The Oconomowoc girls varsity tennis team has been on the road experiencing confident victories and challenging defeats, all of which contribute to the process of becoming improved tennis players with a keener understanding of how a competitive game of tennis should be played.
Tremaine and Eichsteadt unbeaten at Janesville
The Cougar Invitational at Janesville on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 22 and 23, gave singles players Heidi Tremaine, a senior, and Kate Eichsteadt, a freshman, the opportunity to go undefeated throughout the two-day 12-team tournament.
Emily Kneiser, Sophie Tesch, another set of senior and freshman, at singles, along with Ali Harwood and Alexa Sabel, both juniors, finished 4-1 for the weekend.
As a team, Oconomowoc lost a close, 3-4 decision to Stoughton in the opening round followed in successive rounds with well-earned victories over Deforest 4-3, Janesville Craig 5-2, Lodi 7-0, and leading Jefferson before a rain-out 4-0.
The Janesville tournament is always a good tournament for us as it gives the team an early season boost of confidence, an opportunity to see how newly formed doubles combinations workout, and reminds singles players of the stamina needed to play three matches per day back to back.
Top-flight competition tough for OHS at Brookfield
The Brookfield Central Lancer Varsity Invitational, Thursday and Friday, Aug. 28 and 29, is a 16-team tournament featuring many of the state’s super powers, like Arrowhead, Nicolet, Brookfield Central and Homestead.
Oconomowoc lost in the first round to fifth-place finisher Madison West, 1-6, with a great win at No. 1 doubles for Ali Harwood and Alexa Sabel, 6-1, 6-4. Kate Eichsteadt, playing up at No. 2 singles, replacing injured Heidi Tremaine, fought hard against Madison senior Audrey Dunawag, splitting sets and losing 0-6, 6-2 (7-10).
Entering the consolation side of the draw, Oconomowoc defeated Greendale, 5-2, with Gabby Brucker and Lexi Miller at No. 2 doubles getting a solid 6-4, 6-0 win.
Cooney lost to Kenosha Tremper, 2-5, with Emily Kneiser at No. 1 singles playing one of the best matches in her four-year varsity career, defeating Maya Singhur, 1-6, 6-2 (10-8). The girls then defeated Waukesha West, 4-3, with Yukiko Ikeda and Taylor Thomas at No. 3 doubles clinching the team victory.
Oconomowoc finished in eleventh place. The Lancer Invitational is always a challenging tournament for us and forces us to dig deep into our “tennis souls” to see if we can up hold the mental tenacity called for in playing players more advanced than we are and applying our game plans against foes we are an equal match to.
Team struggles at Wauwatosa Invite
The Wauwatosa Trojan Raider Varsity Invitational found the Lady Raccoons somewhat dazed after the two-day Lancer Invite and the next day, Saturday, Aug. 30, they experienced an extremely unwelcome defeat, 0-7, by the “rackets” of Wauwatosa West.
Cierra Smith, Oconomowoc sophomore playing at No. 4 singles, lost a split set decision, 4-10, in a third set super tiebreaker. The No. 4 varsity singles position over the course of the last three tournaments has been shared with Cierra by senior Anchal Scott and freshman Sydney Rehard.
Kenosha St Joe’s was the second round foe for Oconomowoc but due to a rain-out was never completed.
Girls open WLT conference schedule at home Sept. 9
Oconomowoc is looking forward to its Little Ten Conference home opener on Tuesday, Sept. 9, against Slinger. West Bend East is the preseason favorite for first-place honors with Oconomowoc hopefully in a close second- place battle with West Bend West and Hartford.
The goals between now and Sept. 9 are to get Heidi Tremaine back in the lineup in singles so Kate Eichsteadt and Sophie Tesch can return to their more confident freshmen positions at No. 3 and No. 4 singles. We also need to raise the level of doubles play for Ali Harwood and Alexa Sabel at one and solidify a solid partner for Gabby Brucker at No. 2 doubles and find a “hungry” reliable pair at No. 3 doubles. As the varsity coach my message for on-court play is: Are you a team that makes things happen, let’s things happen, or finishes and says “what the heck happened.”
Thanks to OHS girls tennis coach Suellyn Schelleper-Rohrer for this article.