At the end of the day, Thursday, Oct. 17, everything was in line for Monona Grove High School girls tennis player Hailey Munz to win a state title.
She won her first two matches in three sets against challenging opponents and entered competition the following day against Norah Balthazor of De Pere.
Yet, that’s where her run ended as Balthazor earned a 6-0, 7-5 to end Munz’s brilliant varsity tennis career at Monona Grove. Balthazor eventually went on to take fourth place in the individual tournament.
Munz got off to a rocky start against Mia Bakke of New Richmond.
Bakke earned a 6-2 win in the first set, but Munz came back to win the second set 6-2 and force a third set tiebreaker.
Munz won it 10-6 to set up a second-round afternoon match against Jacqueline Brady of Green Bay Notre Dame.
It was another difficult test as the first two sets required tiebreakers with Brady taking the first but Munz coming back to win the second to set a 10-point third set. Munz pulled out the victory 10-8, but saw her hopes for a state title dashed against Balthazor, who entered the tournament as the fifth seed with 35 wins in 37 matches.
Balthazor drew a bye in the first round, and then knocked off her De Pere freshman teammate Bella Bigari to set up her match against Munz, who ended the season with 23 wins in 33 matches.
Munz’s defeat ended one of the more successful careers in the history of the Monona Grove tennis program.
After starting as a singles player as a freshman in 2016, head coach John Willauer teamed Munz with junior Amanda Newman.
The duo qualified for state and survived the first three rounds.
In 2017, the duo finished the regular season 28-0 and did not lose a single set all year.
At state, sophomore Munz and senior Newman won four matches in two sets to set up a championship duel against Frankie La Londe and Alyssa Boyer of Homestead.
After winning the first set, Munz and Newman dropped the second, leaving a third set to decide the championship.
Yet, the duo beat La Londe and Boyer 6-2 to take the state title.
With Newman graduating in 2018, Munz qualified for state her junior year as a singles competitor but lost in the second round.
Monona Grove was represented by another singles player, Jewel Lindwall, who entered the tournament as a special qualifier.
Lindwall had a 25-4 record during the regular season as MG’s No. 2 singles player, but lost in the first round to Abby Bremel of Madison West 6-0, 6-1.