Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

Netters squeak past Panthers

by Mike Ramczyk

September 08, 2011

WILMOT — Friday was a day of singles dominance for the Big Foot/Williams Bay girls tennis team.

The Nos. 1 through 3 singles flights of Liz McGrail, Annie McGrail and Lauren Speare helped lead the Chief Dogs to a 4-3 nonconference victory over the host Panthers.

The No. 1 doubles team of Zoe Klesmith and Sarah Abel also notched a victory. With the win, the Chief Dogs improved to 6-3 overall. Big Foot is 0-1 in the Rock Valley Conference.

“We’re pretty good, but our girls are on the brink of being really good,” coach Jim Karedes said. “The girls are understanding footwork. They are moving into their strokes with an athletic stance. We used to hit the ball so flat-footed, so we are stressing footwork in practice.”

Karedes has been impressed with the play of his No. 1 doubles team.

“Zoe and Sarah will be something special,” he said. “Both are starting to peak. Two years ago, they played together but were on different doubles team a year ago. Now, they have a better feel together.”

Also, the McGrail sisters and Speare have been playing very well, according to Karedes.

“Speare always finds her opponent’s weakness,” he said. “And Liz does everything she can out there. She works really hard to improve.”

Liz was pleased with her win Friday. So far, the Fontana resident, who transferred from Rockford, Ill., is enjoying tennis in Wisconsin.

“The transition has gone well,” she said Friday after her win. “In general, everyone we’ve met is really nice. I’m 10-2 so far, and the team is doing well. We’ve been practicing hard, but we still have some work to do if we want to reach our goal of winning conference.”

“I was having a really good day out there today,” Annie said. “I like Big Foot. I like the team aspect of tennis.”

Liz is excited to possibly make state individual tennis. In Illinois, there aren’t divisions, so every state qualifier faces off.

“Up here, it’s nice to have two divisions,” she said. “State will be much smaller. It would be fun to make team state, which we don’t have in Illinois.”

Big Foot returns to Walworth this Thursday at 4 p.m. for another Rock Valley tilt with East Troy. They faced RVC foe Jefferson Tuesday.

“We need this week,” Karedes said. “We can only control how we play. We have to take it one match at a time.”

McFarland 5, Big Foot/Williams Bay 2

Liz McGrail and Speare picked up the squad’s only wins last Wednesday against the Spartans.

Karedes said McFarland will be the Chief Dogs’ toughest competition in conference.

“It was a tough one to swallow,” he said. “We weren’t ready to play. McFarland is a good team and was more consistent.”