Good, bad for tennis Cards at sectionals

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Rob Reischel
Middleton's Ryan Gold finished second at sectionals at No. 1 singles and earned a trip to state./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

On one level, Middleton sophomore Ryan Gold was extremely proud of what he’d accomplished, enormously pleased with what he’d achieved.

On the other, Gold couldn’t help but wonder what might have been.

Gold, Middleton’s No. 1 singles player, finished second at the WIAA Division 1 Waunakee Sectional held at Nielsen Tennis Stadium on Thursday. Sun Prairie’s Aiden Schutter nipped Gold in a thrilling three-set match, 6-3, 7-6 (3), 10-6 to capture the sectional title.

Gold qualified for the state tournament for a second straight year and will meet Neenah’s Evan Kubiak in a first round match Thursday at 10:30 a.m.

“I’m proud. I think I played well,” Gold said after the match. “(Schutter’s) a really good player … and that was a great match.”

As good as Gold was, his day was somewhat bittersweet.

Middleton finished third as a team at sectionals and failed to qualify for the state team tournament, which will be held June 9-10. The Cardinals had qualified for team state seven of the past eight years.

Hartland Arrowhead won the sectional with 41 points, followed by Sun Prairie (39) and Middleton (37).

Middleton’s lineup was jolted last month when No. 1 singles player Xavier Sanga quit the team. That forced singles players like Gold to jump up a spot in the lineup, which proved too much to overcome against powerhouses like Arrowhead and Sun Prairie.

“If we had our whole lineup, we would have won conference, sectionals, easy,” Gold said. “Very disappointed in him for leaving, we all are.”

Middleton’s top two doubles teams also earned trips to state.

The Cardinals’ No. 1 team of sophomore Sam Dettman and junior Rafael Sanga finished second at sectionals and qualified for state. Dettman and Sanga reached the championship match at sectionals, before falling to Waunakee’s James Paradisin and Austin Zellner in the title match.

The Middleton duo received a first round bye and face a doubles team from either Milwaukee Pius or Neenah in the second round Friday at 9 a.m.

“I’m really excited to see what it’s going to be like,” Dettman said of reaching the state tournament. “Last year, I watched some other people play. This year, it’s going to be nice to be there and be playing.”

The Cardinals’ No. 2 doubles team of Adam Schiebler and Mason Pyle also won a sectional championship, defeating Sun Prairie’s Henri Blair and Taran Katta in the title match. That propelled Middleton’s duo to state, where they’ll face Hudson’s Toby Haynor and Isaac Young Thursday at 1 p.m.

Middleton’s No. 4 singles player, Nitin Somasundaram, finished first at sectionals. Somasundaram defeated Arrowhead’s Jonny Dassow in the championship match.

And Middleton’s No. 3 doubles team of Altin Yan and Colin Hogendorn finished third.

“I’m extremely proud of our guys,” Middleton coach Kalla Schaefer said. “We had a lot of people that played really well. We played a lot of good tennis.”

Gold certainly fits that bill.

Gold is a classic baseliner, whose ground strokes are sublime. Gold rarely beats himself and frustrates foes that lack his patience.

Gold used that approach to defeat Pewaukee’s Abhi Kodoli, 6-4, 6-1, in his first match. Gold then upset top-seeded Brendan Pietila of Arrowhead, 6-4, 7-6 (2) to reach the championship.

Schutter entered the match as the favorite, but Gold gave him everything he could handle. After dropping the first set, Gold rallied from a 6-5 hole in the second set, and forced a tiebreaker that he went on to dominate.

In the third set — where the first player to 10 points wins — Schutter rolled off six unanswered points in the middle of the set, which proved too much for Gold to overcome.

“Obviously, right now I’m disappointed,” Gold said. “He beat me at conference in straight sets, so this one was a lot closer.”

Dettman and Rafael Sanga rolled to straight set wins over doubles teams from West Bend East and Sun Prairie in their first two matches. But Waunakee’s duo — that includes James Paradisin, a seeded singles player at last year’s state meet — was too much for the Cardinals’ tandem.

“I thought we had a good day,” Dettman said.

