Raiders double the fun at state tennisRaider seniors Morgan Karras and Whitney Theisen made it to the round of 16 while juniors Jenny Fassbinder and Casey Fall earned a top-32 finish at the WIAA Girls’ State Tennis Championships last week in Madison.
By: Bob Burrows, Hudson Star-Observer
Raider seniors Morgan Karras and Whitney Theisen made it to the round of 16 while juniors Jenny Fassbinder and Casey Fall earned a top-32 finish at the WIAA Girls’ State Tennis Championships last week in Madison.
Karras and Theisen went 2-1 at the state tourney while Fassbinder and Fall were 1-1. Head coach Dave Dahl said the state tournament performances of both doubles teams should be applauded.
“There are over 400 varsity level doubles teams in the state in Division 1,” he pointed out. “To have one pair finish in the top 32 and another in the top 16 is a pretty nice accomplishment. The top-16 finish for Morgan and Whitney earns them second team All-State honors and that says an awful lot about how they finished their senior season.”
Karras and Theisen opened state tourney play Thursday with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Kendra Woyahn and Zoe Roecker of Kettle Moraine, who entered the tournament with a record of 23-6.
“Morgan and Whitney’s draw to open the tournament was not ideal as they had to play a top-16 seeded team in Kettle Moraine,” Dahl said. “We came out and won the first four games of the match, which did not help Kettle Moraine’s confidence and they never fully recovered.”
Fassbinder and Fall also won their opening match Thursday, defeating Mikayla Johnson and Laura Xu of Madison Memorial, 6-4, 6-3, before losing to fourth-seeded and undefeated Priyanka Sikka and Alleigh Fralick of Rhinelander early Friday morning.
“Jenny and Casey fell behind 1-2 to open their match against Madison Memorial, but took the next two games and would not trail again,” Dahl said. “These two move so well and were doing just that in controlling things most of the way. In the second round they ran into the fourth seeded team in the field in Rhinelander. I don’t think Rhinelander was expecting much of a match, but playing them to 5-5 in the first set got their attention. This was a great experience for these two juniors and I’m sure they look forward to earning another trip back next season.”
Karras and Theisen went on to defeat Amanda Hills and Laura Olsen of Green Bay Southwest, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 in Friday morning’s match, before losing to third-seeded Dani Merar and Mardee Merar, of Homestead, 2-6, 1-6. The Homestead sisters went on to defeat Sikka and Fralick of Rhinelander in the third place match.
“The win over Green Bay Southwest was very intense from start to finish,” Dahl said. “Our serves and service returns really held up well under the pressure. The Southwest girls had state experience from the previous season, but it wasn’t enough to stop our top doubles team. In the third round we simply lost to a better team. Homestead, by far, has the toughest team in the state.”
Dahl said both Raider doubles teams played with composure throughout the tournament.
“These four were not paired as doubles teams for the entire season,” he noted. “Whether they played singles or doubles, it’s not surprising they led the team with some pretty impressive win totals.”
Fall set a new Raider team record with 30 wins this season while Karras and Theisen had 28 each and Fassbinder finished with 27.
“It was a special year, and I’m real proud of this group,” Dahl said.