For the Antigo Times
The season ended for all the Antigo boys tennis players at the Rhinelander subsectional. For the first time in almost ten years, no boys will advance to the sectionals. But the good news is that the team showed regular improvement throughout the spring and the players are enthusiastic about continuing to practice this summer so that Antigo can return to its winning ways next year.
Antigo’s number one ace, Tanner Stueck played his best tennis of the year. Only seeded seventh, he faced off against the two seed, Marcus Johnson of Rhinelander for the fourth time this year, and almost pulled off the upset. After dropping the first set, Stueck struck back with a variety of shots that put Johnson on the defense, taking that set 6-2. The third set seesawed back and forth, but Johnson’s serve caught fire and proved to be the difference as he closed the third set 6-3.
Alex Gray drew the one seed from Xavier, Brady Vanstraten, and was only able to win one game. Simon McPhail also faced off against a Xavier opponent, Daniel Boomer at three singles and got bagelled. At four singles, Jerome Jones challenged Camden Kroll from Shawano and won a few more games, losing 3-6, 1-6.
Antigo’s best doubles team found a common opponent across the net, Stevens Point Pacelli. After winning the first two meetings, Brady Bunnell and Joe Bartletti lost to Kroening and Julio for the second time in three days 5-7, 1-6. The two team of Jared McFarlane and Zach Reineke also played Pacelli’s Jensen and Basala for the fourth time this season, and though it was competitive, the pair didn’t quite have the good and lost 2-6, 3-6. Antigo’s final pairing of Tyler Hickman and Ben Morris also found themselves overpowered by the Xavier team of Mattelmann and Untrue, only winning one game.
“This was a growing experience this season. Having a very young and inexperienced team, my goal for the team was to continually improve. We started out slow with no court time until the fourth week of the season, but the players kept getting better and never stopped enjoying themselves. By that standard, we had a successful season,” Coach David Zalewski said.