Anika Hitt destroyed a Highlanders school 18-hole record with an eight-under par medalist round of 66 to lead her almost completely rebuilt, two-time WIAA state champions back to the state tournament with a runner-up finish in the Hartford sectional on Tuesday.
"On the back nine, it was like nothing I had ever seen before," veteran Homestead coach John Krueger said. "It was like she was shooting darts. Everything was right on the hole."
Hitt shot a 31 on the back nine en route to a preposterous 16-stroke individual win as the Highlanders turned in an season-best 18-hole team score of 350 to claim the second team spot behind Arrowhead (336). Cedarburg was a distant third with 371.
The return to state completes a massive turnaround for the Highlanders, who had to replace four of five starters from the state champs of a year ago.
"Some people said today that I pulled a rabbit out of my hat," Krueger said. "Well, as long as I can do anything to help the girls achieve their goals I'll do any magic that's necessary."
Hitt got help from fellow underclassmen Kelly Kasper with an 89, Bella Barbiere with a 95 and Kathleen Cullen and Katie Gebhardt with 100 each.
"We knew we were in the mix and that counts," Kruger said. "I just did my best to make everyone feel at ease and confident."
Krueger said that Hitt was oozing confidence from having played the 5,500-yard, par 74 course several times before.
"Her goal right now, is a (an individual) state title or bust," Krueger said of the junior. "It was a slightly longer course than we usually play (at Hartford) and that played into her strengths. ...As far as the team goes, we just don't have the horses to try and compete for a state title, we're just up there with the opportunity to gain experience. That's something really valuable and you just can't mimic that."
The state tournament is Monday and Tuesday at University Ridge in Verona.
NICOLET GIRLS GOLF
Senior Emily Murphy earned a repeat berth in the WIAA State Golf Tournament when she took fourth individually in the WIAA sectional meet at Wanaki in Menomonee Falls on Monday.
Murphy, who led the Knights to a strong fourth-place team finish in the eight-school event, carded an 18-hole mark of 82 as team champion Brookfield Central's Grace Dunn was medalist with an impressive 70.
Murphy will now participate in the WIAA State Tournament on Monday and Tuesday at University Ridge in Verona. She earned a tier for 25th individually last season with a 36-hole score of 172.
In the sectional, Murphy had nines of 44 and 38 in carding her score. Behind that effort, Nicolet turned in an 18-hole team mark of 366. Central (350) and North Shore champion Whitefish Bay (353) earned the state team berths while Brookfield East was third with 365.
Murphy got help from sophomore Alysse Elko (89), seniors Rachel Rabenn (97) and Jaclyn Clark (98) and junior Sophie Nicolet (104).
The Greyhounds used a balanced effort to take third in the Woodland Conference Tournament Oct. 1 and 2.
"I was really pleased with how the meet went," coach Ally Armstrong said. "The girls battled out some close matches against some tough competition. We knew that Tosa West was going to be tough, and they came out and won at every spot. The girls can be very proud of their third-place finish."
The Greyhounds advanced five entries from Monday's WIAA Division 2 subsectional tournament to the sectional that was held on Wednesday back at Pleasent Valley in Jackson. The top four finishers in flight one of singles and doubles and the winners of flight two in singles and doubles automatically advanced to the WIAA State Individual Tournament in Madison on Oct. 17-19.
In the Woodland, Shorewood scored 25 points as Wauwatosa West dominated the event with 56 and Greendale was second with 34.
The best finish came from first singles player Liza Kruch as she fell to a West opponent, 6-2, 7-5 in the finals after beating New Berlin West and Greendale opponents.
Other good efforts included a consolation flight titles from Bryn Urban at third singles, Grace Reckmeyer at fourth singles and the first doubles team of Tricia Nelsen and Grace Rybarik; a third from the second doubles team of Ellie Schmitt and Hayley Ostrowski and a fourth from the third doubles team of Claire Howland and Grace Kleaveland-Kupczak.
BROWN DEER GIRLS TENNIS
Junior second singles player Gina Wade remains a force to be reckoned with for the Falcons as she took third in the Woodland Conference Tournament on Oct. 1 and 2 and then advanced to WIAA Division 2 sectional play with a strong finish in the subsectional held on Monday.
Wade took part in sectional play back at Pleasent Valley on Wednesday with hopes of advancing to the WIAA State Individual Tournament in Madison on Oct. 17-19.
In the Woodland, Wade (20-5) downed Shorewood (6-1, 6-3) and South Milwaukee (7-5, 4-6, 6-3) opponents before falling to the eventual champion from Tosa West in the semifinals (6-4, 6-2). She then rallied to rout a Greendale opponent (6-1, 6-0), in the consolation match.
Katie Zachowski won one match for the Falcons at first singles as the Falcons tied for 10th in the Woodland field.
WHITEFISH BAY CROSS COUNTRY
Senior Sara Coffey turned in an impressive course-record winning effort of 14:56 on the shaggy and wet 4,000-meter Sheridan Park layout to lead the Blue Dukes to the title in the nine-school Purgold Invitational on Saturday.
