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Homestead tunes up for finals

Sept. 29, 2010

Under-reported this past weekend in the world of Wisconsin prep tennis was a bit of a seismic tremor that occurred in Glendale.

Whether it will open up to the size of a San Andreas fault-style earthquake remains to be seen, but it caught the attention of those anticipating the upcoming WIAA state individual girls tennis tournament.

It went like this: first singles final of the Nicolet Invitational; Karyn Guttormsen of Kenosha Bradford over Aly Coran of Homestead (4-6, 6-4, 6-2). It marked the first time that the two-time state singles champ Coran has lost to a Wisconsin player in three seasons, and gave Guttormsen a bit of revenge for two recent losses to Coran.

Team remains unphased

The loss didn't slow down the two-time state team champion Highlanders, as they cruised to the title in the eight-school meet, but coach Jackie Egelhoff feels that the match will serve as incentive not only for Coran, but for her entire team.

"Guttormsen had some moments and she seized them," said Egelhoff, "but it's not the end of the world. At this time of the year it's OK."

Especially with the North Shore Conference Tournament being held today and Friday at Nicolet and Whitefish Bay. Homestead will then host its own WIAA sub-sectional meet on Monday with qualifiers advancing to the sectional at Oconomowoc on Oct. 6.

Meanwhile, Nicolet and Whitefish Bay will take part in a sub-sectional that the Blue Dukes will host on Monday with qualifiers heading to a sectional on Oct. 6 at Greendale.

Getting ready

The final tune-up for those big matches was intense, as Homestead was challenged by several of the state's elite teams. The Highlanders won the Nicolet event with 34 points, while DSHA and Bay tied for second with 22 and Nicolet was fourth with 14.

Homestead won three of seven flights at the event, as Corey Mattson was impressive at second singles, winning 6-0, 6-1, over a DSHA foe in the final. Then at third singles, Sophia Lococo fought off Bay's Lily Hayes, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, for the title and at second doubles, the newly comprised team of Carly Peck and Liz Konan blanked Nicolet's Erin Miller and Rebecca Raj, 6-0, 6-0, in the final.

Homestead lost tough finals matches at first and third doubles to DSHA opponents, as Dani Mardee Merar fell, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, in the first position and Claire Songkakul and Michelle Levin lost, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, at the third slot.

Bay was led by fourth singles player Emily Deblitz, who beat a Homestead opponent for the second week in a row, when she downed the Highlanders Allie Berman, 6-3, 6-4, in the finals of her bracket.

Also taking thirds for area teams by bracket include: first singles, Sophie Lillie, Bay; second singles, Sarah Miller, Nicolet; third singles, Emma Wathen, Nicolet; first doubles, Michelle Croak and Hannah Bostwick, Bay; and third doubles, Jackie Comerford and Katherine Giesa, Bay.

"This was a good wake-up call for us," said Egelhoff. "I think we needed one. We need to keep looking at the everyday and keep trying to improve bit by bit."

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