glance at local teams in the field:
(9) Waukesha West at (8) Oconomowoc
-- winner gets the pleasure of facing top-seeded Watertown on Oct. 24. The Goslings won the state title two years ago and owns the state's No. 1 ranking.
(11) Waukesha South at (6) Arrowhead
-- this must be a pretty strong bracket if Arrowhead is way down here. The winner could face traditional powerhouse Menomonee Falls.
(10) Hamilton at (7) Cedarburg
-- winner would have to deal with second-seeded Nicolet, a very strong squad and one of the best in the state.
(9) Kettle Moraine at (8) Elkhorn Area
-- winner gets top-seeded Burlington, another traditional stronghold.
(13) Beloit Memorial at (4) Mukwonago
-- Mukwonago finished well below Arrowhead in the Classic 8 standings, which tells you a little about the disparity between their bracket and Arrowhead's. But still, the Indians could surprise a few teams on their way through the field, and they would host a second game if they won, likely against Milton.
(6) Pewaukee at (3) New Berlin Eisenhower.
-- In Division 2, winner will likely face East Troy.
(1) Lake Country Lutheran, bye
-- With (I think) four contributing players named Emily, the Lightning have enjoyed a strong season and will start at the top of the heap in their Division 4 regional. They'll face either Kohler or Sheboygan County Christian on Friday and then host another game Saturday if they win, possibly against Living Word Lutheran. Fair warning -- the Lightning aren't ranked in the state's top 15 teams according to the coaches association, and the other top seed in the sectional -- Faith Christian -- is No. 2. But anything can happen once a team gets that far.
(6) University Lake School at (3) Hustisford
--In the same bracket, the winner probably gets Living Word in the next round.
(Pictured: Janelle Hobbs and Arrowhead have been in the state rankings all year, but they have a No. 6 seed in a loaded bracket come playoff time. Photo, Scott Ash).
Local soccer teams move forward (Oct. 13)
The first batch of soccer games in the WIAA playoffs kicked off Tuesday, with several local teams in action. All of those matches but one, as it turned out, ended as shutouts -- some good, some bad.
(2) Kettle Moraine 2, (15) Oconomowoc 0
(3) Brookfield East 3, (14) Sussex Hamilton 0
(4) Mukwonago 2, (13) Beaver Dam 0
(3) Pewaukee 2, (6) East Troy 0
(4) St. John's 2, (5) Lakeside Lutheran 1
(3) Heritage Christian 2, (6) Lake Country Lutheran 0
(3) Lake Mills 7, (6) University Lake School 0
Kettle Moraine will play (10) Waukesha North, a conference foe who sprung an upset over (7) Greendale, 7-0. Mukwonago will challenge (5) Waukesha West after a 1-0 win over (12) Waukesha South. Pewaukee will meet (2) Delavan-Darien after a convincing win over (7) Big Foot, 5-0. St. John's Northwestern Military Academy will meet top-seeded Whitewater. All those matches will take place Thursday.
(1) Arrowhead had a bye and will face the winner of (8) New Berlin Eisenhower and (9) Wauwatosa West, a match suspended by darkness Tuesday night.
Only one of the 32 teams with a top-four seed in Division 1 -- fourth-seeded Stevens Point -- lost in the opening round, though (4) Menomonee Falls needed double overtime to score a 1-0 win over Milwaukee Hamilton. With one score still to be reported, there was not a single upset in the Division 2 field according to seeds.
(Pictured: Pewaukee junior Jordan Porter throws in the ball earlier this season. Photo, Scott Ash)
Local teams take fifth, sixth at state golf (Oct. 12-13)
Arrowhead and Kettle Moraine took fifth and sixth, respectively, in the WIAA Division 1 state golf meet, which wrapped up Tuesday at University Ridge in Madison.
AHS shot 710, 27 strokes behind state-champion Middleton (683). Oregon (684) just missed on the state crown.
