New Berlin Eisenhower's girls tennis team capped its successful season, which saw the Lions win the regular season and tournament conference titles, by winning three matches at the WIAA state individual tournament.
Freshman Lauren Landstrom and the doubles teams of sophomores Gabby Majinski and Kate McCormick and senior Erin Dobrzynski and junior Samantha Ramsey all won their opening matches before falling in the second round at Nielsen Tennis Stadium in Madison.
Landstrom opened the tournament on Oct. 13 with a 6-2, 6-3 win over junior Brianna Bembenek of West Bend West (15-9 overall).
In the second round, Landstrom grabbed the first set, 6-3, over senior Karolina Lungova of Madison West. The 16th-seeded player in the tournament recovered for set wins of 6-2 and 6-2 to knock Landstrom out.
"Lauren played tactically and smart in her first match," Eisenhower coach Mike Jenders said. "Her opponent was very aggressive from the baseline, and Lauren was able to play some excellent defense to keep things going in her favor. Toward the end of the match, Lauren's first match nerves wore off, and she was striking the ball very confidently and impressively.
"Against the 16 seed from Madison West, Lauren was able to take the first set before her legs tired a bit, and she fell in three sets. This was a fantastic first year for her, and we are very excited to see what she can accomplish in the future."
Majinski and McCormick took their first match, 6-1, 2-6, (5), over seniors Alexa Brooks and Cassidy Trotter of Beaver Dam (12-6) on Oct. 13 to advance to the second round on Oct. 14 where they lost, 2-6, 1-6, to the fifth-seeded team of seniors Claire Rotherham and Mary Zakowski of Green Bay Notre Dame Academy.
"Despite the difference in experience, our team was mentally tough the entire match,"Jenders said. "After winning the first set very rapidly and losing their way in the second, Kate and Gabby got things back on track and played a steady, smart tiebreak to advance. Even though they lost in round two to the five-seed from Notre Dame, we were very competitive and had our chances to keep things close."
After getting in the state field as special qualifiers, Dobrzynski and Ramsey took down sophomores Lexi Hastings and Lindsey Johnson of Menomonee, 6-3, 6-3.
The duo then fell, 3-6, 4-6, to the seventh-seeded team of senior Marli Stellhorn and sophomore Emma Koppa of Nicolet.
"I was very pleased that Sam and Erin made the field, and they did not disappoint," Jenders said. "They won in the first round with a confident, aggressive performance and were confident heading into a difficult second-round draw. Taking a highly seeded team right down to the wire was a fantastic effort for Sam and Erin, really showcasing their talent and shot-making ability. The match came down to a few key points that unfortunately did not go our way, but I am very proud of how our girls fought.
Landstrom finished her season with an overall record of 21-8, while Majinski and McCormick ended with a record of 12-4 and Dobrzynski and Ramsey wrapped up at 13-4.
"Taking three flights to state and winning a match in each of them was a fitting end to a historic season for Ike girls tennis," Jenders said. "With most of our varsity returning next year, it could be even better in 2017."