State Boys Team Tennis Tournament Preview

THE MEET:  The 26th Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Boys Team Tennis Tournament will be held Friday and Saturday, June 25-26. The meet takes place at  two locations. The Division 1 tournament will be held at the Menards Tennis Center in Eau Claire, Wis., and the Division 2 tournament will be conducted at the Sports Core in Kohler, Wis. Action will begin at 10 a.m. Friday and will resume at 9 a.m. Saturday. There will be a limit of four tickets per competition. Tickets will be sold at the venue Eau Claire. At Kohler, tickets must be purchased online only through participant schools. Ticket prices are $9 per session.

THE DIVISION 1 MATCH-UPS:

Division 1 – Quarterfinals (June 25)
#1 Brookfield East (17-0) vs. #8 Appleton North (17-1) – 10 a.m.
#4 Neenah (18-3) vs. #5 Whitefish Bay (11-4) – Noon
#3 Marquette (20-3) vs. #6 Madison Memorial (11-2) – 2 p.m.
#2 Middleton (22-1) vs. #7 Eau Claire Memorial (14-6) – 4 p.m.

Division 1 – Semifinals (June 26)
Winner of #1 vs. #8 vs. Winner of #4 vs. #5 – 9 a.m.
Winner of #2 vs. #7 vs. Winner of #3 vs. #6 – 11 a.m.

Division 1 – Championship (June 26)
Match-7:  Winners of Semifinal Matches – 1 p.m.

THE DIVISION 2 MATCH-UPS:

Division 2 – Semifinals (June 26)

#1 Catholic Memorial (16-4) vs. #4 Aquinas (7-2) – 9 a.m.
#2 Xavier (14-3) vs. #3 Brookfield Academy (9-8) – 11 a.m.

Division 2 – Championship (June 26)
Winners of Semifinals Matches – 1:30 p.m.

THE LAST TIME:  Marquette won its 12th title in 13 years with a 4-3 victory over Brookfield East in the 2019 championship match. In Division 2, Notre Dame won the team title with a 6-1 ousting of Brookfield Academy in the championship match.

THE HISTORY OF THE CHAMPIONSHIPS:  The WIAA has sponsored a team championship in boys tennis since 1995 with the exception of 2020 when the tournament was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Points scored by individuals determined team champions prior to 1995. Nicolet had dominated the Division 1 competition for years, winning a membership-leading 26 championships, including six (1997-99, 2004-06) since the advent of the two-division team tournament. Eight of the Knights’ championships came consecutively from 1967-74. Marquette is a distant second in the number of titles with 14. Seven of Marquette’s titles came consecutively from 2007-13. The Hilltoppers have a current streak of five straight championships. Neenah and University School are third on the list of champions with 10 team titles. Six of University School’s titles came consecutively from 2006-11. Manitowoc and Whitefish Bay are next in line with six titles. Since the dual match format was adopted, Eau Claire Memorial has made the most State appearances, now with 23. Neenah is next with 18 and Marquette has now qualified 17 times.

