State tennis begins today
Three Janesville Craig senior tennis players will close out their careers on the biggest high school stage, beginning today.
The doubles team of Allison Hainstock and Michiko Fukushima and singles player Maycee Maslonka will compete at the WIAA Division 1 state individual tennis tournament at Nielsen Tennis Stadium in Madison.
They'll join three other area singles players and two other area doubles teams in playing either in Division 1 or 2.
“They're awesome girls. It's a long season sometimes, and I'm just very proud of them,” Craig coach Steven Mickelson said. “They're seniors, and it's awesome that they get to get one more show before their seasons come to an end. There's no better group that I could've had.”
Hainstock and Fukushima have an 8-8 record and qualified for the D1 doubles bracket by finishing fourth at the Oconomowoc Sectional.
They'll face Divine Savior Holy Angels seniors Lauren Sinense and Laney Tarantino (8-4) in the first round at 2 p.m. today.
“At the beginning of the year, they expressed an interest in doubles, and it was definitely a good team, but we didn't know what the outlook would be. They put a lot of work in,” Mickelson said. “Michi has a great return, and when you give her a doubles alley, that just gives her more room for the return. And Allie, even when she was playing singles, was really good at the net.
“They mesh very well.”
Lake Geneva Badger senior Olivia Stout and junior Claudia Huerth (13-3) are also in the bracket after finishing third at sectionals and will face a team from Mukwonago this afternoon.
In the Division 1 singles bracket, Maslonka earned a special qualifier spot. She carries a 9-11 record into a match with Whitefish Bay freshman Kavanagh at noon today.
Maslonka also played at state last fall
“It was awesome that she got the special qualifier. She definitely earned the qualifying spot,” Mickelson said. “She's hoping she can put on a strong showing and hopefully move on to the next round.”
Joining Maslonka in the D1 singles bracket from area schools are Badger sophomore Annabelle Alberts (21-9), who faces Mukwonago Ashley LaBelle (19-17) and Elkhorn junior Gabby Richardson (14-11), who faces Kettle Moraine sophomore Grace Sueflohn (16-16). Alberts was second and Richardson third at sectionals.
In Division 2, Big Foot/Williams Bay will be represented by one doubles team and one singles player.
Seniors Meredith Heckert and Izzy Klesmith are the No. 2 seed in the D2 doubles bracket. Heckert, who attends Williams Bay, won the D2 state doubles title with Annie McGrail in 2014 when she was a freshman.
The only team seeded ahead of Heckert and Klesmith are Kenosha St. Joseph's Kaitlyn Kalinka and Megan Setter, who beat the Big Foot/Williams Bay team at sectionals.
In singles, Williams Bay sophomore Clare Heckert earned a special qualifying spot.
Matches begin at 10:30 a.m. today, and competition wraps up Saturday.