Friday, May 9, 2014

Crusader tennis win is laser close

from today's Waukesha Freeman -

Another close match for CMH, KM
Teams have knack for playing tight duals

Kettle Moraine 3 

By Tony Mooren, 
Freeman Correspondent 

WAUKESHA – The narrow score was hardly surprising.

When the Catholic Memorial High School boys tennis team beat Kettle Moraine 4-3 in a Classic 8 Conference match Thursday, it was the Lasers’ sixth 4-3 dual-meet loss of the season – of eight total losses.

And the lone league loss for 5-1 Memorial was by a 4-3 count to Arrowhead.

“Arrowhead barely beat Memorial 4-3, and we barely lost to Memorial 4-3,” Kettle Moraine coach Brett Roecker pointed out. “We also lost to Muskego 4-3 and Muskego lost to Waukesha North 5-2. I really think the conference tournament is up for grabs.”

“Yeah, there’s some really good players in the conference,” agreed Memorial assistant coach Chris Benyousky, who filled in for Carl Veenendaal, who missed the match.

What he missed was Memorial senior David Ver-Bockel beating sophomore
 Brett Belanger 6-0, 7-5 at No. 4 singles in the final match of the day to give the Crusaders their fifth conference dual-meet victory in six outings.

“He’s a guy who started the year on the junior varsity,” Benyousky said. “He’s a backboard, very athletic and the kind of guy who doesn’t beat himself.”

Perhaps the most interesting match was at No. 1 singles, where Kettle Moraine junior Chayce Roecker remained unbeaten in league and handed senior Mike Mirsberger his first league loss of the season, 6-2, 6-0.

“It was probably my second- hardest match of the season and my hardest conference match for sure, and it was definitely the hottest,” said Chayce Roecker, referring to the 85-plus degree heat.

“There were a couple of key games: A long first game in the first set and going up 3-0 in a long deuce set in the second set. The first was important to give me confidence,
 and I knew that it would be important to pull out that third game in the second set to maintain momentum.”

Roecker, a two-time WIAA Division 1 state qualifier who has lost only three
 league dual-meet matches in his career, is 6-0 in conference and 10-1 overall.

Memorial sophomore Tommy Matoska at No. 2 singles and junior Christian
 Erickson at No. 3 singles also remained unbeaten in the Classic 8 with straight set victories. 

Kettle Moraine sophomores Alex Dallman and David Waltz improved their league record to 5-1 and their overall mark to 12-2 with a 6-1, 6-2 victory at No. 1 doubles.

“I’m pretty surprised the way we’re playing,” Waltz said. “Last year was our first playing doubles, and it was rough (1-6 in league and 9-13 overall) but we played at Moorland at least once a week during the summer. We had the strokes, but we no idea of how to play doubles.”

“Our overall game strategy is what we worked on,” Dallman said. “Our goal is to get to the state tournament and maybe win a match or two.”

All of the victories were in straight sets and only VerBockel’s 7-5 set win and a 6-3, 6-4 victory by Memorial’s No. 2 doubles team of senior Jon Rymer and sophomore Matt Murphy were matches that were relatively close.

But the team score was close.

“We’ve dealt with injuries in several of the 4-3 losses – not today – so we’re right there and we’re getting better,” Brett Roecker said. “You win those close matches through experience, and eventually we’re going to win a 4-3 match.”

“We have a strong team
 and we knew coming in that Kettle Moraine is solid as well,” Benyousky said. “So we knew that we had to play really well to beat them, and it wasn’t a matter of one or two guys. It was all 10 players. Guys like Matoska and Etickson that we’ve relied on all season came through and our No. 2 doubles team (Rymer-Murphy) has played really consistently this week. They’re hitting their stride at the right time.”

Photo credit: Catholic Memorial’s Mike Mirsberger competes at No. 1 singles in a Classic 8 Conference dual against Kettle Moraine on Thursday. Robert F. Borkowski/Special to The Freeman 

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