Tennis Cardinas earn trip to team state

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Ryan Gold and Middleton’s boys tennis team won the Madison Memorial Sectional last week./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

All season long, their doubles teams have been exemplary.

So, it was no surprise that Middleton’s trio of dynamic duos once again shined when the lights were the brightest.

The Cardinals won the WIAA Division 1 Madison Memorial Sectional on May 22 in large part due to stellar play from their doubles teams. Middleton won all three doubles flights, and earned a championship at No. 4 singles, to win the sectional title.

Middleton finished with 42 points and outdistanced runner-up Verona (32) for the sectional crown.

The Cardinals also qualified for the state team tournament for the first time since 2016. Middleton (19-2) received the No. 5 seed at the eight-team tournament and will open against fourth-seeded Arrowhead (22-6) in a quarterfinal match on June 7 at 5:30 p.m. at Nielsen Tennis Stadium.

The semifinals and finals are June 8.

“We certainly thought it would be a fairly tight race with Verona,” said Middleton coach Tony Mirasola, whose team shared the Big Eight dual meet title with both the Wildcats and Sun Prairie. “But we thought with the depth we had, we would be OK.”

Much of that depth is in the doubles flights, where the Cardinals excelled at sectionals.

At No. 1 doubles, Middleton seniors Sam Dettman and Brandon Bodak rolled past Monona Grove’s Caden Nelson and Jacob Munz, 6-4, 6-0, in the championship match.

At No. 2, Middleton senior Alton Yan and sophomore Gene Kim upended Madison Memorial’s Sanjay Mathur and Spencer Frey in the title match, 6-2, 6-2.

And at No. 3, Middleton senior Jordan Cheng and sophomore Anders Clark downed Madison West’s Sean McAllister and Felix Jiang, 6-2, 6-3 in the championship match.

“Our doubles have been a strength of ours all season,” Mirasola said. “You could tell that early on. It was really nice to see them develop as teams.”

Middleton also got an unexpected boost at No. 4 singles, where Akshay Kelshiker finished first.

Verona entered sectional play as the favorite at that flight, but its player was sick. That opened the door for Kelshiker, who took full advantage and defeated Stoughton’s Hayden Schreier in the title match, 6-1, 6-1.

Ryan Gold, Middleton’s top singles player, reached the championship match, as well. Gold settled for second, though, after falling to Verona standout Will Tennison, 6-0, 6-4.

Middleton’s top two doubles teams — as well as Gold — qualified for the individual state tournament May 30-June 1. The Cardinals will then make a run at greatness in the state team tournament June 7-8.

“When we play our best, we match up with anybody,” Mirasola said. “And we played some great tennis at sectionals.

“The year has been an absolute blast and it’s been a great group of guys and an awesome group of seniors. They’re great, bright kids, very respectful and we have a great blend of older guys and younger guys. Now, we just want to have a couple more weeks of great tennis.”




Team scores: Middleton 42, Verona 32, Milton 25, Monona Grove 23, Oregon 23, Madison Memorial 18, Madison West 15, Stoughton 15, Janesville Craig 8, Janesville Parker 8, Fort Atkinson 4, Madison La Follette 4, Beloit Memorial 0.


No. 1 — Championship: Tennison, V, def. Gold, Mid, 6-0, 6-4. Third place: Co. Lindwall, MG, def. Yang, ML, 6-1, 6-1. Semifinals: Tennison def. Co. Lindwall, 6-1, 6-4; Gold def. Yang, ML, 6-3, 6-2. Quarterfinals: Tennison def. Bychowski, Or, 6-0, 6-0; Co. Lindwall def. Richard, Mil, 6-0, 6-0; Gold def. Ferriera, JC, 6-0, 6-0; Yang def. Benoy, Sto, 6-4, 6-0.

No. 2 — Championship: Fan, V, def. Ch. Lindwall, 6-2, 6-2. Third place: Meyer, Sto, def. Mallon, Mil, 6-1, 6-4. Semifinals: Ch. Lindwall def. Mallon, 6-0, 6-2; Fan def. Meyer, 6-2, 6-2.

No. 3 — Championship: Nagpal, V, def. L. Nelson, MG, 6-0, 6-3. Third place: Miller, Mil, def. Hessler, Or, 6-0, 6-3. Semifinals: Nagpal def. Hessler, 6-0, 6-0; Nelson def. Miller, 6-3, 7-6 (4).

No. 4 — Championship: Kelshiker, Mid, def. Schreier, Sto, 6-1, 6-1. Third place: Wiedemann, Or, def. Queoff, V, default. Semifinals: Schreier def. Queoff, default; Kelshiker def. Wiedemann, 6-1, 6-2.


No. 1 — Championship: Dettman/Bodak, Mid, def. C. Nelson/Munz, MG, 6-4, 6-0. Third place: Beilin/Ruggiero, MW, def. Weinbach/Barquin, MM, 7-6 (2), 6-4. Semifinals: Dettman/Bodak def. Beilin/Ruggiero, 6-2, 7-6 (9); C. Nelson/Munz def. Weinbach/Barquin, 6-1, 6-1. Quarterfinals: Dettman/Bodak def. Erickson/Schneider, JP, 6-1, 6-2; Beilin/Ruggiero def. Benet/Roskos, Or, 6-0, 6-0; Nelson/Munz def. Hanel/Pierson, JC, 6-2, 6-1; Weinbach/Barquin def. Stuckey/Grote, Mid, 6-1, 6-1.

No. 2 — Championship: Yan/Kim, Mid, def. Mathur/Frey, MM, 6-2, 6-2. Third place: Dunk/Lebakken, Mil, def. Bennett/Johnson, Or, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (2). Semifinals: Yan/Kim def. Bennett/Johnson, 6-2, 6-0; Mathur/Frey def. Dunk/Lebakken, 7-6 (1), 6-2.

No. 3 — Championship: Cheng/Clark, Mid, def. McAllister/Jiang, MW, 6-2, 6-3. Third place: Luyster/Robinson, Mil, def. Branson/Ellingson, Or, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. Semifinals: Cheng/Clark def. Branson/Ellingson, 6-3, 6-1; McAllister/ Jiang def. Luyster/Robinson, 6-1, 6-4.




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