Jaguars and Redbirds advance players to WIAA State Tennis Tournament
BY MURRAY GLEFFE
ASHWAUBENON-Marisa Marohl (Ashwaubenon) and the doubles team of Audrey Ochsner and Tristyn Lueck (De Pere) qualified for State Wednesday afternoon at the Sectionals held at Four Seasons and Western Racquet Tennis clubs. (Oct. 3)
Marohl faced off against Carolyn Merkatoris of De Pere in the first round to determine who would be going to Madison next week.
The Jaguars junior jumped out to a 3-0 lead behind consistent play from the baseline.
Merkatoris fought back to 3-2 in the opening set, before Marohl rattled off the next three to take the opener 6-2.
Both players held serve to begin set number two, but Marohl broke in the seventh and ninth games to forge ahead 5-2 and stand just four points away from a state bid.
Merkatoris used her punishing forehand to force a five-deuce game before Marohl ripped a winner down the line to end the match.
Marohl went onto finish fourth in the tournament, and is the first Jaguars (female) player to qualify for Madison in 12 years.
“I couldn’t be prouder of Marisa for accomplishing her goals,” said Raelynn Wingert, Ashwaubenon assistant tennis coach. “She went out and took care of her business today, and I’m so excited to see her reap the rewards next week at state.”
Ochsner and Lueck qualified for State by beating the team of Maddy Coopmans and Caylee Behnke (Ashwaubenon) in a hotly contested three set battle.
Ochsner and Lueck came out on fire winning the first five games of the match and eventually settled for an opening 6-3 win.
It appeared the Redbirds duo would close the match out in straight sets after going up two breaks (4-1) in the second set.
Coopmans and Behnke settled down into their lobs and volleys and won the last five games of the second set to force a third and decisive set.
In the final set, each team held to begin and with the score deadlocked at 3-3, the Redbirds broke to go up 4-3.
With a state berth on the line, the Redbirds connected on three great short angled returns and decisive net play in the next two games to take the match and avenge an earlier loss to the Jaguars.
Coopmans and Behnke will await for a special qualifier announcement from the WIAA this weekend if they are to move on.
Lily Hansford captured the four singles championship for the Jaguars by dropping only three games the entire Sectional.
In the semis, Hansford defeated Hope Carter of De Pere in which both players utilized the net frequently.
In the final, Hansford used her extreme athleticism to keep balls in play and regularly hit between 30-40 balls to win a point against her Papermaker’s opponent.
Hansford finished her freshman season at 20-1.
“Lily has been a true underdog for us all season,” said Wingert. “She came on really strong about halfway through the year. She has a huge competitive drive with a strong patient mentality that can’t be matched. When you mix confidence, talent, and mentality together it’s easy to see how she finished the season with only one loss.”
In other results for the Jaguars, Conradt and Behnke took second, DeLaurelle and the doubles team of Ellis and Francois finished third.
For the Redbirds, Carter and the doubles duo of Ochsner and Lueck finished fourth.
Christina Qui (West De Pere) finished fourth at the number three singles flight, ending her tremendous junior season at 17-8.
Notre Dame was the team state representative edging the Ships of Manitowoc by two points.
(Ashwaubenon, De Pere, and West De Pere Sectional Results)
1 Marisa Marohl (Ash) over Carolyn Merkatoris (DP), 6-2, 6-2.
1 Lauren Monette (Pul) over Marohl (Ash), 7-5, 6-4.
1 Jenna Piaskowski (Man) over Marohl (Ash), 7-5, 6-4.
3 Delaney Brockman (Man) over Emily DeLaurelle (Ash), 6-3, 6-4.
3 Rachel Van Hefty (Nda) over Qui (Wdp), 6-1, 0-6, 6-2.
3 Delaurelle (Ash) over Qui (Wdp), 6-1, 6-2.
4 Lily Hansford (Ash) over Hope Carter (DP), 6-0, 6-1.
4 Hansford (Ash) over Grace Kieffer (Kim), 6-0, 6-2.
4 Carter (DP) over Lily Ann Tomashek (Pul), 5-7, 6-1, 6-4.
1 Audrey Ochsner/Tristyn Lueck (DP) over Maddy Coopmans/Caylee Behnke (Ash), 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.
1 Julia Slusarek/Madeline Darling (Nda) over Ochsner/Lueck (DP), 6-0, 6-3.
1 Jenna Tackmier/Anna Ziech (SW) over Ochsner/Lueck (DP), 6-2, 6-1.
2 Courtney Behnke/Kennedy Conradt (Ash) over Elsie Steimle/Isabella Wergin (Man), 6-1, 6-3.
2 Bella Zent/Caragen Olles (Nda) over Behnke/Conradt (Ash), 6-2, 6-1.
3 Chloe Ellis/Addy Francois (Ash) over Megan Przybylski/Hannah Giese (Pul), 6-2, 6-4.
3 Brooke Rogers/Sofia Gunaratnam (Kim) over Ellis/Francois (Ash), 6-0, 4-6, 6-3.
WIAA Notre Dame Tennis Sectional Team Standings:
Note Dame 37, Manitowoc 35, Ashwaubenon 32, Kimberly 27, Pulaski 26, De Pere 17, Green Bay Southwest 13, West De Pere 12, Antigo 8, Kaukauna 6, Green Bay Preble 2, Two Rivers/Roncalli 2, Green Bay East 0, Green Bay West 0, Shawano 0, Bay Port 0