Beaver Dam senior Morgan Nelson wasn’t supposed to win in Thursday’s WIAA Division 1 Oshkosh North sectional.
No, it was supposed to be the No. 1 seed Melina Kopischkie from Germantown. But through grit and determination, the Golden Beavers senior prevailed, beating Kopischkie 6-0, 6-3 to advance to next week’s Division 1 state tournament Neilsen Tennis Stadium in Madison.
“She played with a lot of fire and emotion,” Beaver Dam coach Ryan Radig said. “She was playing Melina from Germantown who was seeded ahead of her by the coaches and that didn’t make Morgan very happy, so she set out to prove that she was the best player in this sectional.”
By advancing to state, Nelson will be a state qualifier each of her four years at Beaver Dam. She is 1-3 the last three years at the state tournament.
“After cramping early in the second set (of the championship round) she fought through pain and tears to come away as a champion,” Radig said. I cannot express enough how tough and resilient she was. I know I’ve called Abby (Kieso) the heart of the team, but it is clearly both of these girls.
“It was a very special day for Morgan and one that I won’t soon forget.”
Speaking of Kiesow, she and her teammate Hannah Budde finished fourth in No. 1 doubles and advanced to state as well. They defeated Sheboygan North’s Cadi Zhang and Ashwini Murthy 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 in a 2 hour, 45 minute first-round match.
“Both girls really worked hard to accomplish their goal,” Radig said. “Hannah was hitting smart shots and Abby was as steady as can be. They wore them down and pulled off a really nice win.”
In the second round, Kiesow and Budde were in a rematch with Cedarburg’s Hailey Haws and Willow Larson. Kiesow and Budde put up a fight, but lost 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 to the eventual sectional champions.
“Abby was fighting through some physical ailments and showed her toughness once again,” Radig said. “Hannah took over and started controlling the match to give the girls a shot. Although they came up short, I was really proud of them.”
Because of the injury to Kiesow, Radig said they had to default the third-place match.
Beaver Dam’s Riley Smith wasn’t at 100%, according to Radig, as she saw her season come to an end after she lost both of her matches on the day.
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“Riley battled a leg injury that really threw off her game,” Radig said. “She wasn’t able to grind out points like she had in the past and it made her try some new things. Although, I was impressed watching her try to make adjustments.
“It was nice to see her smile even though the outcomes of her matches were not in her favor.”
OSHKOSH NORTH SECTIONAL</&hspag3>
Automatic state qualifiers — Neenah 3; Beaver Dam 2; Cedarburg 1; Fond du Lac 1; Germantown 1; Sheboygan North 1; Slinger 1.
No. 1 singles — Championship: Nelson, BD, def. Kopischkie, Ger, 6-0, 6-3. Third place: Dunsirn, Nee, def. Damkot, SN, 6-1, 6-1. Semifinals: Nelson def. Dunsirn, 6-4, 1-6, 11-9; Kopischkie def. Damkot, 2-6, 6-1, 11-9. Quarterfinals: Dunsirn def. O’Leary, Ced, 6-0, 6-1; Nelson def. Kleinke, FdL, 6-0, 6-2; Damkot def. Rhodes, Sli, 6-2, 6-4; Kopischkie def. Hansford, AE, 6-1, 6-1.
No. 2 singles — Championship: Petrinski, FdL, def. Paape, Nee, 6-2, 6-1. Third place: Winterhalter, Ced, def. Ryczek, Ger, 6-3, 7-6.
No. 3 singles — Championship: Chung, OW, def. Heroux, Nee, 6-2, 6-1. Third place: Schmoldt, Sli, def. Smith, BD, 6-2, 6-3. Semifinals: Chung def. Schmoldt, 6-3, 6-2; Heroux def. Smith, 6-4, 6-2.
No. 4 singles — Championship: Risgaard, Nee, def. Neinas, Ger, 6-0, 6-1. Third place: Rhodes, Sli, def. Averkamp, ON, 6-2, 6-0.
No. 1 doubles — Championship: Haws/Larson, Ced, def. Lambo/O’Hearn, Sli, 6-4, 6-3. Third place: Brown/Van Zeeland, Nee, def. Budde/Kiesow, BD, default. Semifinals: Lambo/O’Hearn def. Brown/Van Zeeland, 6-4, 6-4; Haws/Larson def. Budde/Kiesow, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3. Quarterfinals: Brown/Van Zeeland def. Mao/Pallan, Ger, 6-1, 6-2; Lambo/O’Hearn, Sli, def. Carpenter/Bettcher, OW, 6-2, 7-5; Budde/Kiesow def. Murthy/Zhang, SN, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6; Haws/Larson def. Chopra/Salzer, ON, 6-0, 6-0.
No. 2 doubles — Championship: Roth/Koblevicz, Nee, def. Larson/Andrae, Ced, 5-7, 6-3, 6-1. Third place: Oman/Lightner, OW, def. Stewart/Masarik, Ger, 6-2, 6-4.
No. 3 doubles — Championship: Diener/Kucharski, Ced, def. Stielow/Gentile, Nee, 6-2, 5-7, 6-3. Third place: Zimmerman/Prill, OW, def. Peterson/Kalina, Sli, 6-1, 7-6. At Fox Cities Racquet Club, Appleton.