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Kolbow takes third at state tennis tourney

Best finish ever for Arrowhead girls player

Oct. 15, 2012

Emily Kolbow almost pulled off the upset of the year last Saturday morning at the 2012 WIAA Division 1 state high school girls tennis tournament at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium in Madison. Almost was the key word, but it was far from a disappointment for the Arrowhead sophomore.

After advancing to the state semifinals with three consecutive straight-set victories, Kolbow took eventual state champion Elizabeth Konon of Homestead to three sets before falling to the two-time state champ, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3. Konon, 109-1 in her three years of high school tennis, won the state title by downing seventh-seeded Lea Krajcovicova of Milton in the finals, 6-2, 6-0.

Konon lost only 13 games to her four other opponents but lost 11 games to Kolbow.

"I figured I had a shot at making the finals going into the tournament," Kolbow said. "But I also knew there was a lot of good players there. It was disappointing to get so close to beating her and then just miss. Both we both played good matches. I gave it my best. After losing to her, I just tried to get myself ready to play my next match. It was nice to take third place."

Kolbow, seeded fourth, bounced back from that heartbreaking loss by taking third place, defeating No. 3 seeded Lily Hayes of Whitefish Bay in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3. Kolbow finished the season with a 30-5 record.

It marked the best finish in school history. Prior to this year, the only AHS entry ever to advance to the round of eight came last year when her sister Abby and partner Rachel Bero made the quarterfinal round before losing.

"Emily played great tennis for us at state," said Arrowhead coach Gina Resch. "She set her sights high this year and handled the pressure of playing at state perfectly. Her goal was to win it. She knew it wouldn't be easy, but she played her best tennis of the year. She's come so far in just a year. I think she could be the No. 1 seed next year."

Kolbow, 15, surrendered just eight games in her three matches leading into the battle with Konon.

"Emily is only a sophomore so the future really looks good for her," Resch said. "Emily went into the state tournament prepared to go to the finals. We were on pins and needles in her match with Konon . It could have gone either way. It was that close."

Last year Kolbow won her first two matches at the state meet before losing to the eventual runner-up, Maddie Johnson of Onalaska.

Arrowhead freshman Teagan Hipp (24-9) defeated Emma Saiz of Baraboo in the first round, 6-0, 6-0, before falling to Dao Sysouvanh of Sun Prairie, 5-7, 4-6.

In doubles, senior Abby Kolbow and freshman Kali Flesch (23-11) won two matches before losing to the eventual third-place team of Caroline Treis and Brooke Skemp of Brookfield Central in the third round, 1-6, 4-6.

KM team wins two

Kettle Moraine's lone state entry, the doubles team of senior Zoe Roecker and junior Maddie Strunsee (26-8), won two matches before losing in the third round to fifth-seeded Hannah Dexheimer and Bailey Sagen of Oshkosh West, 4-6, 2-6. The Oshkosh team took third.

"Zoe and Maddie played nearly perfect tennis in the first two rounds," said KM coach Brett Roecker. "They totally dominated those matches from the start. They closed well, moved well and kept their opponents off-balance with a variety of well-placed shots and great lobs. They had some flashes of greatness against the Oshkosh West team but couldn't complete the comeback in either set. As a coach it will be hard to lose such a talented player like Zoe, and obviously, as her dad, it was difficult to see her career at KM come to an end."

Oconomowoc duo wins

Lindsay Holsen and Jaclyn Swift, the first Oconomowoc entrant at the state meet in six years, won their first match over a pair from Waterford in the doubles draw, 6-3, 6-0. The team then lost to Caroline Krolicki and Mallory Wanserski of Wausau East, 6-2, 6-4.

The Wausau East pair fell to state champ Sophia Lococo and Anna Kreynin of Homestead in the round of eight.

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