East Troy High School’s No. 1 doubles team of Erin Rice (left) and Mackenzie Lindow show off their fifth-place medals at last weekend’s WIAA Division 2 State Tournament. The girls have medaled at the state tourney for the last three years.

Lindow, Rice medal at state third straight year

By Dan Truttschel

Correspondent

Coming home from Madison with hardware has been a regular occurrence for the East Troy senior girls tennis doubles duo of Mackenzie Lindow and Erin Rice the previous two seasons.

Make that three.

For the third straight year, Lindow and Rice earned a spot on the podium at the end of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Division 2 State Tournament at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium in Madison on Saturday.

Lindow-Rice split their first two matches, but bounced back for two straight wins in the consolation round to finish fifth overall.

The accolades for both speak for themselves – a school-record 111 wins, three straight years on the All-State team and the only duo in Division 2 history to medal three straight years.

“I loved watching these two compete and get better every year,” East Troy coach Dave Lindow said. “They played well under pressure.”

Lindow-Rice, who finished at 33-2, defeated Brookfield Academy seniors Anna Deubel and Katherine Hearden, 6-0, 6-1 in the first round.

In the second round, East Troy suffered its only hiccup of the weekend with a 2-6, 2-6 setback to the Catholic Memorial team of senior Margaret Diedrich and junior Rylee Teuteberg.

“(Catholic Memorial) it big shots all match, and we couldn’t get on the offensive ever,” Lindow said. “According to their coaches, it was the best they played all year.”

The second-round setback put Lindow-Rice into the consolation bracket, where they ended their careers with two victories Saturday.

In the first consolation match, they beat University School of Milwaukee junior Stephanie Guy and sophomore Audrey Treptow, 6-2, 6-1, followed by a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 win over USM senior Grace Watkins and junior Grace Gridley.

“Our girls were not going to let anyone stand in the way of getting back on the podium for the third time,” Lindow said. “We were very aggressive with our serving and with squeezing the middle. They played like seniors who really wanted it.”

Trio closes it out

Also competing in Madison last weekend were the Trojans’ No. 2 doubles team of seniors Belle Verbeten and Allison Slusar and junior No. 2 singles player Sydney Raddeman.

Verbeten-Slusar won their opening-round match last Thursday with a 6-4, 6-3 decision over Watertown Luther Prep sophomores Altheia Schmidt and Abigail Schewe.

“The key in the opening round was to keep the ball in play and not give the other team any free points,” Lindow said. “They did a great job of that, and they also used some offense to get the win.”

In the second round, Verbeten-Slusar (32-1 overall) ran into the eventual state champion duo from Kenosha St. Joseph’s, Giana Apostoli-Megan Setter, and fell 1-6, 0-6.

Apostoli-Setter dropped just five games all season in a dominating run to the title. Lindow-Rice were the only team to win more than two games in a match from St. Joseph with five in the opening set at last week’s sectional.

“St. Joe’s is the best team I’ve seen in a while at the Division 2 level,” Lindow said. “They do not give away points and are very hard to score against. … They for sure were the best team in the state.”

Closing out their careers in Madison was the perfect ending for Verbeten and Slusar, Lindow said.

“(They) have been steady for the past two years at No. 2 doubles,” he said. “They are two-time conference champions, and I was so happy that they made it to the state tournament this year. Seeing them win a match at state was amazing.”

Raddeman fell, 1-6, 0-6, in the first round to Madison Edgewood senior Julia Hess to end her fall with a 30-2 overall record.

“(She) played very well at state,” Lindow said. “What an incredible accomplishment to make it in singles. The Edgewood girl was very consistent, and we needed to use a little more offense to try and score points. She could use both offense and defense and did not give up many points.

“It was a great experience for (Raddeman), and I’m looking forward to next year and see how far she can get.”

There was plenty to like about how the season unfolded, Lindow said.

“It was very satisfying watching my daughter achieve her goals and be on a team with incredible kids,” he said. “Our program is like family. They will be forever linked together as the best team to ever play at this high school. I’m so very proud of them all.”

 
 

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