The Red Hawk boys tennis team had a great week, winning two Badger South Conference dual matches and placing third at the Stoughton Tournament.
Milton defeated Stoughton last Thursday before the Stoughton Tournament on Saturday, and downed Monona Grove on Tuesday. The Red Hawks’ conference dual record is now 3-1.
Milton’s match at Fort Atkinson on Monday was postponed due to inclement weather and was made up on Wednesday. The team travels to Oregon on Friday for its final conference dual.
MILTON 6 STOUGHTON 1
After getting swept by Madison Edgewood on May 6, the Red Hawks came out last Thursday against Stoughton and nearly passed the favor on to the Vikings.
The Red Hawks swept the doubles matches, not losing a set. At No. 1 doubles, Eric Berthiaume and Eric Grote won 6-3, 6-3. Chet Adam and Marcus Winters won 6-0, 6-3 at No. 2 doubles and Danny Pratt and Ryan Berthiaume dominated at No. 3 doubles to the tune of a 6-0, 6-0 victory.
“Eric Berthiaume and Eric Grote pulled off some amazing doubles points, which they set up well in their strong serves and returns,” co-head coach Heather Slosarek said. “They are not scared to battle at the net and showed great mobility there.
“Chet Adam and Marcus Winters have been developing key strengths in the duo,” she continued. “Chet has gained more confidence at the net, which makes him dangerous to opponents with his height and reach. Marcus runs everything down and has nicely placed lobs.”
Slosarek added that Pratt and Ryan Berthiaume continue to work well as a doubles team.
“Their break away from doubles to play some singles in the tournament play has helped increase the combined mobility and they are executing very well-placed balls on the court,” Slosarek said.
Ken Yap and Sean Grote won 6-0, 6-1 at No. 1 and No. 2 singles, respectively. At No. 4 singles, Bobby Hanna had to battle for his victory, winning 7-6 (8-6), 7-5.
“Bobby Hanna had a gutsy battle to pull out a win,” co-head coach Rob Boden said. “He recognized that his opponent struggled with backspin, so he used that shot consistently throughout his last few games of the second set.”
The Red Hawks hit the road to Stoughton on Saturday and took third place in the eight-team tournament.
Milton finished with 18 points as Big Foot (25) and Oregon (24) battled it out for the top spot.
The Red Hawks’ doubles teams helped them to their top-three finish, especially the No. 2 doubles team of Eric Berthiaume and Eric Grote, which brought back first place.
The pair won their first match in a third-set super-tiebreaker and then won their final two matches in straight sets.
“Eric and Eric put on a doubles clinic this weekend,” Slosarek said. “This team does not get phased by anything. Eric Grote has some of the best court-sense on our team … Eric Berthiaume had dominating serves in their last round match. His first serve is deadly when it is on.
“Eric and Eric are 8-0 at No. 2 doubles in our tournament lineup and they have set themselves up for a great seed at subsectionals and could go very far.”
The No. 1 doubles team of Yap and Sean Grote won their first match, lost their second in a super-tiebreaker and won their third for third place.
“In the second round, they went up against a team that went to the third round in the state tournament last year and almost pulled out a victory,” Slosarek said. “They showed great control of the court and executed critical shots at critical times.”
In the third-place match, Yap and Sean Grote beat the Janesville Parker team that had just beaten them at the Janesville quadrangular meet.
At No. 3 doubles, Adam and Winters had to battle for their third-place finish. They won their first match in a super-tiebreaker, lost their second in a super-tiebreaker and won their third 6-0, 6-4.
“They capitalize on Chet’s height and wingspan at the net and Mark’s speed and scrappiness to win points that seem impossible,” Slosarek said. “They continue to grow as a doubles team and we look forward to seeing them go far in the tournament as well.”
Van Den Heuvel , Hanna, Ryan Berthiaume and Pratt each won one of three singles matches.
MILTON 5 MONONA GROVE 2
The Red Hawks cruised to victory over visiting Monona Grove on Tuesday, winning three singles matches and two doubles matches.
Yap, Sean Grote and Van Den Heuvel combined to lose just five games at the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 singles flights, respectively.
Yap defeated Christian Docter 6-1, 6-3.
“Ken Yap’s serves were on display tonight,” Slosarek said. “He has such versatility with the pace, placement, and spin of his serve, and the crowd witnessed his great control and accuracy throughout his match.”
Sean Grote won 6-1, 6-0 and Van Den Heuvel didn’t lose a game.
“Sean Grote is an extremely talented tennis player. His court awareness and patience combined with his athleticism and perfect placement make him a frustrating competitor for any opponent,” Slosarek said. “Jackson took control of his match early and didn’t let up throughout the match.”
At No. 1 doubles, Eric Berthiaume and Eric Grote won in three sets, and the No. 3 doubles team of Pratt and Ryan Berthiaume won 6-2, 7-6 (12-10).
“Danny and Ryan provided a master class on using strong cross-court shots to set up even stronger doubles net play,” Slosarek said. “The patience that they showed in the tight second-set tiebreaker was extremely impressive and just another characteristic of a seasoned doubles team.”