WIAA State Boys Tennis Tournament Preview

THE MEET:  The 98th Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Boys State Individual Tennis Championships will be held Thursday through Saturday, June 17-19 at various locations. The Division 1 tournament will be held at the Menards Tennis Center and at Eau Claire Memorial High School in Eau Claire, Wis., and the Division 2 championships will be conducted at the Sports Core in Kohler, Wis. Action will begin at 10:30 a.m. Thursday and resume at 9 a.m. Friday. Competition on Saturday begins at 8:30 a.m. Ticket prices are $9 per session. Four tickets per competitor will be allowed admission.

THE SCHEDULE:

Thursday, June 17
10:30 a.m. – First-round Matches

Friday, June 18
9 a.m. – Action through Quarterfinals

Saturday, June 19
8:30 a.m. – Consolation Semifinals
9 a.m. – Championship Semifinals
Fifth-place Matches
Third-place Matches
Championship Matches to follow semifinals

THE LAST TIME:  Fourth-seeded Johnny Zakowski of Green Bay Southwest won the Division 1 singles title over the second-seeded Nathan Balthazor of De Pere 7-5, 6-3 in the championship match. In Division 1 doubles play, the top-seeded tandem of Ridley Aranda and Jaden Aranda of Nicolet won the championship with a 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 win over the second-seeded duo of Jake Stockhausen and Teddy Brodzinski from Marquette in the title match. Pablo Dale of Brookfield Academy successfully defended the Division 2 singles title he won in 2018. The top-seeded player in the bracket downed Alex Sviatoslavsky of Edgewood, the #2 seed, 6-1, 6-0. Kelby Mack and Noah Wankerl of Sauk Prairie captured the Division 2 doubles championship with a 6-1, 6-2 triumph over the fourth-seeded team of Josh Janssen and Christian Remington of Notre Dame in the championship match.

DIVISION 1 SINGLES OUTLOOK:  Senior Martin Blagoev of Kenosha Indian Trail was granted the #1 seed with his undefeated record this season at 19-0. He qualified and won two matches in 2019 and qualified as a freshman in 2018. Senior Elijah Zifferblatt of West De Pere is the second seed with a 21-1 record this year. He qualified for State and won two matches in both 2019 and 2018 before being ousted from title contention. Senior Noah Viste of Wauwatosa East is the #3 seed. He enters play this week with an undefeated 20-0 record. He qualified and advanced to the quarterfinals before being defeated in 2019, and he qualified and won a match in 2018 as a freshman. Sophomore Sam Klein of Brookfield East qualifies for State for the first time sporting a 25-1 record this season. He was issued the #4 seed in the bracket. Sophomore Ethan Yu of Madison West is also experiencing State for the first time. He is seeded fifth with a 16-1 mark on the season. The sixth seed was issued to sophomore Chatton Haws of Cedarburg. He enters play with a 28-2 record. Junior Chase Lindwell of Monona Grove has compiled a 16-4 record this year, which earns him the #7 seed in the bracket. He gained tourney experience by qualifying his freshman season in 2019. Junior Tyler Nelson of Waunakee is seeded eighth with a 15-3 record this season. He qualified and won a match in 2019. Despite the cancellation of the tournament last spring, there are 13 players in the singles bracket that have State Tournament singles experience. Since 2001, the top-seed in the bracket has won 12 of the 19 singles titles during that span, and the lowest seed to win the championship since then was a fourth seed.

DIVISION 1 DOUBLES OUTLOOK:  The Arrowhead senior duo of Sam Kredell and Nick Tiahnybik are the top seed in the doubles bracket. The tandem has posted an undefeated 24-0 record this season. Kredell has quality tournament experience, having won two matches with other partners in 2018 and 2019. Juniors Henry Irwin and Reed Scullen of Brookfield East qualify as the #2 seed with an 18-1 record. Scullen gained experience in 2019 qualifying with a different partner to win two matches in doubles play, and Scullen has State experience qualifying in the singles bracket in 2019. Seniors JV Steckart and Tommy Zakowski of Notre Dame are the third-seeded tandem. Both of them have State experience in singles play in Division 2. Each won first-round matches in 2019. They enter doubles play this week with an undefeated 16-0 record. Seniors Simon Johnstone and Nick Fisher of Brookfield East are seeded fourth with their 20-1 record. Fisher advanced to the third round with a different partner in 2019 and also qualified in 2018 with another partner. The tandem of senior Ted Wind and junior Jasper Delasanta of Sheboygan North remains intact after the duo qualified and fell in the first round in 2019. They enter the tournament this seaso n as the #5 seed with a 19-3 record. The Homestead tandem of seniors Zach Sprinkmann and Travis Weber are the sixth seed with their 23-2 record. Senior Sam Marshall and sophomore Lincoln Marshall of Marquette are seeded seventh. They have compiled a 17-7 record this year. The eighth seed was handed to juniors James Mirsberger and Sriram Arvind of Brookfield Central. They have compiled a 21-5 record.  There are 15 players in the doubles bracket that have had previous experience in the State Tournament in doubles play. Since 2001, the top-seed in the bracket has won 12 of the 19 doubles titles during that span, and the lowest seed to win the championship since then was a fourth seed.

