Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

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McGrail battles to fifth in Madison
Badger doubles leave winless

by Mike Ramczyk

October 20, 2011

MADISON — As early as August, Big Foot/Williams Bay girls tennis coach Jim Karedes sung the praises of senior Liz McGrail, a transfer from Rockford, Ill.

Karedes believed she had what it took to excel at the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Division 2 state meet, which was Saturday at University of Wisconsin-Madison's Nielsen Stadium.

Well, Karedes was close on his prediction. She didn't podium, but McGrail went 2-2 from last Thursday through Saturday and earned seventh place in D2. McGrail finished the season with an impressive 22-5 mark. It was the highest finish by an area tennis player since Caroline Starck's Division 2 title in 2008.

Karedes said she had a very good tournament run.

"A four-hour match on Friday took a lot out of her," he said. "It really sucked the energy out of her. In this kind of tournament, you don't start every day at 100 percent. Liz was a little worn down on Saturday, but she gave everything she could."

Last Thursday, McGrail started the tournament with a decisive 6-3, 6-1 victory over Columbus Catholic's Elizabeth Manlick.

In her next match Friday at noon, McGrail faced Madison Edgewood's Courtney Burke, who beat her in the sectional final. McGrail needed four hours, but got some retribution in a grueling, 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-3 victory.

McGrail's next match, which was scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Friday, didn't start until 5 p.m. With only 45 minutes rest, McGrail showed fatigue in a 6-4, 6-3 loss to Newman Catholic's Daley Rupar, the No. 3 seed.

"Liz played a good match, but Rupar is a very good opponent," Karedes said.

After the loss, McGrail still had a chance for fifth place, but ran into Madison Edgewood's Jessie O'Brien Saturday morning.

Still a bit tired, McGrail fell, 7-6 (6), 7-5, in a very close match.

"Liz had a decent match," Karedes said. "But she questioned some of her shots."

At No. 1 doubles, senior Lauren Speare and freshman Annie McGrail lost their only match, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (5), against Kenosha St. Joseph's Kelcy Owens and Kristen Kalinka. Owens and Kalinka would go on to win sixth place.

Karedes said it was an extremely tight match, and he saw only 95 percent of what the team of Speare and Annie McGrail is capable of. The teammates joined about a month ago and finished with a 10-4 record. Annie McGrail was previously at No. 2 singles, while Speare remained at No. 1 doubles.

Badger doubles downed in first round

The Lady Badgers brought two doubles teams to last weekend's state meet, but both bowed out in last Thursday in their first matches.

In Division 1 doubles last Thursday, the team of Riely Mikrut and Lily Fisher lost to Beaver Dam's Erika Chitko and Megan Kaul, 3-6, 6-4, 7-1 (tie-breaker).

Mikrut, a senior who made her first state appearance, and Fisher, who transferred from Rockford Keith Country Day this year as a junior, finished the season 13-4.

Freshmen Joanie Williams and Andrea Chironis didn't fare as well against Kimberly's Taylor Jorgensen and Carly Van Nuland, falling in straight sets, 6-0, 6-4.

The girls, who are both the fourth of four siblings who have played Badger tennis, ended up 15-2 on the year.