The Falcons doubles team of Johnny and Jimmy Pierson turned in a good enough season to earn a special qualifier invitation to this weekend's WIAA State D2 Tournament in the Nielsen Tennis Stadium in Madison.
Pierson and Pierson (15-7) will take on a duo from Racine Prairie at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 5 in a first-round match. They lost to that duo in a match earlier this season. If they win, they will play again at approximately noon on Friday, June 6. Matches continue through the Saturday, June 7, finals.
Coach Jim Matousek is pleased to say that these are the first Falcon boys state qualifiers since 2009. Ironically, at that time, it was also a brothers' doubles team, Trenton and Torrian Ricks. The Piersons are the 38th and 39th players that Matousek has led to state in 35 years.
Jimmy Pierson is a senior who came back to tennis after spending last spring in club soccer while his brother Johnny is an intense sophomore who's driven to win. Matousek believes it wasn't any one or two key wins that got the duo to state but a series of tough, competitive losses to excellent opposition.
They lost in the powerful WIAA sub-sectional that the Falcons hosted on May 27 and then had to await the verdict of the state seeding committee. The brackets were announced on May 31.
"We want them to share the experience, because an opportunity like this is very special," said Matousek. "Not that many people get to do it. They're very deserving to be there because they have played good quality opponents. ...And we view their match-up as a positive too. It's an opportunity to 'reverse' not 'revenge' a loss. They've played tough people before, there aren't going to be any surprises.
"They know how special the going (to state) is."
Coach Chad Melotte voiced a minor expletive rather loudly and happily on May 30 when his 4x200-meter relay team had finished second in the WIAA sectional track meet at Sussex Hamilton.
He was looking at his stopwatch when he said it as the Knight squad of Rylee Callahan, Brandilyn Robertson, Amara Saffold and Jana Martin advanced to this weekend's state meet in La Crosse with a season-best of 1:43.84.
With the advancement, Martin is making her third trip to state and second on a relay that included Saffold.
"We put our bodies before our minds," she said, "and we overcame the mental hurdles we put in front of ourselves all season.
"We were confident before the race. All of us were grinning before we got onto the track, and we said we'd keep smiling no matter what happened. Now we have much bigger grins than when we started the day."
The WIAA State Meet gets underway at UW-La Crosse's Memorial Stadium at 9:30 a.m. Friday, June 6 and concludes Saturday, June 7.
That qualifying berth led the Knights to a 23-point total at the 16-team sectional Arrowhead won with 133.
Other sectional efforts included the following: Pole vault—Callahan, sixth (9-0). 4x800 relay—Michelle Pigg, Elizabeth Mowers, Nora McGuire and Katie Novak, fifth (season best 9:53.77). 200—Martin, fourth (26.39). 1,600—Novak, sixth (5:39.14).
Senior DeVante Coleman, a member of the state championship 4x100-meter relay team of 2012, missed out a state meet berth of his own by just .02 of a second when he took fourth in the 200 dash in the WIAA Hamilton sectional on May 30.
His effort was the best chance for the Knights to advance anyone to state as their season came to an end at the sectional.
Coleman ran a 22.70 time as a Milwaukee Vincent runner earned the third and final state meet berth with a 22.68 effort. The 4x200 relay team of Sam Kirk, Desmond Steward, Jacob Sutter and Coleman, was fourth in a season best of 1:31.21, but would have needed to run under 1:30 to advance to state.
Behind those efforts, the Knights were 15th in the 16-team sectional with 18 points. Other sectional efforts included the following: 4x100 relay—Kirk, Coleman, Devin Fears and Steward, sixth (44.33). Pole vault—Charles Rossman, seventh (12-0); and Taylor Hansen, eighth (11-6). 100—Kirk, seventh (11.59).
The Highlanders bounced back from their disappointment of falling in the North Shore Conference finale the week before, by winning the WIAA regional meet they hosted on Tuesday, May 27 at Ozaukee Country Club.
With the win, Homestead advanced to the sectional tournament that was held on Wednesday, June 4 at Fire Ridge in Grafton. The top two teams and first three individuals not on those teams advanced to the WIAA State Meet in Verona on Monday and Tuesday, June 9 and 10 at University Ridge.
The Highlanders turned in an 18-hole score of 308 in the deep and talented regional as Sussex Hamilton (313), Arrowhead (316) and defending state champion Cedarburg (327) also advanced to sectional.
Freshman Robbie Morway led the way for Homestead by taking second individually with an 18-hole score of 73, while Zack Shahrokhi was sixth with a 76. and Charlie Maleki eighth at 78.
Other Homestead scores included Ryan Wirthlin with an 81 and Marty Kimmel with an 89.
The Blue Dukes turned in their best 18-hole round in at least five years according to coach Frank Donadio, when they carded a 312 and took second in the WIAA regional at Washington County on May 27.