KM shot 715, led by April Ohlendorf, who rallied with a strong round of 77 on Day 2 to tie for eighth among individuals (160 overall). Emily Joers of Waukesha won the individual crown with her two-day total of 150.
Erika Pfaender led the Warhawks with a two-day total of 163. Others scoring for AHS were Sarah Nordeen (166) and Natalie Feder (176), while additional KM scores belonged to Leighann Cabush (177) and Anna Volbrecht (189). For a full rundown, visit the WIAA scoreboard.
Lake Country teams found themselves in the middle of the pack after Day 1 of state tournament golf at University Ridge in Madison.
Arrowhead shot 357 on Monday and sat in fifth place, 14 strokes behind first-place teams Middleton and Oregon. Kettle Moraine shot 361 and sat in eighth out of 12 teams.
Sarah Nordeen was the surprise low local golfer with a round of 81 for Arrowhead, tied for 12th place among all individuals and one stroke ahead of teammate Erika Pfaender. Kettle Moraine's April Ohlendorf was tied for 18th with a round of 83. Leighann Cabush shot 90.
The day's events were delayed by weather to a shotgun start, and high winds surely played havoc on golf games all day.
Ashton Stair of Middleton and Monica Enderlin of Middleton led individuals with a round of 75.
(Pictured: Kettle Moraine freshman Leighann Cabush, competing at the sectional last week, held her own on the first day of competition at the WIAA Division 1 state tournament. Photo, Carol Spaeth-Bauer).
Boys soccer brackets released (Oct. 8)
The WIAA released boys soccer tournament pairings today, with first-round games already scheduled for next week Tuesday. This does represent an early start for the tourney, which usually begins one week later, but was moved up this week to try and counteract the early November weather that has been a burden on recent state tournaments.
Not sure if one week will make all that much difference, but it does mean schools who qualify in both the soccer and girls volleyball state tournaments won't have to choose who to watch in that first weekend in November. I remember Muskego running into that a couple times when I covered them a few years ago.
Arrowhead gets a first-round bye and will host a second-round game next Thursday, against either New Berlin Eisenhower or Waukesha West.
Sussex Hamilton is the other local team in the Brookfield Central sectional, carrying the 14 seed against No. 3 Brookfield East on Tuesday.
Kettle Moraine will hold the No. 2 seed -- behind only area powerhouse Muksego -- and host Oconomowoc in the first round Tuesday. Cooney, one of the younger teams in the area, has the 15 seed.
Mukwonago is ranked No. 4 in that same Kettle Moraine sectional and will host a first-round meeting against No. 13 Beaver Dam. The ranking means the Indians would probably host a second-round match as well, against either Waukesha West or Waukesha South -- both conference foes.
Pewaukee will not be favored to return to the Division 2 state tournament after a run last year. The Pirates are seeded No. 3 and will face sixth-seeded East Troy in a first-round match at home Tuesday. Second-seeded Delavan-Darien could be the next round's opponent.
In the same pod of eight teams, St. John's Northwestern Military Academy has the fourth seed and will face No. 5 Lakeside Lutheran at home.
In DIvision 3, Lake Country Lutheran has the No. 6 seed and will travel to face Heritage Christian at 7 p.m. at Wisconsin Lutheran College. University Lake School also has the sixth seed and will face Lake Mills in the first round.
(Pictured: Arrowhead senior Michael Skarie and the Warhawks will have a first-round bye as they quest toward a WIAA state tournament. Photo, Carol Spaeth-Bauer)
Two Lake Country teams on to state golf (Oct. 7)
It was a piece of cake on the links for Kettle Moraine and Arrowhead on Wednesday.
Both highly-regarded teams won their respective sectionals despite windy and chilly conditions, earning berths in next week's WIAA Division 1 state golf meet, taking place Monday and Tuesday.
