Sometimes, the key to winning everything really is just to take things just one step at a time.
That’s how DeForest sisters Cecile and Samantha Fuchs attacked this season — their last chance to play together as high schoolers, because Cecile is a senior and Samantha is a junior.
The result was dazzling.
The girls went 39-0, winning every match in straight sets. Taking away one default victory, they won 78 sets in total — 49 of them by 6-0 scores. They lost five games in a set only once all year, and four games in a set only one other time.
As a result, the Fuchs sisters emerged from a strong field to earn the Wisconsin State Journal All-Area Girls Tennis Players of the Year honor for 2019.
“Our minds weren’t set on winning. We just wanted … to show people that we were good enough to get here,” Samantha Fuchs said after a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Whitefish Bay’s Elena Deslongchamps and Katie Kavanagh in the WIAA Division 1 state championship match at Nielsen Tennis Stadium.
“It feels amazing because the last (two) years at state, I haven’t really gotten as far,” Cecile Fuchs said. “So this feels great to finally win. To do it with my sister was really amazing.”
Also considered for the award was Madison Edgewood junior Baluck Deang, who won the Division 2 state singles championship with a three-set victory over top-seeded Sarah Gesner of Racine Prairie to cap a 33-4 season. Deang also won the Badger Conference singles title and her sectional.
Coach of the Year: Ryan Reischel led Madison West to the semifinals of the WIAA Division 1 state team tournament in his second year as the Regents’ head coach and 19th season overall. His career has included successful stops in Sun Prairie and Stoughton.
The Regents won the Big Eight Conference title, and in the individual state tournament, junior twins Maddi Bremel and Abby Bremel both advanced to the third round and finished 34-7, and the top doubles team of senior Camille Vadas and Sophia Knigge went 34-6 and made it to the state quarterfinals.
As a result, Reischel has been named the State Journal’s All-Area Coach of the Year for 2019.
2019 WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL
ALL-AREA GIRLS TENNIS TEAM
Baluck Deang, jr., Madison Edgewood (33-4): Defeated top-seeded Sarah Gesner of Racine Prairie in three sets to win her first WIAA Division 2 individual championship. Won the Badger Conference singles title.
Maddi Bremel, jr., Madison West (34-7): Advanced to the third round at individual state. Won sectional and Big Eight Conference titles at No. 1 singles.
Abby Bremel, jr., Madison West (34-7): Advanced to third round at individual state; won both her No. 2 singles matches at team state; took second in the Big Eight tournament and won a sectional title at No. 2 singles.
Meredith Conley, sr., Verona (26-4): Won two matches before falling to eventual sixth-place finisher Autumn Bruno of Hales Corners Whitnall at individual state. Big Eight runner-up.
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Cecile Fuchs, sr., and Samantha Fuchs, jr., DeForest (39-0): The Division 1 state champions won every match this season in straight sets, including five Division 1 state tournament matches. Also won Badger North Conference and sectional titles.
Jensen Christensen, sr., and Grace Tostrud, sr., Monroe (25-5): Bettered their No. 3 seeding at Division 2 state by advancing to the championship match, where they lost to unbeaten Erika Curtin and Ellie Macksood of Appleton Xavier in the final. Took fourth in the Badger Conference tournament, falling to the Fuchs sisters in a semifinal.
Camille Vadas, sr., and Sophia Knigge, jr., Madison West (34-6): Advanced to the quarterfinals at Division 1 state before falling to eventual runners-up Elena Deslongchamps and Katie Kavanagh of Whitefish Bay; went 1-1 in the state team tournament. Won the Big Eight title.
Hailey Munz, sr., Monona Grove (23-10): Made it to the third round at individual state, falling to fourth-place finisher Norah Balthazor of De Pere. Badger Conference runner-up.
Grace Olson, sr., Madison Memorial (23-11): Lost in the second round at individual state to eventual champion Jordan Schifano of Milwaukee Divine Savior Holy Angels. Took third in the Big Eight tournament.
Morgan Nelson, sr., Beaver Dam (28-7): Lost to Verona’s Meredith Conley in the second round at state; took third in the Badger Conference tournament and won her sectional.
Julia Zhou, sr., Madison Memorial (32-2): Took eventual third-place finisher Natalie Yang of Mequon Homestead to three sets in the second round at individual state singles. Won the Big Eight title at No. 2 singles.
Jessica Pientka, sr., and Noor Rajpal, jr., Middleton (27-9): Seeded 12th at Division 1 state, advanced to the third round before losing to the eventual runners-up Elena Deslongchamps and Katie Kavanagh of Whitefish Bay. Took second in the Big Eight tournament.
Trista Ripp, sr., and Sara Sowinski, jr., Waunakee (17-9): Fell in the second round at state after taking second in the Badger Conference tournament.
Abby Kiesow, sr., and Hannah Budde, jr., Beaver Dam (27-9): Fell in the second round at Division 1 state; took third in the Badger Conference tournament.
Sophia Agapov, fr., Middleton (18-14); Lauren Hope Bruemmer, jr., Sun Prairie (20-12); Quinlyn Mack, so., Sauk Prairie (14-9); Minami Rikimaru, jr., Madison La Follette (11-6); Aeryn Olson, sr., McFarland (14-9); Jena Smith, sr., Lake Mills (24-5); Jewell Lindwall, sr., Monona Grove (26-5); Claudia Curtis, fr., Lake Mills (24-4).
Rose Ryan, so., and Cece Hujanen, jr., Middleton; Jordyn Schroeder, sr., and Allison Grund, so., Janesville Craig; Sydney Breitbach, sr., and Kasie Keyes, sr., Verona; Greta Corcoran, sr., and Grace Henes, sr., McFarland (15-5); Alethia Schmidt, jr., and Abigail Schewe, jr., Watertown Luther Prep (15-1); Julianna Wagner, jr., and Gabby Mahr, so., Lake Mills (24-4); Mia Kroll, sr., and Makayla Legel, sr., Lake Mills (28-1); Madelyn Connaughty, jr., and Abby Okon, jr., Beaver Dam (17-5); Sydney Breitbach, sr., and Kasie Keyes, sr., Verona (18-15).