Janesville Parker’s Knutson advances at state
Accomplishing his next objective will be more difficult.
Knutson opened the WIAA state individual tournament by defeating Jimmy Storck of Madison West, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium on Thursday afternoon.
Parker High coach Mike Fuhrmann said the victory was another key achievement for Knutson.
“He wanted to have a No. 1 seed at the subsectional, and he did that,” Fuhrmann said. “Then he wanted to get to Day 2 of the state tournament, and he’s done that. His next goal is to beat the seeded player.”
That player is Big Eight champion Stratton Gilmore of Madison East. Gilmore is 17-0 and the No. 5 seed in the Division 1 singles. One of those wins came against Knutson, 6-1, 6-3, when the Purgolders played Parker in a conference dual meet.
“He’s the top kid in our conference,” Fuhrmann said of Gilmore. “But I’m excited about it. Matt played him real early in the year, and he’s so much better now than he was then.
“If he plays the way he has been playing, he can give him a run for his money.”
The Knutson-Gilmore match is set for 8:30 a.m.
Thursday’s first-round victory turned when Knutson won the tiebreaker in the opening set.
“That was huge,” Fuhrmann said. “Matt got to play a lot looser then, and the other guy had to come back.”
Knutson (19-8) was ahead in the first set 5-3, but Storck rallied to tie it at 5-5 and 6-6.
The Janesville Craig doubles team of Stewart Winter and Mo McCrone didn’t fare as well.
Winter and McCrone lost to Fort Atkinson’s Jacob Starkweather and Marc Dahnert, 6-1, 7-6 (9-7).
“They came out a little flat,” said Craig coach Justin Long. “The Fort guys played aggressive and hard.
“The second set, they came back. They fell just a few points short. Unforced errors were the difference. You can’t have unforced errors here and expect to win.”
Starkweather and Dahnert trailed in the second set at 5-4 and 6-5, but were able to put the set into a tiebreaker. Winter and McCrone were able to get within two points of taking the tiebreaker up 5-3, but Starkweather and Dahnert rallied for the match victory.
“At the critical points, the errors caught up to us,” Long said. “But I’m proud of the two guys.”
Starkweather and Dahnert (18-6) play Troy Holland and Adam Hurrle of Marquette University High (18-2) at 10:30 a.m. today.
In other first-round Division 1 singles results, Beloit’s Perry Campbell (12-14) lost to Brookfield Central senior Jack Michael (18-4), 6-0, 6-3, and Lake Geneva Badger senior Dean Schwefel (16-3) lost to Homestead’s Danny Coran (24-4), 6-0 6-0.
Badger’s doubles team of seniors Matt Heinz and Reid Solheim (17-1) did advance to today’s round of 32 by defeating Madison Memorial’s Josh Blumenfeld and Ahmed Abdelhameed, 7-6(4), 1-6, (6). Heinz and Solheim play the No. 2-seeded team of Jack Porritt and C.J. Armbrust of Marquette University High at 11:30 a.m. today. Porritt and Armbrust are 18-2.
In Division 2 singles, Ashland’s Juan Gasque (10-1) defeated freshman Adam Kolnik of Big Foot/Williams Bay (17-5), 6-3, 2-6, (8).
Whitewater senior Ian Stone (10-11) lost his first-round match to Plymouth’s Nathan Bachmann (12-5), 6-2, 6-0.
In Division 2 doubles play, East Troy’s seniors Matt Hotz and Tucker Braunschweig (15-4) rallied in their first-round match to down Plymouth’s Aaron Cantleberry and Stevens Blend (9-5), 3-6, 6-4, (3). Hotz and Braunschweig play Tyler Piddington and Ben Winding of Madison Edgewood (20-3) in a second-round match at 1:30 p.m.