The third-ranked in state Blue Dukes were able to fend off 12th-ranked Oak Creek, 31-45, despite being without top runner Camille Davre who was at a club soccer tournament. Coffey stepped up and did well, however, winning by 14 seconds as teammate Hannah Lyons continued her impressive recovery from injury with a second-place effort of 15:10.
Other scoring runners included Claire Hentzen in seventh (15:41) and Kylee Kennedy in eighth (15:41) as Reilly Koch was 13th (15:59) to round out the scoring.
Also running were Alana Blegen in 15th (16:12) and Nina Jankins in 21st (16:42).
"We really stepped up and ran well," Blue Dukes coach Mike Miller said, noting that Lyons took another strong step up and that Hentzen and Kennedy continue to progress nicely. The junior varsity, led by individual winner Meghan Graham (16:49) took the first seven spots in its race.
Miller wasn't quite as happy with the boys team, as the Dukes took fourth-of-11 schools with 122 points as Waukesha North won with 72. George Papajohn took sixth individually on the 5,000-meter course to lead the way (16:51) while Darien Yaeger was 25th (17:21), Patrick Konrath 29th (17:32), Jack Mueller 30th (17:32), Aaron Jankins 32nd (17:39), Blake Bostwick 35th (17:43) and Ben Bergquist 50th (18:14).
WHITEFISH BAY GIRLS GOLF
Prior to advancing to the WIAA State Tournament out of sectional play on Monday (see separate article), the Blue Dukes pulled off the fine feat of winning a WIAA regional title on Oct. 2 at Silver Spring Country Club in Menomonee Falls with an excellent 18-hole score of 332 total.
The Blue Dukes finished 16 shots ahead of Brookfield Central for the title in the eight-team field as Clare Matkom finished second individually with a 76 and Robinson Creighton tied for fourth with an 81.
Other scores for the Blue Dukes included Caroline Matkom with an 84, Annie Letizia with a 91, Summer Koehn with a 96.
Coach Frank Donadio said he was happy to have another championship plaque for the trophy case following the Blue Dukes North Shore Conference title the previous week.
SHOREWOOD BOYS CROSS COUNTRY
In a battle of defending state champions, the Greyhounds came up just a little bit short of Madison West in taking second in the Racine Case Eagle Invitational on Saturday.
Coach Dominic Newman worked hard to plant an idea in his runners' heads that they could beat the powerful Regents, and they almost did.
"If you know you can run fast, you'll accept the discomfort as a natural part of the race and hang on and keep going," he said. "It's amazing how we all set mental barriers to what we can do. Once a runner PRs, more will follow suit.
"...What a great showing on the varsity boys side."
The Greyhounds did run fast and turned in an impressive 66-point total for its spot in the 19-school field as West won with 62. West entered the meet ranked second in state D1 polls while Shorewood was back atop the state D2 polls.
Charlie Stahl lost out only to West's Olin Hacker on the 5,000-meter course with a very quick runner-up time of 15 minutes, 57 seconds. Hacker, the son of former two-time Menomonee Falls North state champion Tim Hacker, was clocked in 15:46 for the win.
Sam Kuhlmann was fourth for the Greyhounds in 16:17, while other scoring runners included Jake Goldberg in 13th (16:52),Jack Mauer in 20th (17:02) and Johnnie Papineau in 27th (17:07).
Also running for the Greyhounds were Henry Fowler in 48th (17:26) and Dylan Larson-Harsch in 58th (17:37) while Mayan Essak was 64th (17:45).
SHOREWOOD GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY
The Greyhounds put three runners in the top 10 and finished in fourth place out of 17 teams in the Racine Case Eagle Invitational at UW-Parkside.
They scored 102 points for their spot as Waukesha West won with 51. Morgan and Haley Florsheim took second (14:49) and third (15;10), respectively, on the 4,000-meter course and trailed only Brookfield Central powerhouse Elizabeth Flatley (14:01) in the 120-plus girl field.
They got help from Micaela Gayner in eighth (15:35), while Haley Woyak was 42nd (16:27) and Laura Gould was 47th (16:31) to round out the scoring.
Also running were Lindsey Morris in 57th (16:49), Alison Reinhoffer in 75th (17:25) and Martha Hellerman in 88th (17:32).
WHITEFISH BAY AND NICOLET BOYS VOLLEYBALL
Bay/Domincian defeated Nicolet by a 21-25, 25-19, 25-14, 25-20 in a recent North Shore match.
Bay was led by Ashton Lehner who had 12 kills and three blocks while John Turner had 11 kills, Beau Talbert 12 assists, Jake Rybakowicz 11 assists and Jonathan Smallpage three aces.
"We made way too many errors the first set, but we were able to turn it around and played smarter and more controlled ball the rest of the match," coach Jim Mehls said. "When the first pass was on target we were very good at putting the ball away on the attack."
