Day 1 for local state tennis qualifiers
The first-round draw for area WIAA state tennis qualifiers isnít loaded with big guns, but that doesnít mean Day 1 will go without significant challenges.
None of the area qualifiers in Division 1 singles or doubles or Division 2 singles or doubles play seeded opponents in their opening round, although Fort Atkinsonís Tim Hartwick (18-4) faces a stiff test against Bay Portís surprisingly unseeded Kevin Lewis (23-1) in Division 1.
Jefferson senior Lee Olson (17-3) makes a return trip to the state meet in Division 2. Olson, who finished 20-4 in 2008, bowed out in the first round last year and made it this year as an extra qualifier after losing in the Whitewater sectional quaterfinals.
Also returning to state is Lake Geneva Badgerís Augie Geldermann in Division 1. Last year as a junior, Geldermann teamed up with Dillon Gaddi. The two qualified for state in doubles with a 17-3 record. They dropped their opening-round match to Eau Claire Memorialís Ryan Falch and Jeff Liegel.
In Division 2 doubles, Edgerton seniors Brek Perry and Tyler Marx, 21-2 last year, will take another stab at the state meet after losing in the first round in 2008 to New Berlin Eisenhowerís Matthew Dustrude and Mark Fleming.
The Crimson Tide pairing of Ben Fuder and Chad Prater also is returning for another shot at state after finishing 17-6 last year and losing in the opening round to Xavierís Christopher Jumes and Cameron Fiebig.
Defending Division 1 singles champion Billy Bertha of Marquette, a senior, is undefeated (22-0). He finished fourth in 2007. Junior Nelson Vick, Berthaís teammate (13-0), also hasnít lost a match since falling to Bertha in the title match last year. He won the state title in 2007 as a freshman.
In addition to Vick and Bertha, Brookfield Central senior Ryan Denu (27-0) is the only other unbeaten player in the Division 1 field.
In Division 1 doubles, senior Adam Benjamin and junior Joe Gambucci of West Bend East (19-1) are the top seed. They advanced to the quarterfinals last year. Homestead senior Cameron Mikkelson and junior Connor Peck (25-2) are seeded and are one of three Homestead doubles teams to qualify.
In Division 2 singles, Senior Nick Buckley (23-2) of University School is back to defend his title as the top seed. He is one of three University School individual competitors to qualify for state. Kohler sophomore Aidan Koross (16-1) is the No. 2 seed. The third seed went to Racine St. Catherineís Jesse Hardacre (19-4) for the second straight year. Hardacre has placed fifth at state in the previous two seasons.
In Division 2 doubles, Seniors Ryan Stewart and John Rissell of the University School (19-5) are the top seed. Stewart is one-half the duo that won the state title last year and finished fifth in 2007. Edgewood senior Patrick Lagman and sophomore Austin Papenthien (17-0) are the only unbeaten team in the bracket. Lagman qualified and won one match at state last season with a different partner.