Prep girls tennis: Samantha and Cecile Fuchs are separate, but equally important, to DeForest’s state hopes
Freshly assigned to a new WIAA sectional grouping this fall, the DeForest girls tennis team — led by junior Cecile Fuchs and sophomore Samantha Fuchs — begin the postseason this week looking for something new.
Up until last year, DeForest competed in the same Madison-area Division 1 sectional as powerhouses Madison West, Madison Memorial and Middleton. The tough competition kept them from challenging for a spot in the team state tournament, as the berth goes to the team that wins the sectional title.
This year, they’ve been moved to the Lake Geneva Badger sectional — which has no teams listed in the most recent Division 1 state rankings, compared to four in this year’s Madison Memorial sectional. As a result, the Norskies have high hopes of challenging for the sectional title — and the team state berth that comes with it.
But even against last year’s tough sectional competition, Cecile (who went 35-3 last year) and Samantha (who went 35-2) won their respective singles flights and qualified for state as individuals. And Norskies coach Kristin Pachal was pleased with the way the girls played at Nielsen Tennis Stadium in the individual state tournament.
’“Samantha lost in Round Two to (Latsami) Sysouvanh from Sun Prairie, but she played such a good match for coming in without any experience (at state). She did such a beautiful job,” Pachal said.
“Cecile made it to the round of 16, and she also had a really good tournament. They just came up against really tough competition.”
Cecile Fuchs lost to Mequon Homestead’s Andie Weise, a sophomore who entered the state tournament undefeated and finished as runner-up. To get to that match, however, Fuchs defeated 16th-seeded Anna Beyer of Neenah.
Cecile Fuchs has turned in another top-tier season at No. 1 singles, defeating Sun Prairie’s top singles player, Lauren Hope Bruemmer, at the Dane County Invitational earlier this season. This was a key victory, as Sun Prairie is one of the top teams in their new sectional and the result will help Fuchs with her seeding.
However, Cecile has not had a perfect run through this season. Although she made it to the No. 1 singles final in the Badger Conference tournament, she lost the final to Baluck Deang of Madison Edgewood. Samantha Fuchs won the No. 2 singles championship.
Deang’s Edgewood team competes in Division 2 in the postseason, so the two won’t meet again until next school year.
Although Cecile and Samantha have been top-tier singles players throughout their high school careers, Pachal has considered pairing them together for doubles. She has even done so during regular-season tournaments in the past. However, for this postseason run, she is choosing not to try and fix what isn’t broken.
“They make a beautiful doubles team, they really do,” Pachal said. “However, I decided that we were going to have them play singles, because it makes our lineup stronger and we were going to go for points at sub-sectionals and sectionals.”
The choice is reasonable. Each sister won her flight in last year’s sectional, and no other DeForest players registered points. While their attacking style makes for a formidable pairing, they agree that playing singles is for the best in terms of a team state run.
“Samantha and I both love playing doubles, but our coaches prefer us to play singles because it makes the team stronger,” Cecile said.
“It’s nice to win as a team, too,” Samantha added.