SHOREWOOD BOYS VOLLEYBALL
The Greyhounds won the silver pool in their own invite on Saturday.
First-year coach Jake Nowak was pleased with the organizational aspects of the event and his team's overall level of play.
"I thought the tourney went well this weekend," he said. "We knew we had to keep the tourney moving so that we could clear the gym for homecoming later that night and it seemed to work out great. The finals were done around 3:30 which is rare for a high school tourney, so I think the players, parents and coaches were happy to get some quality matches in while still preserving some of their Saturday.
"We received several compliments from visiting families on our concessions and how much they enjoyed coming to our tournament so that's a huge credit to our own parents who put a great deal of time and effort into this event. This is our only fundraiser for boys volleyball here at Shorewood and we couldn't do it without our parents and JV guys all working together to allow all the teams to just focus on playing volleyball."
As far as the volleyball was concerned, Nowak felt that the Greyhounds rebounded well from a tough opening loss to defending state champion Appleton North and thought the team did an excellent job in responding to runs.
Highlighted players included All-American Karl Apfelbach, outside hitter Jack Knutson and Joe Lock.
"We just have to continue to work hard to improve each day in practice and more good things will happen," Nowak said.
The Greyhounds have won two out of their last three games to improve to 7-5-2 overall.
With that mark, they earned the fourth seed in their half of the WIAA Division 3 Pewaukee sectional and host fifth-seeded Milwaukee Lutheran in a regional semifinal on Tuesday. If they win, they advance to a regional final against the winner of top-seeded Catholic Memorial and eighth-seeded Messmer on Oct. 17.
Pewaukee is the top seed on the other half of the bracket.
Shorewood downed Woodland foe Greenfield, 3-0, on Monday scoring all their goals in the second half. A. Lopez, P. P. Quinan and E. Lane all found the back of the net for the Greyhounds.
Prior to that, they turned in a good effort in falling to area rival and North Shore Conference champion Whitefish Bay, 1-0, on Saturday, as the Blue Dukes needed a goal from Jack Menard (assist from Zach Heller) to pull out the win.
On Oct. 2, the Greyhounds overpowered Cudahy/St. Francis, 4-0, as Kieran Quinan had two goals, and Elliot Lane and Sanil Pannachan (assist David Botero) one apiece.
The Falcons enter the final week of the regular season on a four-game skid, having dropped decisions to Pewaukee (2-1) on Monday and Whitnall on Oct. 2 by the same score.
Brown Deer (8-12-1) earned the fifth seed in the top half of the Pewaukee WIAA Division 3 sectional and visits fourth-seeded Plymouth in a regional semifinal on Tuesday. If they advance, they will likely visit top-seeded Pewaukee in a regional final on Oct. 17.
In the regular season loss to Pewaukee, the Falcons grabbed the early lead on a goal from Jimmy Pierson (assist to Johnny Pierson) only to have the Pirates come back with two second half goals to pull out the win.
Ryan Hudson was stout in goal with 13 saves.
In the loss to Whitnall, the Falcons fell behind, 2-0, and got a goal from Jimmy Pierson with three minutes left, but it was not enough. Hudson made 11 saves.
NICOLET BOYS SOCCER
The Knights (6-4-2) earned the fourth seed in their half of the WIAA Brookfield East Division 2 sectional and host Whitnall in a regional semifinal on Tuesday.
If they win that game, they will likely visit top-seeded North Shore Conference champion Whitefish Bay in a regional final on Oct. 17.
The Highlanders (2-9) lost to North Shore champion Whitefish Bay, 4-0, on Oct. 1, and now look forward to WIAA Tournament play.
They earned the seventh seed in their half of the WIAA Division 1 Germantown sectional and visit their North Shore rivals the Warhawks on Tuesday in a regional semifinal. If they win that game, they vist the winner of Oshkosh West and Manitowoc.
Jesse Nye had five saves for the Highlanders in the loss to Bay.
The Blue Dukes had to work hard to finish 11th in the Nicolet Brittney Gigl Memorial Tournament on Saturday.
"As always, great competition at the Gigl" tournament," coach Elizabeth Stecklein said. "We couldn't find any rhythm however and our 11th-place finish showed that fact. We were close against Appleton East and went to three games with Homestead, but couldn't make it happen. Our serve/receive and scrappiness on defense are showing great improvements that shows promise as we finish out conference."
The Greyhounds defeated South Milwaukee in a Woodland Conference dual 25-19, 25-23, 25-19 and came back to take the bronze division in the Nicolet Brittney Gigl Memorial Tournament on Saturday.
"I thought that we played well on Saturday," coach Ryan Roessler said. "Our first two matches in pool play were games we could have won. We played both Watertown and New Berlin West pretty close however we ended up losing both matches.
"We then were placed into the bronze division where we went on to beat Riverside, and Homestead. The Homestead match was a real solid match both teams played well and we found a way to finish the match in game three to win the bronze division."
— Steven L. Tietz
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