DIVISION 1 NOTES: Top-seeded Brookfield East is making its 10th appearance in the State team tournament and its third in a row after finishing runner-up to Marquette in 2018 and 2019. The Spartans won their only team title in 2014. They finished first in the Greater Metro Conference this spring. Second-seeded Middleton makes its 13th State appearance overall and essentially its second in a row with the cancellation of last year’s tournament. The Cardinals have finished runner-up on four occasions, including 2000, 2007, 2009 and 2015. They are the champions of the Big Eight Conference this year. Third-seeded Marquette is essentially the five-time defending champion, with last year’s tournament canceled by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Hilltoppers are making their 14th straight appearance and its 17th overall. They have won the team championship in 12 of the last 13 State Tournaments and have won 14 titles overall. They produced State titles in 2002, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, as well as a runner-up finish in 2004. The Hilltoppers finished runner-up to top-seeded Brookfield East in the Greater Metro Conference this season.  The fourth seed, Neenah, makes its seventh State appearance in the last eight seasons–discounting last year’s canceled season–and its 18th overall. The Rockets had a string of eight consecutive appearances from 2000-2007. They won five straight championships from 1991-1995 and 10 overall titles, also earning the crown in 1946, 1951, 1953, 1957 and 1965. The Rockets also have 11 runner-up finishes, including 1935, 1940, 1950, 1952, 1971, 1996, 2001, 2005,  2013, 2016 and 2017. This season, they placed atop the Fox Valley Association standings. Whitefish Bay enters the tournament as the #5 seed. The Blue Dukes make their sixth State Tournament appearance and their first in Division 1. Their previous five appearances in Division 2 have resulted in State championships, capturing the gold trophy from 1997-2000, and then again in 2002. They are the champions of the North Shore Conference this year. Sixth-seeded Madison Memorial is back in the team tournament for the first time in 22 years and for the fifth time overall. The Spartans furthest advance toward the crown was to the semifinals in 1997. They were runners-up in the Big Eight Conference this spring behind second-seeded Middleton. Seventh-seeded Eau Claire Memorial makes its membership-leading 23rd appearance at State and its 19th in the last 20 seasons. The Old Abes’ furthest advance in the tournament was to the title match in 2014 when they finished runner-up. They are the championships of the Big Rivers Conference in 2021. Appleton North, the #8 seed, makes its first-ever appearance in the State team tournament. The Lightning were runners-up behind Neenah in the Fox Valley Association standings this year.

DIVISION 2 NOTES:  Catholic Memorial is the top seed in the bracket. The Crusaders make their second appearance at State after qualifying for the first time in 2019, which essentially makes this their second straight appearance with last season canceled.  Their initial appearance in the tournament resulted in a loss in semifinals. They placed third in the Classic Eight Conference this season. Xavier is back in the State Team Tournament for the sixth time and for the first time since a streak of three straight appearances was snapped in 2009. The Hawks’ most notable experience came in 2008 with a runner-up finish. They are the champions of the Bay Conference this spring. Fourth-seeded Brookfield Academy was issued the #3 seed. The Blue Knights’ first experience at State was in 2019, essentially making this their second consecutive appearance. They finished with the silver trophy. The Blue Knights play an independent schedule without a conference affiliation. Aquinas has qualified for the eighth time, and for the first time since 2011. The Blugolds’ top finish came with a runner-up performance in their first appearance in 2002.  They finished the season in second place in the Mississippi Valley Conference.

INDIVIDUAL HONORS:  Top-seeded Martin Blagoev of Kenosha Indian Trail won the singles title in Division 1 with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over third-seeded Noah Viste of Wauwatosa East in the championship match. In Division 1 doubles play, the second-seeded tandem of Henry Irwin and Reed Scullen of Brookfield East defeated the top-seeded team of Sam Kredell and Nick Tiahnybik of Arrowhead 6-2, 6-1. Top-seeded Alex Sviatoslavsky of Edgewood won the Division 2 singles championship by defeating second-seeded Adrian Yin of Brookfield Academy 6-1, 6-0. Drew Buckholdt and Pranav Gogineni of Brookfield Academy, the top-seeded doubles team in the Division 2 bracket, defeated second-seeded Andrew Bechthold and Shaan Sharma of the University School of Milwaukee 6-2, 6-4 in the title match.

NEED RESULTS & INFORMATION?:  Rosters and records of teams in the State tournament are available on the Media Center of the WIAA website. Results will be available on the Tennis Results page of the WIAA website at https://www.wiaawi.org/Sports/Spring/Boys-Tennis/Tournament. Check out the results of State Individual Championships played June 17-19 on the tennis results page as well.

FOLLOW THE TOURNEY ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Receive updates of the State Boys Team Tennis Tournament on the WIAA State Tournament Twitter account @wiaawistate with the hashtag #wiaatennis. Also like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram at wiaawi.

WILSON IS OFFICIAL BALL OF THE WIAA:  Wilson is the official tennis ball supplier of the WIAA boys and girls Sectional and State Tennis Tournaments through the 2021 seasons.

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David Keech
Author: David Keech

David Keech is a math teacher in Wisconsin Rapids and public address announcer for Abbotsord High School. He officiates basketball, baseball, and softball in central Wisconsin. He has reported on amateur sports since 2011, known as 'KeechDaVoice.' David can be reached at [email protected]