WAUSAU – Sean Bailey came into the Wisconsin Valley Conference boys tennis meet as the favorite at No. 1 singles.
The Wausau West sophomore came in with a 23-0 record overall this spring, and had not dropped a set during the conference dual season.
“I felt (the pressure) a bit, but I knew that if I just played as I usually do, I would get through it,” Bailey said.
The left-hander rolled through the tournament, beating Marshfield’s Bryce Gadke 6-2, 6-0 in the championship match at No. 1 singles.
“I knew it was going to be a tough one,” said Gadke of his matchup against Bailey. “You have to be good on every point to win a point. You can’t take one off against him. This late in the day it gets tough to dig down in that second set and get a shot.”
West’s Jon Richetto also won the title at No. 4 singles for the Warriors, who finished second in the tournament by a point to Stevens Point Area Senior High. The Panthers’ Jon Peck and Skyler Colgrove won titles at No. 2 and No. 3 singles, respectively, and SPASH’s No. 1 and No. 2 doubles teams finished first as well.
Wausau East and Marshfield tied for third place, followed by Wisconsin Rapids and D.C. Everest.
SPASH also won the overall conference championship for the fourth straight year, and the 11th time in the past dozen seasons.
“We’re not as deep as we were last year, and we didn’t have the big gun at (No. 1 singles) that we had last year, which always helps,” SPASH coach Gary Baier said. “Wausau West had a really competitive team this year and there were some individuals from the other teams that really made it a pretty competitive conference. For us to win it is awesome.”
The Panthers were the lone undefeated team during the WVC dual season, and came in with a 14-point lead on West overall.
The Warriors reached the championship match in six of seven singles and doubles flights in the tournament.
The second-place finish in the conference is the highest for West since the Warriors won the conference title in the early 2000s.
“I am ecstatic about that, it was a great day of competing for us,” West coach Steve Wenninger said. “We knew it was going to take something to catch (SPASH) today, and more than what we gave. But it wasn’t from a lack of effort.”
Team scores: 1. SPASH 31, 2. Wausau West 30, 3. Wausau East 17; 3. Marshfield 17; 5. Wisconsin Rapids 14; 6. D.C. Everest 0
No. 1: Sean Bailey (WW) def. Bryce Gadke (Mar), 6-2. 6-0. No. 2: Jon Peck (SP) def. David Seamon (WW), 6-0, 6-2. No. 3: Skyler Colgrove (SP) def. Tanner Frahm (WE), 6-4, 7-6 (11-9). No. 4: Jon Richetto (WW) def. Adam Schneider (WE), 6-3, 4-6, 10-4.
No. 1: Noah Meier/Trenton Seegert (SP) def. Ben Reich/Ben Nichols (WW), 6-2, 6-2. No. 2: MT DeBot/Adam Wentzel (SP) def. Cdoy Achatz/Kris Reich, 7-6 (5), 6-3. No.3: Tanner Boson/Tom Krueger (Mar) def. William Le/Spencer Fritsche (WW) 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Overall team standings (conference and dual points combined): 1. SPASH 91; 2. Wausau West 76; 3. Wausau East 53; 4. Marshfield 51; 5. Wisconsin Rapids 44; 7. D.C. Everest 7.
Tim Johnson can be reached at 715-845-0731. Find him on Twitter @timmyjo11