For the second year in a row, Whitefish Bay junior Lily Hayes finished fourth in the WIAA Division 1 individual girls tennis state tournament held Thursday through Saturday in Madison.
After winning her first match against Kenosha Bradford junior Mikayla Savalgio (14-13), Hayes (17-4) won all three of her matches Friday, facing off against Green Bay Southwest sophomore Anneliese Zak (17-14), Eau Claire Memorial senior Sydney Wolfe (27-5) and Cedarburg freshman Jennifer Skonieczny (22-5).
"Lily played her game and took control of the match early which helped her win," tennis coach Ingrid Hagerup said of Hayes' match against Skonieczny.
On Saturday, Hayes lost to Milton junior Lea Krajcovicova, a foreign-exchange student from Slovakia with a 24-0 season record. Krajcovicova went on to finish second. Hayes also lost her third-place match against Arrowhead sophomore Emily Kolbow (26-4).
"On Saturday, Lily gave it everything she had, yet fell a bit short," Hagerup said. "I think everyone was surprised at the talent of the seven-seeded Milton player that Lily faced in the semi-finals."
Hayes said she had hoped to beat Krajcovicova, but was ultimately happy to share the winners' podium with the other talented players.
"It's reassuring that hard work really does pay off. Every single girl there has worked so hard, not only in the past two months but in the off-season as well," she said. "Working hard and playing as many matches as possible in the off-season is really key to improvement because the high school tennis season is so short."
Six players qualify
Hayes was one of six Whitefish Bay players to qualify for the state tournament. Other players included junior Asia Butler, senior Emily Deblitz, junior Allison Gregg, junior Lily Hayes, senior Elena Ouimet and junior Carly Theder.
Deblitz and Gregg (9-15) lost in the first round to a Kenosha Tremper doubles team with a 12-3 record.
Butler (20-9) lost in the first round to Marshfield freshman Nadeen Lieberman (20-10).
Theder and Ouimet (15-6) made it through their first round, but lost in the second round to a strong Nicolet doubles team of Erin Wathen and Michelle Margolies, who have a 31-2 record.
Hagerup said Nicolet's strong showing in the competition shows the competitiveness of the North Shore Conference.
"It shows how lucky we are to play such high caliber teams in the North Shore Conference throughout the season leading up to the tournament," she said. "Unfortunately, Nicolet came more than ready to play against our doubles team and defeated Whitefish Bay."