Championship effort by No. 1 duo helps Grafton tennis squad secure 2nd place at Delavan-Darien Invite
A championship performance at No. 1 doubles kept the Grafton boys’ tennis team near the top of the Delavan-Darien Invitational last Saturday.
Senior Scotty Tyler and junior Jake Willms led the Black Hawks by winning all three of their matches in straight sets, including a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Kettle Moraine’s Greg Jasinski and Jess Kim in the final.
On the way to the title match, Tyler and Willms opened with a 6-4, 6-3 win over a Racine Case duo and defeated Kenosha Bradford’s Evan Winter and Alex Van Hoof, 6-1, 6-1.
The doubles crown helped Grafton score 24 points, good for second place in the seven-team standings. Kettle Moraine won the title with 35 points.
Rounding out the field was third-place Racine St. Catherine’s with 20 points, followed by Milwaukee School of Languages (16), Bradford (11.5), Racine Case (7.5) and Delavan-Darien (6.5).
“We were happy to get the tournament in,” said Grafton coach Nick Kassens, who noted play was delayed in the morning due to ice on the courts.
“Once we got going, it was a pretty good day. We had a lot of guys make the finals.”
The Black Hawks got second-place finishes from singles players Dan Stadnicki (No. 2) and Sam Bucheger (No. 3) and the No. 3 duo of Sebastian Olavarrieta and Michael Rathke. Each posted 2-1 records.
Stadnicki, a senior, defeated Delavan-Darien’s Caleb Morse, 6-2, 6-4, and Kettle Moraine’s Stephen Waltz, 6-3, 6-4, before losing to Steven Lee of St. Catherine's, 6-2, 6-1.
Bucheger, a freshman, received a first-round forfeit before defeating a St. Catherine’s foe. In the final, he lost to Kettle Moraine’s John Martin, 6-4, 6-4.
Placing fifth for Grafton were singles players Ben Bauman (No. 1) and Jacob Lang (No. 4) and the No. 2 duo of Jon Kottke and Tommy Makela. All rebounded from first-round losses to win their final two matches.
Saturday’s finish gave the Black Hawks a lift after a 7-0 loss to Germantown in their first North Shore Conference dual meet of the season April 16.
The host Warhawks’ strong showing included Ben Wait’s 6-1, 6-1 win over Willms at No. 1 singles and a 6-0, 6-2 win by Johnny McCauley and Eric Stodola in the No. 1 doubles match against Tyler and Michael Rathke.
“We didn’t have an ideal lineup, and Germantown is much improved,” Kassens said. “For a lot of our guys, it was one of their first matches outside this season.”
This week, Grafton is scheduled to face Homestead in a conference meet Thursday and host the Black Hawk Invitational at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. Other participants in the six-team tournament will be Kettle Moraine, Milwaukee Pius, Wisconsin Lutheran, Cudahy and Milwaukee Ronald Reagan.
On April 30, Grafton will travel to Nicolet for a 3:30 p.m. conference dual meet.
Pirates blanked in NSC opener
The Port Washington boys’ tennis team couldn’t keep pace with a perennial power in its first North Shore Conference meet of the season April 16.
Host Homestead rolled to a 7-0 victory, winning every match in straight sets.
“It’s tough to play Homestead in general, but especially when we’ve had barely any practice time,” said Port coach Jenny Huettl, who noted inclement weather has kept her team off the courts
much of the spring.
This week, the Pirates were scheduled to face Howards Grove on Monday and host conference meets against Milwaukee Lutheran on Tuesday and Nicolet on Wednesday.
Port will then participate in a four-team meet at Manitowoc Roncalli at 9 a.m. Saturday and play dual meets at Whitefish Bay on April 30 and at Sheboygan Falls on May 1.
Image Information: PORT WASHINGTON SENIOR B.J. LaForest returned a shot during his tennis team’s meet against Howards Grove on Monday. Photo by Sam Arendt