Arrowhead (352) was 11 strokes better than second-place Neenah at Westhaven Golf Course in Oshkosh, earning the easy state berth. Erika Pfaender was on fire, shooting 75 -- a staggering EIGHT strokes ahead of the next-best golfer. The course is listed as a par-70, but in today's windy conditions, that round really stands out. Sarah Nordeen and Natalie Feder both shot 88, and Peyton Gunnison (91) and Bethany Gustin (97) rounded out the scoring.
Top-two teams in each sectional advance to state.
It was the end of the
road for Hamilton'sSarah Bregant, who came tantalizingly close to one of the three individual qualifying spots given to golfers on non-qualifying teams. She shot 88, one stroke back of two golfers who competed in a playoff for that third spot.
KM shot 353 at Rainbow Springs and overcame a field of several Classic 8 teams, including Waukesha (389), which tied with KM in the regional competition. Janesville Parker (364) won by a stroke over third place to claim that other spot.
Two of the state's premier golfers -- Emily Joers of Waukesha and Isabella Lambert of Catholic Memorial -- earned one of the three automatic qualifier berths given to players on non-qualifying teams. Joers, just a freshman, shot an incredible round of 78 for medalist honors -- five strokes ahead of Milton's Ashton Stair and Kettle Moraine's April Ohlendorf.
Ohlendorf (83) led the Lasers, followed by Katie McCann (87) and Leighann Cabush (89). That was a particularly-strong round for McCann, who shot 39 on the back nine to set up the strong round. Anna Volbrecht (94) and Ally Amadon (106) rounded out the Lasers.
Mukwonago shot 408 to take sixth, with four players carding 102. Oconomowoc took seventh at Old Hickory in Beaver Dam, hurt by the withdrawal of top golfer Alexa Snyder. Brinkley Schmidt led the way with 100.
(Pictured: Erika Pfaender of Arrowhead, who had a lights-out day in Oshkosh. Photo, Scott Ash)
Tennis entrants qualify for state (Oct. 7)
Three local entrants -- two from Arrowhead and one from Kettle Moraine -- earned automatic berths in the WIAA state tennis meet after Wednesday's sectional at Waukesha West.
The best showing of the lot came from KM No. 1 doubles team Jessica Phillips and Zoe Roecker. The senior-freshman combo took second place in their flight, falling only to Homestead powerhouse tandem Brittany Watchmaker and Corey Mattson (21-1). Phillips/Roecker improved to 25-5 and earned a state berth by virtue of a top-four finish at one of the No. 1 flights. Essentially, that boils down to winning one match at the sectional level -- the KM pair won two.
Arrowhead's Rachel Bero and Abby Kolbow (7-3) did just enough to move on, winning their first match at No. 1 doubles and ultimately taking fourth place. Top singles player Heather Bong (16-9) also took fourth, good enough to advance in the singles competition.
Kettle Moraine's No. 1 singles player Stacy Bjorgaard dropped her first match and was eliminated from an automatic qualifier. Emily Stigler (17-4) took second place at No. 3 singles, a strong finish for the KM senior. There is no provision for No. 3 and 4 singles players to reach the individual state field, nor for No. 3 doubles. In addition to top-four finishers at the No. 1 flights, one top finisher in the No. 2 flights also moves forward.
Sixteen at-large entries will work their way into the state field in Division 1, though it's unlikely any local entrant will pick up that status. Bjorgaard (16-12) represents the possible exception.
As expected, Homestead dominated the meet with 56 points, led by defending state champion Aly Coran, who defeated Katy Allen of Waukesha South (in a state finals preview, most likely) for the sectional crown. South had 26 points, Kettle Moraine finished with 20 and Arrowhead posted 14.
Ridiculously, Homestead won every flight and should probably start figuring out who's going to stand where in the photo after they win the team title in a couple weeks.
UPDATE: Mukwonago No. 1 doubles team Courtney Persinger and Emily Budzynski lost their first match at the Greendale sectional Thursday and did not automatically advance.
