West, Muskego boys netters make it to second round
Hubert falls to eventual Division 2 state champ
Luke Hubert is disappointed, but he's not discouraged.
After all, the New Berlin West sophomore achieved the goals he set out to accomplish at the beginning of the tennis season.
And the opponent he lost to in the second round of the WIAA Division 2 state singles tournament went on to win the championship.
"He really pushed his opponent and played a heck of a match," West coach ScottFicks said. "He was confident and very well prepared."
The disappointment, however, comes from the fact that Hubert had his opportunities to upset James Stark of Racine's The Prairie School, who was seeded sixth.
With the first set tied, 4-4, Hubert was serving to take a one-game lead. While usually reliable on his serve, he was broken and Stark won his service game to take the set, 6-4. Stark then clinched the match with a 6-3 second-set victory.
"He was disappointed at the end of the first set because he had a shot at winning it," said Ficks, who had Hubert prepare for state by playing against some of the best college tennis players in the area. "But he had multiple double faults and that's not like Luke at all. You can't give free points away against the best in state."
In the opening round, the sophomore breezed past Altoona's Cody Hoggatt, 6-1, 6-1.
"That match went fairly easily," Ficks said. "He walked on the court like he going to win. There were no nerves."
Hubert, a two-time Woodland Conference champion, lost in the first round of the state tournament last year.
Ficks said Hubert, 40-9 in his first two seasons, will continue to play off-season tournaments in order to take the next step at the state tournament.
"We haven't talked about goals for next year yet," Ficks said. "But he should make the quarterfinals next year. He wants to go farther."
In Division 1 action, Muskego's top doubles team of Blake Kraussel and Chris Ziolowski also advanced to the second round of the state tournament after having the longest match of the weekend.
Kraussel, a sophomore, and Ziolowski, a junior, outlasted Tommy Arnette and Mike Degener of Manitowoc Lincoln, 5-7, 7-6 (4), 18-16 in a thrilling first-round match.
"Our guys were very pumped, but started the match a little nervous," Warriors coach Jake Adamson said. "During the super-tiebreaker there was a lot of excitement but also a lot of anxiety. Neither team wanted to lose such a close match. I was just happy that we came out on top."
Adamson said Kraussel and Ziolowski were simply not going to be denied in their first trip to Madison.
"They were happy to be at state, but to pass a round and play another day was incredibly exciting," Adamson said. "To get that close and then lose it would have been a real heartbreaker."
The duo's season ended the next day when they lost to Connor Muth and Jed Sekaran, 6-2, 6-3, of Marquette High School, which is aiming for its fourth straight state team title this weekend.
"Marquette was just a little cleaner with their play," Adamson said. "We played them very well and had a number of chances we missed that would have made it closer. But we would have needed to play an almost flawless game."
Kraussel and Ziolowski's doubles season ended at 9-4 after playing primarily first and second singles during the regular season. But Adamson said he knew the two could be successful at doubles.
"They finished the year with great singles records, but it would have been almost impossible to get them to state as singles players," he said. "Being strong singles players, they brought great ground strokes and serves to the table. Once we worked on volleying, they made a very good doubles team."
As a result of their strong finish, Adamson is looking forward to Kraussel and Ziolowski's future.
"After getting a taste of state, they are probably going to work this off-season and come in much stronger next year," Adamson said. "I know they will both work very hard and make a big jump in the right direction next year."
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