Whitefish Bay girls varsity tennis team fell 4-3 to Nicolet on Thursday, and the next day, Cary Bachman paid an unexpected visit to the Cahill tennis courts for a Friday afternoon practice.
Whitefish Bay coach Mike Hayes called a water break to hear a few words from Bachman, the legendary Nicolet tennis coach who led the boys team to 20 championships in 26 years and the girls team to 13 championships in 26 years.
While he was a teacher and coach at Nicolet, Bachman and his wife also raised four daughters who went to Whitefish Bay High School, where they won two state doubles championships and one state singles championship.
Having such a history with both programs allowed Bachman to give the girls an insight into the tough opponents they faced the day before..
“It’s all about you and Nicolet, isn’t it? And that’s how it has always been," Bachman said. "Your match yesterday, your upcoming matches with Nicolet, this is the central match in girls tennis in Wisconsin. Always has been, so feel proud to be in the greatest rivalry in high school tennis in Wisconsin.”
Since the inception of girls tennis in 1971, Nicolet has taken 16 state titles, Whitefish Bay has taken eight and Brookfield Central has taken nine. Homestead, USM, and Green Bay Notre Dame all have five championships.
Coach Hayes said his top four players had drawn some tough assignments against the Nicolet pairings, but with the Blue Dukes’ athleticism and commitment to hard work, their fortunes can be reversed.
Hayes said the key for the next four weeks leading up to sectionals on Oct. 9 will be the respective rates of improvement by the players on each team.
“Our rate of improvement is a point of pride for our program – it’s Duke Pride. In 2010, Bay’s rate of improvement resulted in a 51-49 win over Nicolet at sectionals, taking Bay to team state," Hayes said. "Our rate of improvement fell short in 2011, when Nicolet won 54-41 and in 2012 when Nicolet won 51-44. Our season begins and ends with one goal: get to Team State. It just so happens that the road to Team State runs through Nicolet. It’s like Cary Bachman told our players: ‘It’s all about you and Nicolet, isn’t it?’”
No. 1: Whitefish Bay's Lily Hayes defeated Nicolet's Emily Mone 6-3, 6-2
No. 2: Nicolet's Nina Gerard defeated Whitefish Bay's Asia Butler 6-3.
No. 3: Whitefish Bay's Katy Marget fell 6-2, 6-3 to Nicolet's Elise Gerard
No. 4: Whitefish Bay's Gwennie O’Connell defeated Nicolet's Audrey Laing 6-4, 6-1.
DoublesNo. 1: Nicolet’s Sara Miller and Michelle Margolies defeated Whitefish Bay’s Allison Gregg and Carly Theder 6-0, 6-1.
No. 2: Nicolet's Erin Wathen and Josie Docalavitch defeated Whitefish Bay’s Coeli Merrill and Maddie Riedl 6-2, 6-2.
No. 3: Whitefish Bay's Megan Coffey and Maggie Bostwick earned a 6-3, 6-3 win over freshmen Bella Mahlik and Marli Stellhorn.
Whitefish Bay defeats Grafton, 7-0, on Tuesday
- No. 1: Asia Butler defeated Hanna Zarem 6-3, 6-0
- No. 2: Gwennie O’Connell defeated Sydney Struck 6-2, 6-1
- No. 3: Katy Marget defeated Amelia Kiener 6-1, 6-0
- No. 4: Carly Theder defeated Morgan Hansen 6-0, 6-0
- No. 1: Maddie Riedl/Allison Gregg defeated Sarah Coew/Lindsay Markworth 6-0, 6-0
- No. 2: Coeli Merrill/Maggie Bostwick defeated Abby Benevenuto/Angela Marx 6-1, 6-0
- No. 3 doubles: Megan Coffey/Abby Schultz defeated Ally Parsons/Amanda Parsons 6-0, 6-0