Sommer defeated in her opening match at state meet
WIAA DIV. 2 STATE GIRLS TENNIS
Brooke Sommer got off to a promising start in her WIAA Division 2 first-round state tennis match last Thursday morning, winning the first game, but Maahum Jan from the University School of Milwaukee shut Sommer out after that and advanced to the round of 16 with a 6-1, 6-0 win.
The defeat quickly ended Sommer’s dream trip to the state tournament, but reaching that goal is something she and Medford head coach Jake Bucki won’t soon forget.
“Brooke had a great experience at the state tournament,” Bucki said. “As she always has, Brooke represented her self, team, school and community in the greatest ways possible. Since her sophomore year, when she got to witness firsthand what it’s like to be in a sectional championship, she has had the goal of making it to the state tournament. After the match, we discussed how amazing it was to set that long-term goal and all the work that was put in to put her in a position to accomplish her goal. She has really laid the foundation for returning players to follow if they want to be successful at a high level.”
Playing in flight-one singles for the first time in her prep career, Sommer has played the area’s top talent throughout the fall and finished with a 6-12 singles record. Sommer and Bucki both said calming nerves early had been key in Sommer’s big sectional win over Rice Lake’s Alexa Robarge which clinched the state berth. It seemed like that might be a factor early in the state match at Kohler as well, when Sommer broke Jan’s serve in the opening game and took a 1-0 lead.
“With only 28 singles players in the entire state making the state tournament, there are no good or easy matchups, but we knew Brooke would be able to compete in her match,” Bucki said. “Watching them warm up was a bit funny because both ladies hit the ball over the curtains and were mis-hitting a lot of shots. However, it was even more fun to see that both of them knew to swing those nerves out in warm ups and were hitting well by the end of warmups.
“Brooke started out the first set well, breaking Jan’s serve in the first game,” he added. “In two of the next three games, she had game-points but couldn’t quite finish the games out. Brooke hit the ball really well throughout the first set, hitting deep corners and mixing in some shorter cuts and drop shots. Late in the first set, Jan started to really keep Brooke pinned back by hitting deep in the court. This prevented Brooke from being able to hit the mid-court winners, which are the strongest part of her game.”
With the win in the first set under her belt, Jan, who finished the year 11-7 after a 6-0, 6-0 second-round loss to fourth-seeded Lauren Carson of Waukesha Catholic Memorial on Friday, took charge in the second set.
“In the second set, Jan just played a much more consistent game than Brooke did,” Bucki said. “Despite the score, the first set was extremely competitive. The second set finished relatively quickly.”
The loss ended a career for Sommer that included three sectional appearances. In her first two sectional appearances, she reached the flight-four singles and flight-two doubles championship matches. She and Kailee Mann were the first-team All-Great Northern Conference number-two doubles team in 2019 and Sommer earned honorable mention at number-four singles in 2018.
“We are extremely proud of Brooke and what she has accomplished throughout her four years in the program,” Bucki said. “She has been a lead-byexample type of student-athlete that every coach desires to have on their team. The passion she has developed for the sport of tennis is such a fun thing to watch and has helped her game in many ways. While we will definitely miss her next year, she has shown others what it takes to achieve that next level of play.”
Top-seeded Baluck Deang of Madison Edgewood won the Division 2 singles championship Saturday with a 6-3, 7-5 win over second-seeded Erika Curtin of Appleton Xavier. Sixth-seeded Emily Gauger of Big Foot-Williams Bay beat Carson in the third place match. Gauger was leading 3-6, 7-5, 2-0 when Carson had to retire due to injury.
The top doubles seed, Kala Siddalingaiah and Rebecca Daskal of University School were 7-5, 7-5 winners over seventh-seeded Kylie McCormick and Bella Taleon of Appleton Xavier in that championship match. The champs beat Newman Catholic’s Grace and Ava Sukanen 7-5, 6-4 in the round of 16, while the Xavier team beat Stevens Point Pacelli’s Ella Schroeder and Marissa Stolt 6-0, 6-2 in that same round. The Sukanens beat Isabel Werner and Beatrice Laterman of University School 7-6 (4), 6-3 in the first round. Pacelli’s team beat Caitlin Klink and Evie Shepich of Eau Claire Regis 6-3, 6-2 in their opener.
As for other GNC representatives, Newman Catholic’s Becky Larrain lost 6-1, 6-0 to Danica Silcox of La Crosse Aquinas in her first singles match and, in Division 1 play at Lake Geneva, Antigo’s Ellie Preboski and Elli Stank, Antigo, drew a bye, then lost 6-2, 7-5 to Deirdre Martin and Jenna Hausman of Tomah.