Knights doubles duo of Marin/Kos advance to WIAA state tennis tournament
No. 1 unit is program's first qualifiers since 2009
Oak Creek - One of the best seasons in some years for the Oak Creek girls tennis team got extended by one more week when the senior first doubles team of Julia Marin and Megan Kos (16-4 record) advanced to the WIAA State Individual Tournament as a special qualifier.
"They're really good kids, both four-year letterwinners," said Knights coach Don Tellefsen. "I put in the bid (for special qualifier status) but I didn't see it until Saturday morning (on the WIAA website). I called them right away. I couldn't find Megan but Julia was just ecstatic. It's been a few years (since anyone has advanced to state), and we do have six seniors (in our starting lineup), so this is a very good reward for an outstanding group."
The duo will play a first-round match at approximately 4 p.m. Thursday at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium on the UW-Madison campus against Eau Claire Memorial's Sarah Israel and Britta Pressler (26-5).
If they win, they will play a 9:30 a.m. Friday second-round match against either a Kettle Moraine or Brookfield East pair. Play will continue through Saturday's finals.
Tellefsen said the pair of Kos and Marin formed earlier this season and turned out to be a perfect fit.
"Julia started the season at first doubles with a different partner and Megan was playing first singles," Tellefsen said. "I thought they might be compatible because Megan had such good ground strokes and Julia was very good at the net.
"As the season went on, they just played better and better."
Key wins over West Bend West and Cedarburg duos helped build the résumé for the pair and they lost a tough match to Franklin in the finals of the Southeast Conference No. 1 doubles bracket.
The duo advanced to the WIAA sectional Oct. 4 at Greenfield, where they ran into a buzzsaw in the form of Nicolet's Sara Miller and Josie Docalavich (25-5). Marin and Kos struggled with their serve in the match and were dispatched in the quarterfinals by a 6-0, 6-1 score.
"They had 12 double faults in the match," said Tellefsen. "Against a team as good as Nicolet, we couldn't do that."
Miller and Docalavich eventually won the first doubles bracket as Nicolet claimed the team championship. The Nicolet doubles team earned the third seed at state.
Marin and Kos then had to wait for the WIAA seeding meeting that was held Oct. 5 in Stevens Point to see if they would advance.
Senior first singles player Morgan Schlueter was the only other sectional qualifier for Oak Creek. She too lost a quarterfinal match.
Tellefsen is optimistic for Marin and Kos at state. The key will be getting the serve in.
"Even if it's on a second serve, that's OK," Tellefsen said. "If they get the point started, they'll be fine."
The last Oak Creek state qualifier was also an all-senior doubles team when the duo of Erin Rome and Ashley Howell compiled a 24-4 record and advanced into the third round of the WIAA tournament in 2009.
Tellefsen said he has enjoyed this season and is pleased for Marin and Kos.
"This was one of the most competitive teams that we've had in a while - especially at the conference tourney," he said. "If we had a few more matches go our way, we could have been in the hunt (for team honors).
"But I'm happy for Julia and Megan. They've put in the energy and the time and they've turned into real leaders. I told them that they've really represented their school, their team, their family and themselves very well."
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