(Pictured: Heather Bong of Arrowhead, who advanced to the WIAA Division 1 state tournament by taking fourth place at today's sectional. Photo, Scott Ash)
Regional tennis wraps (Oct. 6-7)
Rain interfered with Tuesday's golf sectionals and many tennis subsectionals, but those who played tennis Monday at Oconomowoc had plenty of time to complete the first leg of the WIAA postseason.
The top two players in the state were on hand in Homestead's Aly Coran and Waukesha South's Katy Allen, and both naturally filtered through to the next round. They weren't the only ones at No. 1 singles, with Kettle Moraine's Stacy Bjorgaard and Arrowhead's Heather Bong winning the necessary single match to move forward.
Kettle Moraine No. 3 singles player Emily Stigler improved to 16-3 and moved on to sectional for the Lasers, and the top doubles teams from Kettle Moraine (Jessica Phillips/Zoe Roecker) and Arrowhead (Rachel Bero/Abby Kolbow) also moved forward.
Homestead, the favorite to win the Division 1 team title, led the standings through the subsectional level with 24 points. Waukesha South, with sent four entrants through to the sectional, had 16 points, followed by KM (14) and Arrowhead (10).
Local teams Oconomowoc and Hamilton saw their seasons come to an end, as neither scored points.
Check out a story on some of the top WIAA athletes in the Waukesha area in this week's WaukeshaNOW, available in the Thursday Milwaukee Jounral-Sentinel in the Waukesha area.
UPDATE: Another local team took to the courts indoors at Tuesday subsectionals.
Mukwonago tied for third with 12 points in subsectional fare, led by the top doubles team of Courtney Persinger and Emily Budzynski. The duo represented the lone advancing MHS entrant to Thursday's sectional.
Pewaukee competed at The Prairie School in Division 2 subsectional activity Monday and did not score a point, but it was still a banner year for a Pirates team competing in its first sectional at the varsity level.
(Pictured: Mary Nelezen of Oconomowoc battles in a first-round match at Monday's WIAA subsectional. Photo, Scott Ash)
Golf teams ease into sectional (Oct. 1)
With the turn of the calendar to October, the WIAA postseason has officially arrived. It's hard not to love this time of year. On Sept. 30, the local golf teams hit the links at regionals, and many teams in the LCP coverage zone moved forward to next week's sectionals.
At Westosha Central, Kettle Moraine tied Waukesha with the top score of 368 at Brighton Dale. Isabella Lambert shot 80 for Catholic Memorial, earning medalist honors and also helping the Crusaders qualify for the next level as well. Top four teams advance, and Mukwonago shot 395 to finish 15 strokes ahead of fifth place.
Emily Joers (82) of Waukesha and April Ohlendorf (84) of Kettle Moraine had stellar rounds, as well. Rounds below 90 came from Waukesha's Brandi Rajala (87) and Lauren Seubert of Catholic Memorial. Nothing really surprising here -- many of the state's best golfers were in this regional, and they rose to the occasion.
Mukwonago, which played some of its best golf at the end of the season, was led by Kelsey Fritts (95).
At Blackstone Creek, Arrowhead shot 352 and coasted to victory by 21 strokes to easily earn one of the four sectional qualifier spots. Erika Pfaender (82) eased to the medalist round, with sophomore Peyton Gunnison (89) providing a measure of surprise with the team's No. 2 score.
Sussex Hamilton was not among the top four teams and saw its season come to an end, but not for everyone. The top three players from non-qualifying teams also move on, and junior Sarah Bregant had the top score of that field with a 94.
EDIT: Whoops! Forgot about Oconomowoc, and it's an oversight because they also moved on to the next round out of the Watertown regional, with competition set for the sectional Tuesday at Beaver Dam.
The round of 406 was good for third place, just 10 strokes back of first. Brinkley Schmidt shot 91 to pace the Raccoons.
(Pictured: April Ohlendorf of Kettle Moraine. Photo, Scott Ash)