The effort advanced the Blue Dukes to the sectional tournament at Fire Ridge in Grafton that was held Wednesday, June 4, with the top two teams and first three individuals not on those teams advancing to the WIAA State Tournament at University Ridge in Verona, Monday and Tuesday, June 9 and 10.
Bay's fine score trailed only Marquette (299) in the regional as Pius XI (358) and Wisconsin Lutheran (384) also advanced to the sectional.
Patrick Sicula led the way with a 77, while Adam Dallimore and Hank Grunau each carded 78s, Beau Talbert 79 and Teddy Weber 95. Donadio said the four scores in the 70s for the team were also a first in the last five years.
The Falcons extended their season with a fine second-place finish in the WIAA D2 regional at Oakwood on May 27.
With that effort, Brown Deer advanced to the sectional that was played Tuesday, June 3 at Badger Creek Golf Course in New Holstein. From there, the top two teams and first three individuals not on those teams will advance to the WIAA State Tournament at University Ridge in Verona, Monday and Tuesday, June 9 and 10.
Brown Deer turned in an 18-hole score of 365 at the regional as University School won with a 336 total.
Ryan Hudson took eighth individually to lead the Falcons with an 87, while James Bublitz came in with a 91, Kevin Kamppinen 92, Imani Stingley 95 and Jalen Greenlee carded a 112.
NICOLET BOYS GOLF
Tucker Bauman took second individually with an 18-hole score of 79 and qualified for WIAA sectional play as an individual as the Knights took fifth in the WIAA regional meet at Wanaki on May 27.
Bauman took part in WIAA sectional play at Edgewood Golf Course in Big Bend on Tuesday, June 3. The top two teams and first three individuals not on those teams advanced to the WIAA State Meet at University Ridge in Verona, June 9 and 10.
Bauman led the Knights to a 346 regional score as Brookfield Central won with a 322 mark.
Other Nicolet scores included Ben Spector with an 87, Michael Carruth and Alex Braun each with 90 and August Eurich with a 91.
The short-handed Greyhounds saw their season come to an end with a sixth-place finish in the WIAA D2 regional meet at Oakwood on May 27.
Shorewood, which was playing without injured top player Brian Morris, turned in an 18-hole score of 443, as University School won with a 336 mark.
Freshman Tommy Curtis led the way for the Greyhounds with a 95, while Josh Kather came in with a 105, Cooper Lang 116, Emmett Ognar 127 and Bryan Frieseke with a 141.
The Knights closed out their regular season on a fine note, winning their final two games, defeating Grafton, 3-0, in a North Shore Conference decision on May 29 and then downing fine nonconference opponent Racine Prairie, 2-1, on May 30.
With the two victories, Nicolet finished up at 7-9-1. The Knights earned the seventh seed in its half of the WIAA D2 Whitefish Bay sectional and will visit second-seeded Waukesha West in a regional semifinal at 5 p.m. Thursday, June 5. If they win, they will take on the winner of Waukesha North and Wauwatosa West. in a regional final on Saturday, June 7 (TBA).
In the win over Prairie, Sophie Marshall had the first goal with an assist from Hilary Miller while Greta Ricigliano turned in the eventual gamewinner later in the first half. Emily Roesner made 10 saves for Nicolet.
Against Grafton, the Knights scored all three of their goals in the first half as Amina Maamouri, Daniell Sobelman and Miller all found the back of the net.
The Highlanders bounced back from their disappointing defeat to Bay in the North Shore Conference title game (see separate story) and downed Muskego, 1-0, in a regular season-closing nonconference win on May 29.
With the win, Homestead finished the regular season at 12-5-1. WIAA Tourney play started with a home regional semifinal against Sheboygan North at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 5.
Mikaella Sabinash scored the only goal against Muskego as Kelli Ausman made seven saves.
The Greyhounds finished their regular season with a 3-0 victory over Greendale on May 29. Earlier in the week, they had dropped a 3-0 decision to Wauwatosa West on May 27.
In the victory over Greendale, Sunni Kessenich had two goals and Zoe DePrez one.
The Greyhounds (8-3-1) earned third seed in its haldf of the WIAA D3 Pewaukee bracket and will ho0st Wisconsin Lutheran in a 7 p.m. regional semifinal on Thursday, June 5. If they win, they will advance to likely visit Woodland rival Pewaukee in a regional final on Saturday, June 7.
The Falcons lost to South Milwaukee, 3-1, in Woodland Conference match-up on May 29.
Brown Deer, now 4-13-1, earned the seven seed in its half of the WIAA D3 Pewaukee bracket and will visit second seeded Grafton in a WIAA regional semifinal on Thursday, June 5. If they survive that, they will travel to face the winner of Kiel and Sheboygan Falls in a regional final on Saturday, June 7 (TBA).
In the loss top South Milwaukee, the Falcons picked up a goal from Maggie Pierson (assist to Diane Essoka).
— Steven L. Tietz
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