The city of Madison has been the longtime host of four of the seven WIAA state tournaments held for fall sports.
Camp Randall Stadium is home to the seven football state championship games; Nielsen Indoor Tennis Stadium the girls state tennis tournament; University Ridge Golf Course the girls state golf meet; and the brand new Nicholas Recreation Center and Soderholm Family Aquatic Center was set to host its first-ever girls state swimming and diving meet this year after years of competition at the UW Natatorium.
The COVID-19 pandemic has Dane County under severe capacity limits and other restrictions that forced the WIAA to move all four of the the fall state events to alternative sites.
Lake Geneva Badger High School jumped at the chance to host the girls Division 1 state tennis tournament and was chosen by the WIAA as the site for the three-day meet, which began Thursday and concludes Saturday.
All singles matches Thursday were held indoors at the Lake Geneva Tennis Club, while the doubles matches took place outside on the Badger High courts.
Due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, only two spectators per participant were permitted admission at the Lake Geneva Tennis Club.
The Division 2 state tournament is being held at the Sports Core in Kohler and no spectators are allowed.
Badger athletic director Jim Kluge said putting in a bid to host the state meet was a no-brainer.
“We’ve got the facilities to host, including a beautiful indoor facility,” Kluge said.
“And our (girls) coach Paul Lauterbach is on the WIAA seeding committee and owns Lake Geneva Tennis. I think the WIAA realized that we were a very good fit for the Division 1 tournament.”
Lauterbach has coached both the boys and girls tennis teams at Badger for more than 30 years. He is vice president of the USPTA, a member of the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin Tennis Association and was the USPTA national high school coach of the year in 2019. He iss also the head professional at Lake Geneva Tennis.
Because of COVID-19 and the fact many programs around the state opted for a spring girls tennis season in 2021, participation was reduced for this fall’s three-day state tournament. The field was capped at 40 entrants in both singles and doubles.
Autumn Bruno (18-0) of Whitnall is the No. 1 seed in singles, with Badger’s Zaya Iderzul (16-1) the No. 5 seed. Iderzul, a junior, was the Division 1 runner-up at last year’s state meet and is making her third straight appearance at state.
“With doubles matches taking place outside Thursday, we’re hoping that each participant will be allowed between two or five fans,” Kluge said. “But whatever the case might be, we’re just very happy to be hosting. We think it’s going to be a great three days.”
Live scoring for both the Division 1 and Division 2 state meets are available at the Tennis Reporting link on the girls tennis tournament page at wiaawi.org.