So did Schiebler and Pyle, who knocked off Arrowhead’s duo of Ryan Casey and Jared Pietila, 7-5, 6-1, in the semifinals. Then in the championship match, Schiebler and Pyle defeated Sun Prairie’s Blair and Katta, 6-2, 6-3.

What hurt Middleton in the team competition was its No. 2 and 3 singles players were knocked out in subsectionals.

“We played so well in so many spots,” Schaefer said. “We had some tough losses at subsectionals that cost us some points. But I’m really proud of the guys.”


Waunakee sectional

Team scores: Hartland Arrowhead 41, Sun Prairie 39, Middleton 37, Waunakee 20, Madison East 19, West Bend East 16, Slinger 10, Oconomowoc 10, Pewaukee 8, Hartford 7, Reedsburg 4, West Bend West 4, Baraboo 0, Beaver Dam 0, Watertown 0.

Automatic state qualifiers: Hartland Arrowhead 3; Sun Prairie 3; Middleton 2; Madison East 1; Waunakee 1.


No. 1 — Championship: Schutter, SP, def. Gold, Mid. Third place: Thiel, ME, def. Pietila, HA. Semifinals: Gold def. Pietila, 6-4, 7-6 (7-2); Schutter def. Thiel, 6-1, 6-0. Quarterfinals: Pietila def. Werning, Wtn, 6-0, 6-0; Gold, def. Kodali, Pew, 6-4, 6-1; Thiel def. Schaetz, WBE, 6-2, 0-6, 10-8; Schutter def. Peters, Sli, 6-2, 6-0.

No. 2 — Championship: Baldwin, SP, def. N. Ebel, HA, 7-5, 6-1. Third place: Skaar, ME, def. Ketter, WBE, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2. Semifinals: N. Ebel def. Skaar, 6-1, 6-0; Baldwin def. Ketter, 6-2, 6-0.

No. 3 — Championship: L. Ebel, HA, def. Foreman, SP, 6-3, 6-3. Third place: Bennett-Feinblatt, ME, def. Sievers, Sli, 6-0, 6-1. Semifinals: L. Ebel def. Bennett-Feinblatt, 6-3, 6-2; Foreman def. Sievers, 6-1, 6-2.

No. 4 — Championship: Somasundaram, Mid, def. Dassow, HA, 2-6, 6-0, 6-2. Third place: Kreuser, Hfd, def. Wallis, Wau, 7-5, 6-3. Semifinals: Dassow def. Wallis, 6-4, 6-2; Somasundaram def. Kreuser, 6-1, 6-1.


No. 1 — Championship: Paradisin/Zellner, Wau, def. Dettman/R. Sanga, Mid, 6-4, 6-4. Third place: Schimelpfenig/Olson, SP, def. Williams/Hipp, HA, 6-1, 6-2. Semifinals: Paradisin/Zellner def. Williams/Hipp, 6-2, 6-1; Dettman/R. Sanga def. Schimelpfenig/Olson, SP, 6-2, 6-0. Quarterfinals: Williams/Hipp def. Friede/Crolius, Reed, 7-5, 7-6 (4); Paradisin/Zellner def. Schulz/Rehard, Ocon, 6-1, 6-2; Dettman/R. Sanga def. Wedemayer/Michels, WBE, 6-1, 6-2; Schimelpfenig/Olson def. Basche/Schlicht, Pew, 6-2, 6-2.

No. 2 — Championship: Schiebler/Pyle, Mid, def. Blair/Katta, SP, 6-2, 6-3. Third place: Casey/J. Pietila, HA, def. Schroeder/Putz, Ocon, 6-2, 7-5. Semifinals: Schiebler/Pyle def. Casey/J. Pietila, 7-5, 6-1; Blair/Katta def. Schroeder/Putz, 6-1, 6-0.

No. 3 — Championship: Budde/Anderson, HA, def. B. Seaman/M. Seaman, WBE, 6-3, 4-6, 6-1. Third place: Yan/Hogendorn, Mid, def. Gungurthi/Venigala, SP, 5-7, 6-2, 6-3. Semifinals: Budde/Anderson def. Yan/Hogendorn, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4; B. Seaman/M. Seaman def. Gungurthi/Venigala, 6-1, 7-6. At Nielsen Tennis Stadium.




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