WIAA State girls’ tennis preview: A handful of local athletes make it to Madison
By Jacob Heid
Tournament season is in full swing, with the majority of fall sports almost entering the playoffs. The next tournament will be the WIAA girls’ tennis tournament. The individual championships will take place from Oct 13-15. Three athletes from SPASH and one from Pacelli will compete at Nielsen Stadium in Madison.
No. 1 Singles: Tatum Thielman (SPASH)
Thielman came into the 2022 season after making it to the State tournament in doubles a year ago. The senior took over the No.1 singles spot for the Panthers this season. She started the year on the right foot, staying undefeated in the first eight matches she played. She has a 22-7 record overall, along with finishing second in the Rhinelander sub-sectional and Eau Claire Memorial sectional to qualify for State.
Thielman plays Brianna Owens of Kimberly on Thursday at 11:45 a.m.
No. 1 Singles: Natalie Cooper (Pacelli)
The sophomore was a key piece for the Cardinals throughout the season. Cooper advanced enough in Pacelli’s sub-sectional to make it to sectionals. The top four No. 1 singles players automatically qualify for State, meaning Cooper only needed one win at sectionals. She did not get it but got chosen as a special qualifier. The State Seeding committee picks one singles player and one doubles team from each sectional that did not automatically qualify.
The sophomore takes on Misa Herriges of Shorewood on Thursday at 5:45 p.m.
No. 1 Doubles: Caroline Blakeman/Berit Borgnes
Blakeman and Borgnes have been together for a couple of years now. The two were selected to the second-team All-WVC a year ago, looking to do it again this year. The top duo for the Panthers had an 18-8 record this year, also advancing to the Eau Claire Memorial sectional. Like Thielman and Cooper, the seniors needed to win one match at sectionals to qualify. They lost 6-3, 6-4 in the quarterfinals but anyway they were selected as the one doubles special qualifier.
Blakeman and Borgnes will face Maddie Blanchard and Allison Abhold of Kettle Moraine on Thursday at 1:30 p.m.
Live results are on the WIAA’s website by clicking on girls’ tennis under the tournaments tab.