Milton sends four boys tennis players to state

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Gazette staff
Thursday, May 29, 2014

Milton’s postseason strategy paid off.

The Red Hawks tinkered with their lineup following the regular season, and they’ll send a school-record four players—two doubles teams—to the WIAA state boys tennis meet in Madison next week.

Milton shifted Ken Yap and Sean Grote, its No. 1 and 2 singles players during the regular season, to the No. 1 doubles spot for tournament play. They qualified for state by winning their first match at Thursday’s Lake Geneva Badger Sectional and finished in third place.

“We knew that we were in a good position going into sectionals,” Milton co-coach Heather Slosarek said. “Ken and Sean are strong players and execute shots consistently. In their first-round match, they came out very poised and focused. They wanted to show they could’ve been the No. 1 seed.”

After losing a three-setter to Madison West in the semifinals, they beat Janesville Parker’s Nick Garey and Sam Buck—Janesville’s lone state qualifiers—in the third-place match.

With Yap and Grote teaming up to join the doubles ranks, Eric Berthiaume and Eric Grote, who had played No. 1 doubles throughout the regular season, shifted to the No. 2 doubles spot and needed to win their flight to advance to state.

They did just that, closing with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over Madison West’s Miles Morgan and Jordan Willhauer in the title match.

“Those two were on a mission today to join Ken and Sean,” Slosarek said. “They went into the tournament undefeated. In their championship match, they found out very early that they charged the net, and we are very confident in lobbing and keeping our opponents back. I think they threw them for a loop.”

The state meet begins Thursday at Nielsen Tennis Stadium.

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