With experience, confidence and power, Madison Edgewood senior Baluck Deang stands two victories from becoming the first Crusaders player to earn a repeat WIAA state tennis championship.
Deang, the defending Division 2 singles champion and this year’s top-seeded player, improved to 11-1 on the season with a pair of victories in her first two state matches at SportsCore in Kohler on Friday.
Deang beat senior Alethia Schmidt of Watertown Luther Prep, 6-0, 6-0, and then took a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Racine St. Catherine’s/Lutheran senior Kate Smith to advance to the semifinals.
The senior will take on Waukesha Catholic Memorial senior Lauren Carson (15-2) in a 9 a.m. semifinal. The two met in a quarterfinal two years ago, with Deang earning a three-set victory.
Saturday’s winner will meet either Walworth Big Foot/Williams Bay junior Emily Gauger or Appleton Xavier senior Erika Curtin in the championship match.
“She’s looking confident, playing really strong tennis,” Edgewood coach Alex Mory said. “She’s dictating a lot of the points, taking control of the points.
“Today it seemed like she was going into any regular match. Her demeanor is smooth. She’s always been a smooth player.”
In the Division 1 state tournament at Lake Geneva Tennis Club, fourth-seeded senior Samantha Fuchs of DeForest couldn’t beat last year’s singles runner-up, Zaya Iderzul of Lake Geneva Badger, for the second time in 10 days.
Iderzul (19-1), seeded fifth after losing to Fuchs (14-1) in a sectional final last week, got her revenge in a quarterfinal match, taking a 6-0, 6-4 victory. She’ll meet top-seeded Autumn Bruno of Hales Corners Whitnall in a semifinal on Saturday.
“Indoors is Zaya’s comfort zone. She plays exceptionally well indoors, and Samantha found that out today,” DeForest coach Kristin Pachal said. “It was a tough match, a quality match. That first set was not as runaway as the score looked.”
Fuchs will take on Muskego junior Christina Pan (22-3) in a consolation semifinal Saturday morning, with the winner moving into the fifth-place match.
Also Friday, the Waunakee doubles tandem of senior Sarah Sowinski and sophomore Gretchen Lee (4-2) fell in the third round to Hartland Arrowhead’s Hannah Cady and Anna Long to end their season. Cady and Long advanced to the semifinals.
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