Jordyn Schroeder and Allison Grund played one tennis match together in a pinch last fall.
The makeshift arrangement—because Schroeder’s doubles partner was out for one match—did not go well.
This time around, the partnership has been much smoother for Janesville Craig’s No. 1 doubles team. Schroeder and Grund have put together a 15-6 record and are headed to the WIAA state girls tennis individual tournament, beginning today at Nielsen Tennis Stadium in Madison.
Grund and Schroeder made it in the field as special qualifiers and will face Bryann Fuller and Rachel Vande Moore, also special qualifiers, in the first round at 1:30 p.m. today.
“We kind of knew we would be strong together, because we were friends beforehand and worked together in the offseason to get ready,” said Schroeder, a senior. “We played once together last season and it didn’t go very well, and we were surprised.”
She and Grund enjoyed a highly-successful Big Eight Conference campaign but were part of a tough Division 1 Oconomowoc Sectional and did not earn an automatic berth to state. The two said they were not 100% certain they would get in the field as sectional qualifiers but felt good about their resume.
And they have felt good about how they’ve played off each other to become a formidable team.
“Allie is really good at attacking at the net, so she gets a lot of the points to finish,” Schroeder said. “And I keep it going at the baseline. That’s probably our biggest strength.”
“We’re also both pretty good at reading the other players,” said Grund, a sophomore. “So we can tell pretty quick how they like to play, and that has helped us.”
The two will need to use those efforts Thursday against their opponents from Kettle Moraine, whom they have never played against.
Schroeder and Grund said they’ve fed off the support from their teammates and head coach Pamela Clutson to reach their ultimate goal.
“Our coach asked us on the first day of practice, ‘Are you being partners because you want to go state or because you’re friends?’” Schroeder said. “We were like, ‘Well, both.’
“But we really wanted to make it to state.”
Badger leads area qualifiers
Lake Geneva Badger leads the rest of The Gazette’s coverage area in terms of state qualifiers, putting two entries in both the Division 1 singles and doubles brackets.
Sophomore Zaya Iderzul is 30-1 and is the No. 3 seed in singles. She gets a bye to Thursday afternoon’s second round. Freshman Sydney Miller is 28-1 and won the Flight 2 singles at sectionals to clinch her state spot.
Badger seniors Ava Anderson and Lillie Ripkey are 23-7 and finished third in Flight 1 singles at sectionals to get to state. Juniors Sophia Strasser and Maya Lyng are 25-6 and won Flight 2.
Big Foot/Williams Bay senior Clare Heckert and sophomore Emily Gauger are 24-3 and earned their spot by taking fourth in Oconomowoc.