DIVISION 2 SINGLES OUTLOOK:  The top seed is senior Alex Sviatoslavsky of Edgewood. He enters the tournament undefeated this season at 22-0. Sviatoslavsky  finished runner-up in 2019 and advanced to the quarterfinals in 2018. A freshman was granted the #2 seed in the bracket. Adrian Yin of Brookfield Academy is 13-3 this season. Sophomore Max Watchmaker of University School of Milwaukee is the #3 seed with a 12-3 record, and senior Andrew Larson of Pius XI Catholic is seeded fourth with a 19-3 win-loss tally this season. He advanced to the quarterfinals before a loss ended his title chances in 2019. Junior Teddy Wong of Dominican/Eastbrook Academy qualifies this season as the fifth seed with an 11-3 record. It’s the same seed he received when he finished sixth in 2019. Sixth-seeded Dayne Lindow, a junior from East Troy, qualifies for the second time. In 2019, he won one match in the tournament as a freshman. He enters play with a 24-2 record this year. Junior Jack Hehli of West Salem is the seventh seed with an undefeated mark of 24-0 this season. He qualified and fell in his first-round match in 2019. Sophomore Taytem Matthews of Brookfield Academy qualifies for the second time in singles play with a 15-4 record. He qualified in 2019 and won his first-round match, after winning the doubles championship as a freshman in 2018. There are six players in the singles bracket that have State Tournament singles experience. Since 2001, the top-seed in the bracket has won 13 of the 19 singles titles during that span, and the lowest seed to win the championship since then was a sixth seed.

DIVISION 2 DOUBLES OUTLOOK:  Juniors Drew Buckholdt and Pranav Gogineni of Brookfield Academy is the top seed in the bracket with a 9-5 mark this season. Buckholdt qualified as a freshman with a different partner in 2019 and won a first-round match. Senior Andrew Bechthold and junior Shaan Sharma of University School of Milwaukee is issued the #2 seed in the bracket with a limited number of matches and a 5-3 record. The third-seeded doubles squad is senior Chase Korb and freshman Nate Carson of Catholic Memorial with a 17-9 record. Korb gained State experience by qualifying in 2019 with a different partner. Seniors Hayden Houselander and Tanner Witt of New Berlin Eisenhower is seeded fourth with a 13-9 mark this year, and seniors Reed Birzynski and James Bunzel of Pius XI Catholic are the fifth seed with a 10-5 record. A pair of seniors from Shorewood are the #6 seed in the bracket. Alek Kovalcik and Zach Khenaffi has compiled a 7-4 tally this year. The seventh seed is seniors Garrett Butler and Seth Capelli of Aquinas. The duo has compiled an undefeated 16-0 record to this point in 2021. Senior Michael McGuire and sophomore Ben McGuire of St. Mary’s Springs are also undefeated heading into play this week with a mark of 14-0. There are two players, Buckholdt and Korb, in the doubles bracket that have had previous experience in the State Tournament in doubles play. Since 2001, the top-seed in the bracket has won 12 of the 19 doubles titles during that span, and an unseeded tandem has won the championship once during that span.

NEED THE BRACKETS?:  Brackets and qualifiers are available on the WIAA website. Navigate to the boys tennis home page for brackets and the qualifiers at  https://www.wiaawi.org/Sports/Spring/Boys-Tennis/Tournament.

NEED RESULTS?:  Results of the State individual tournament are available on the WIAA website at https://www.wiaawi.org/Sports/Spring/Boys-Tennis/Tournament.

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

FOLLOW THE TOURNEY ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Receive updates of the State Boys Individual 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.

 

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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]