WIAA State Boys Team Tennis Tournament Preview

THE TOURNAMENT:  The 27th Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Boys Team Tennis Tournament will be held Friday and Saturday, June 10-11 at Nielsen Tennis Stadium on the campus of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wis. Action will begin at 5:30 p.m. Friday with Division 1 quarterfinals. Play will resume with Division 1 and 2 semifinals at 9 a.m. Saturday. The championship matches in both divisions will begin following the semifinals based on court availability.

TICKET INFORMATION:  Ticket prices for the State Team Tennis Tournament are $9 per day plus online fees, and they are available to be purchased on-line on the WIAA website through GoFan, the WIAA ticketing partner, at:  https://gofan.co/app/school/WIAAWI?activity=Tennis.

THE DIVISION 1 MATCH-UPS:

Division 1 – Quarterfinals (June 10 – 5:30 p.m.)
#1 Brookfield East (23-3) vs. #8 Notre Dame (17-6)
#4 Marquette (15-3) vs. #5 Madison West (16-9)
#3 Neenah (17-2) vs. #6 Eau Claire Memorial (16-6)
#2 Middleton (18-2) vs. #7 Menomonee Falls (14-3)

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

Division 1 – Championship (June 11 – following semifinals)
Winners of Semifinal Matches

THE DIVISION 2 MATCH-UPS:

Division 2 – Semifinals (June 11 – 9 a.m.)
#1 Brookfield Academy (14-4) vs. #4 St. Mary Catholic (13-0)
#2 Catholic Memorial (9-7) vs. #3  Aquinas (14-3)

Division 2 – Championship (June 11 – following semifinals)
Winners of Semifinals Matches.

LAST YEAR:  Brookfield East won the program’s fifth State title with a 7-0 victory over the former five-time defending champion Marquette in the championship match. In Division 2, Catholic Memorial won the team title with a 4-3 win over 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 also had a streak of five straight championships from 2015-19. 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 24. Neenah is next with 19 and Marquette has now qualified 18 times.

DIVISION 1 NOTES: Top-seeded and defending champion Brookfield East is making its 11th appearance in the State team tournament and essentially its fourth in a row, not including the canceled 2020 season. The Spartans won the first of their two titles in 2014. They also advanced to the championship final in 2018 and 2019, finishing runner-up. The Spartans finished atop the standings in the Greater Metro Conference this spring. Second-seeded Middleton makes its 14th State appearance overall and essentially its third in a row with the cancellation of the 2020 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. The third seed, Neenah, makes its eighth State appearance in the last nine seasons–discounting 2020’s canceled season–and its 19th overall. The Rockets had a string of eight consecutive appearances from 2000-2007. They won five straight championships from 1991-1995 and have won 10 titles overall, also earning the crown in 1946, 1951, 1953, 1957 and 1965. In addition, the Rockets have 11 runner-up finishes, including 1935, 1940, 1950, 1952, 1971, 1996, 2001, 2005,  2013, 2016 and 2017. This season, they placed first in the Fox Valley Association standings.  The fourth seed is last year’s runner-up Marquette. The Hilltoppers are making their 15th straight appearance and its 18th overall. They have won the team championship in 12 of the last 14 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 runner-up finishes in 2004 and 2021. The Hilltoppers finished runner-up to top-seeded Brookfield East in the Greater Metro Conference this season.  Fifth-seeded Madison West is making its sixth overall appearance in the team tournament and its first since the 2017 season. The Regents’ furthest advance toward a State title came in 2008 and 2017 when they reached the semifinals. They were runners-up in the Big Eight Conference behind Middleton this season. Sixth-seeded Eau Claire Memorial makes its membership-leading 24th appearance at State and its 20th in the last 21 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 2022. Menomonee Falls is the seventh seed. It’s the first time the Phoenix have qualified  for the State Tournament. They placed fifth in the Greater Metro Conference this season, which produced three qualifiers in the Division 1 tournament field. Notre Dame, the #8 seed, makes its 10th State appearance, but its first-ever in Division 1. The Tritons captured the Division 2 gold trophy in 2012 and in their most recent appearance at State in 2019. In addition, they have finished runner-up four times, including 2005, 2010, 2013 and again in 2016.

DIVISION 2 NOTES:  Last season’s runner-up Brookfield Academy is the top seed in the Division 2 field this year. The Blue Knights’ have finished runner-up in each of its first two experiences in 2019 and 2021, essentially making this their third consecutive appearance. The Blue Knights play an independent schedule during the regular season without a conference affiliation. Defending champion Catholic Memorial is seeded second in the bracket. The Crusaders make their third appearance at State after qualifying for the first time in 2019, which essentially makes this their third straight appearance with the 2020 season canceled.  Their initial appearance in the tournament resulted in a loss in semifinals. They placed third in the Classic Eight Conference this season. Third-seeded Aquinas is back in the State Tournament for the second straight season and for the ninth time overall. The Blugolds’ top finish came in a runner-up performance in their first appearance in 2002.  They are the champions in the Mississippi Valley Conference this spring. St. Mary Catholic will be experiencing the State Tournament for the first time in the program’s history. The Zephyrs advance to the semifinals comes on the heels of a first-place finish in the Wisconsin Combined Tennis Conference this season.

INDIVIDUAL HONORS:  Sophomore Solomon Dunsirn of Neenah won the Division 1 singles championship with a 6-2, 6-0 victory over freshman Ethan Bo of Middleto in  the title match. In Division 1 doubles play, seniors Alex Deubel and Ben Brandel of Arrowhead defeated the tandem of senior Jacob Baldwin and sophomore Nikko Vilwock of Sun Prairie 6-1, 6-2 to win the championship. In Division 2, junior Max Watchmaker of the University School of Milwaukee won the singles championship by downing senior Teddy Wong of Dominican/Eastbrook Academy, 6-1, 6-2. In Division 2 doubles play, the brother tandem of senior Jack Hehli and freshman Kyle Hehli of West Salem captured the title. The duo defeated the team of senior Pranav Gogineni and sophomore Vibhu Guda of Brookfield Academy 6-1, 6-1 to win with gold medal.

NEED RESULTS?:  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 2-4 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.

COVID PROVISIONS:  Fully vaccinated individuals should consider wearing a mask in areas of high likelihood of transmission. In addition, masks are strongly encouraged for individuals not fully vaccinated.

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 2022 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]