Koepp, Schleicher qualify for state; Goslings fourth at Badger sectional
LAKE GENEVA — Watertown seniors Jenna Koepp and Katie Schleicher advanced to the WIAA State Girls Tennis Tournament next week with a third place finish at No. 1 doubles at the Lake Geneva Badger sectional on Wednesday.
Koepp and Schleicher (29-2) won their all-important first match to qualify, defeating freshman Annie Barnes and sophomore Lydia Quade 6-1, 6-0.
In the next round, they lost to Badger senior Claudia Huerth and junior Ava Anderson 6-3, 6-0. In the third place match, they defeated Oconomowoc senior Madi Sabel and sophomore Aubrey Berther 6-3, 6-0.
“What an accomplishment for Jenna and Katie,” Watertown girls tennis coach Andy Dobbins said.
“They earned it and I’m so happy for them. Entering the season I knew they would be a solid doubles team, but to go 29-2 and qualify for state is incredible. They have been building toward this moment all season and to see it happen was emotional.
“A third place finish in this sectional is a great result. The wind made for tough conditions today, but they battled through it. Badger has a phenomenal team, but we hung with them and I know we will learn from that loss.
“I was so impressed by how the girls bounced back against Oconomowoc in the third place match. That was a sweet win for a lot of reasons. We played a very smart match and got a lot more aggressive at the net. That is a huge win for us going forward and some great momentum heading into state.”
Watertown juniors Hannah Baneck and Grace Bowman (24-7) placed second at No. 3 doubles. They defeated Burlington senior Emily Ball and junior Megan Way 6-2, 6-0, then lost to Oconomowoc seniors Tina Krcmarik and Molly Schlosser 7-6 (5), 6-2.
“I am so proud of what they accomplished this year and how they handled themselves,” Dobbins said. “They represent us so well on and off the court. You could see their confidence grow throughout the season. They came a long way, both individually and as a team. I know that they are motivated to improve, and there is no doubt they will be a big part of our team next year.”
At No. 1 singles, Watertown sophomore Aubrey Schmutzler lost her first match to Wilmot senior Bianca Anderson 6-0, 6-2 to finish the season 13-15.
“For Aubrey to qualify for the sectional and reach this point is a massive accomplishment,” Dobbins said. “She battled and did everything she could in that match against the eventual sectional champion. There is no doubt that she belonged here with this group of players.
“I know that she will use this as motivation going forward. She has so much potential in this sport, and I am excited to see what she can do. She has two more years and it’s going to be fun to watch her grow as a player.”
Badger won the sectional with 46 points, followed in the top five by Oconomowoc (30), DeForest (29), Watertown (19) and Monona Grove (18).
The WIAA State Individual Girls Tennis Tournament at Nielsen Tennis Stadium in Madison begins Thursday, Oct. 11, and concludes Saturday, Oct. 13.