The LUHS boys’ tennis team’s Cinderella season came to an end at the Kohler Sectional Thursday, as the boys finished in a tie with Xavier for runner-up honor. Green Bay Notre Dame outscored both teams by 13 team points when the scores for the sectional and sub-sectional were combined to advance to the state championships.
The Thunderbirds had no individual players take first in either singles or doubles play to advance to the finals.
The finish was the best for any Lakeland team in the history of the program, according to coach Ted Dasler.
“Green Bay Notre Dame ran away with the sectional title out distancing everyone 16 points [in sectional play],” he said. “Our two-point lead over Xavier was enough to help us hold on to the runner-up spot and tie with Xavier for the runner-up trophy. Each school will get one along with 10 individual medals for the team in honor of their accomplishment. This is the first WIAA trophy for the boys in school history.”
He said in many cases, the Lakeland netters wound up facing Notre Dame right off the bat, which made advancement tough.
“That of course made it difficult to get anyone through,” he said. “Three doubles [Michael Laurence and Ross Koester] however secured a third place finish with a win as did Ryan Porter at four singles. Ryan literally cruised to a win.”
Under the format of the tournament, players had to win all of their matches to have a shot at first place in each seeding.
At one singles, Brad Holcombe lost his first match, as did Nick Garcia and Levi Herrick at one doubles,
Michael Brodhead and Joe Jirikowic at two doubles took fourth place.
Carlson had arguably the best evening of the team with his third place performance which also included a little payback at the seeding committee for how he was ranked in the sub-sectional, Dasler said.
“Zach was masterful at two singles. He seemed to toy with his opponent, lulling him into a rally with soft looping shots and then sneaking in to put away volleys at the net. When Zach brought his opponent in, he passed him with shots to the backhand side,” Dasler said. “This was the Xavier player that got the one seed over Zach at sub-sectional. It just showed how much better Zach was and did indeed deserve the one seed.”
Jamie Taylor may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.