Clark, Dettman earn No. 1 seed at state

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Karsen Dettman (left) and Maddie Clark earned the No. 1 seed at the state doubles tournament./Photo courtesy of Christopher Hujanen

Maddie Clark thought a top-five seed was possible.

No. 1?

That seemed like a dream.

Well, Clark’s aspirations — and those of partner Karsen Dettman — became a reality last week.

Clark and Dettman — Middleton’s No. 1 doubles team — received the No. 1 seed at the WIAA Division 1 state tournament, which will be held Thursday through Saturday at Nielsen Tennis Stadium.

“I was so excited to hear that we got the (No.) one seed,” Clark said Sunday. “This was definitely one of our goals this season. Karsen and I thought we had a pretty good chance of getting a top-5 seed, but we were so happy that we got the one seed.”

Clark and Dettman received a first round bye, then play their first match Friday at 9 a.m. The Cardinals’ dynamic duo will need to win three matches Friday to advance to Saturday’s semifinals, which would start at 9:45 a.m. The state championship match would be at approximately 2 p.m.

Clark and Dettman will attempt to become the third doubles team in school history to win a state title. Abbey Webber and Kaisey Skibba won a state championship in 2015, while Jill Karofsky and Kristin Moe did it in 1982.

“I was thrilled,” Dettman said of receiving the No. 1 seed. “Maddie and I have worked hard with our team this season and through the offseason. I was especially surprised to get the (No.) one seed knowing how good the other competitors are across the state.”

While Dettman was surprised, she and Clark certainly earned the top seed by posting a 22-1 record to date. The Cardinals’ duo capped their stellar regular season by winning the Madison Memorial Sectional last Thursday.

Last season, Clark and senior Michelle Chi played doubles together and the duo won a pair of matches at state. This season, Chi moved to singles, Clark and Dettman teamed up and have enjoyed remarkable success throughout.

There are several factors that have made the Clark-Dettman pairing a smashing success. But one is the fact that Clark is a left-hander, while Dettman is right handed.

“This helps us because we have our forehands in the middle, which makes it easier to put away balls that come down the middle of the court,” Dettman said.

Clark agreed.

“We're really good at anticipating each other's movements and shots. We cover the court well,” Clark said of what makes her and Dettman so good together. “I'm left handed and Karsen is right handed, and this allows us to both have our forehands for tough shots down the middle of the court.

“We are both aggressive players … and we also help each other focus during tough matches and can hype each other up too.”

Clark and Dettman know the road to a title could be rocky. There are several terrific doubles teams at state and many could pose major challenges throughout.

But Middleton’s terrific twosome can’t wait to chase a championship — starting Friday.

“I'm really optimistic that we can win, but we have to work hard and give the tournament everything we have because there are so many good teams,” Clark said. “We thrive on tough competition.

“To win, we have to continue to work together, use the strategy and shots we've been working on all season, and stay aggressive. We're proud that we've played well this season and we're hoping to bring home a state title for the Cardinals.”

Dettman agreed with her partner.

“I am very optimistic about the tournament, but I understand that all five matches will be tough and we have to take each match as it comes,” Dettman said. “I think in order to win, we need to be aggressive and on (the) offense throughout our matches and try to put away every ball possible. We need to work as a team and play to each other’s strengths.”



Oct. 4

Madison Memorial Sectional

Team scores: Madison Memorial 45, Middleton 34, Madison West 30, La Crosse Central 24, Onalaska 20, La Crosse Logan 19, Verona 13, Sauk Prairie 12, Holmen 6, Tomah 6, Reedsburg 2, Portage 2, Sparta 2, Madison East 2, Baraboo 0, Oregon 0, Waunakee 0.


Automatic state qualifiers: Madison West 4; Madison Memorial 2; Sauk Prairie 2; Middleton 1; Verona 1.


Singles: No. 1 — Championship: Maddie Bremel, MW, def. Grace Olson, MM, 7-6 (3), 6-1. Third: Meredith Conley, V, def. Quinlyn Mack, SP, 6-1, 6-0. Semifinals: Bremel def. Q. Mack, 6-2, 6-0. Quarterfinals: Q. Mack def. Enya Szymanski, LCL, 6-2, 6-1.


Doubles: No. 1 — Championship: Karsen Dettman/Maddie Clark, Mid, def. Camryn Ballweg/Taylor Breininger, SP, 6-0, 6-2. Semifinals: Ballweg/Breininger def. Spencer Harrison/Katie Goetz, MW, 7-6 (9), 6-4. Quarterfinals: Ballweg/Breininger, SP, def. Lauren Graves/Chloe Leithold, Ona, 6-4, 6-4.




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