After playing No. 2 singles last year, junior Grace Olson embraced the challenge playing atop the Madison Memorial singles lineup this fall.
From the first day of practice, Spartans girls tennis coach Joe King could see how much time Olson put in during the offseason improving her groundstrokes and her serve. From the opening competition of the season, Olson gave the indication she was in for a big season.
“She has always been a great competitor on the court and is never satisfied with anything but her best tennis,” King said. “Winning the Dane County Invite at No. 1 singles, where she beat (Hailey) Munz and (Cecile) Fuchs in straight sets in back to back matches gave me a good indication that she was in for a great year.”
Olson led Madison Memorial to the Big Eight Conference dual season and tournament titles and to the WIAA state team tournament — for the first time since 2005.
She was the No. 1 singles champion at the Big Eight Conference tournament and had the best finish among area singles players in Division 1 at the WIAA state individual tennis tournament, reaching the quarterfinals. Her No. 1 singles victory at team state propelled the Spartans past Eau Claire Memorial 4-3 in a Division 1 quarterfinal.
For her efforts, Olson was named the Wisconsin State Journal/WisconsinPrepZone.com All-Area girls tennis singles player of the year.
“Going into subsectionals with a 21-1 record is the best that any of our No. 1 players have had since Katya Mirnova only had one loss in 2005 prior to the state meet,” King said. “I could not have asked for a better effort from Grace this season and I'm very proud of how she competed the entire year. I know that she will come back next year even stronger and ready to play at an even higher level.”
Doubles players of the year
Middleton senior Maddie Clark and sophomore Karsen Dettman, playing together for the first time this season, were selected as the All-Area doubles players of the year.
They won the Big Eight No. 1 doubles title and were a Division 1 sectional champion. Clark and Dettman earned the top seed for the state meet and finished as the Division 1 state runner-up in doubles.
Coach of the year
Madison Memorial coach Joe King was named the All-Area coach of the year.
He led the Spartans to the Big Eight dual and tournament titles and to Division 1 team state – for the first time in 13 years. The Spartans advanced to team state semifinals. They upended third-seeded Eau Claire Memorial 4-3 in the quarterfinal round and fell to Milwaukee Divine Savior Holy Angels 4-3 in the semifinals.
King also was named the Wisconsin High School Tennis Coaches Association Division 1 state coach of the year.
Grace Olson, jr., Madison Memorial: Olson was the Big Eight Conference tournament No. 1 singles champion and reached the quarterfinals at WIAA Division 1 individual state. Olson, 26-4 after individual state, entered the state tournament seeded fourth. She helped Memorial win the Big Eight title and reach team state.
Baluck Deang, so., Madison Edgewood: Deang was the Badger Conference tournament No. 1 singles champion and a Division 2 sectional winner. Deang, seeded fifth, was 21-7 after finishing fourth at Division 2 individual state.
Maddi Bremel, so., Madison West: Bremel, seeded ninth in singles, was 30-8 after reaching the round of 16 at Division 1 state. She was a sectional champion, topping Olson for her first victory in three meetings against Olson this season.
Meredith Conley, jr., Verona: Conley was seeded 13th in singles and advanced to the second round at Division 1 state, finishing 24-5.
Karsen Dettman, so., and Maddie Clark, sr., Middleton: Dettman and Clark (26-2) won Big Eight tournament and sectional titles at No. 1 doubles. They earned the top seed at Division 1 state, where they finished second – the best finish among area competitors at state.
Kinsey Kessel, sr., and Lizzie Drake, jr., Madison Edgewood: Kessel and Drake (17-12) were a Division 2 sectional champion. They earned the eighth seed in doubles and reached the Division 2 state quarterfinals.
Jenna Koepp, sr., and Katie Schleicher, sr., Watertown: Koepp and Schleicher (30-3) were the Badger Conference tournament No. 1 doubles champion. They advanced to the second round at Division 1 state.
Singles: Cecile Fuchs, jr., DeForest ; Samantha Fuchs, so., DeForest; Hailey Munz, jr., Monona Grove; Julia Zhou, jr., Madison Memorial.
Doubles: Lauren Hope Bruemmer, so., and Kaia Feldman, jr., Sun Prairie; Camryn Ballweg, sr., and Taylor Breininger, sr., Sauk Prairie; Anna Hubbard, sr., and Devika Kamath, sr., Madison Memorial.
Singles: Abby Bremel, so., Madison West; Morgan Nelson, jr., Beaver Dam; Quinlyn Mack, fr., Sauk Prairie; Julia Hess, sr., Madison Edgewood; Morgan Graf, sr., Jefferson; Nikita Remesh, fr., Madison Memorial.
Doubles: Camille Vadas, jr., and Sophie Knigge, so., Madison West; Jessica Pientka, jr., and Noor Rajpal, so., Middleton; Spencer Harrison, sr., and Katie Goetz, sr., Madison West; Kelly Smith, jr., and Sarah Dunn, so., Madison Edgewood; Hannah Budde, so., and Abby Kiesow, jr., Beaver Dam; Alethia Schmidt, so., and Abigail Schewe, so., Watertown Luther Prep.