Greenfield senior Katelyn Schahczinski began this week on the verge of snapping the program's eight-year state tennis drought. But before she set her sights on that achievement, she was busy helping the Hustlin' Hawks make a huge jump from eighth place in the dual season all the way up to fourth at the Woodland Conference Tournament Sept. 28-29.
Schahczinski, seeded second with a first-round bye, beat Whitnall's Sarah Houle in straight sets and edged Greendale's Meghan McCormick, 6-1, 6-7 (3), 7-5, in a grueling semifinal tussle. The Greenfield star then lost to Shorewood's Saabirah Abdullah, the tournament's top seed, 6-4, 6-4, in the championship round.
Schahczinski's effort helped the Hawks finish an impressive fourth at the 13-team tournament.
"I don't remember the last time, and this is my ninth or 10th year in the program, where we've finished that high as a team," Greenfield coach Brad Seegert said. "Overall, we exceeded our expectations."
Thanks in large part to Schahczinski, who improved to 21-3 this season, as of Monday. With her second-place conference run, she's now 63-10 overall during her four-year career.
"For someone from Greenfield with those statistics, it's nice," Seegert said. "One of the best things Katie has done over the last couple of years (is listen) to the advice we've given her during practices and match analysis. When she plays with the game plan that we provide her, and her offseason preparation, it's made a difference. She's not a flashy player, but she's tenacious. The biggest thing is she'll make your work for every single ball.."
Schahczinski competed in the Greendale Subsectional on Tuesday and, provided she was among the top four finishers at that event, she will play in the Greendale Sectional Thursday at 9 a.m. She is seeking the program's first state tournament berth since 2002, when the doubles team of Keri Stein and Biljana Stojsavljevic advanced.
"She should be (seeded) no lower than two in the subsectional," Seegert said Monday. "The benefit of being that number-two seed is we cross over to the opposing sectional and, if the cards are right, we won't play (a player from) Whitefish Bay or Nicolet. That's been Katie's problem the last few years. All of her losses at sectionals have been to top-quality girls.
"She should be able to win (a state berth) outright, but if she doesn't, based on her record, she should still get in (as a special qualifier)."
Whitnall plays well
Also at the conference tournament, Greenfield's crosstown rival Whitnall tied for fifth thanks in large part to a championship at fourth singles, in which unseeded Danielle Starke upset Greendale's Ashley Boyce in the finals.
Starke started her tournament with a straight-set win over Pewaukee's Katie Ellington and then downed third-seeded Laura Carlson in three sets. It was the first of three upsets for Starke, who then beat second seeded Elana Lambert of Shorewood, 6-1, 6-3, before knocking off top-seeded Boyce, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5), in a thrilling match.
The Falcons, who played in the Brookfield Central Subsectional on Monday and the Brookfield East Sectional on Wednesday, also made some noise at second doubles in which Kristen Stollenwerk and Lizzy Menden went 2-1 and placed fourth.
In addition to Schahczinski's high finish, Greenfield placed sixth or better in four flights.
At third singles, Brittany Robakowski lived up to her seed by placing third. She downed New Berlin West's Julia Raupp, 6-2, 6-3, in the third-place match and went 2-1 at the tournament. She was 17-7 overall entering the postseason.
At second singles, Lynn Pipke picked up a first round win before losing a three-setter to New Berlin West's Emily Young. Pipke rebounded to take sixth.
At first doubles, Kayla Derrick and Scotti Tuttle won three consecutive matches after losing in the quarterfinals and finished fifth.
The second doubles team of Tammy Tian and Chi Huynh took sixth.
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