Waukesha-area athletes began the experience of state-tournament competition this week, beginning with girls golf at University Ridge in Madison and carrying into state individual tennis, beginning Thursday at Nielsen Tennis Stadium in Madison.
Waukesha's Emily Joers shot 73 and sat in first place at the WIAA Division 1 state golf meet after one day of competition in Madison.
The junior enters the fray as one of the favorites, having won as a freshman and taken second last year. Joers shot 73 at Naga-Waukee at the sectional last week, tying Leighann Cabush of Kettle Moraine and winning the title in a tiebreaker.
Waukesha shot 351, nine strokes behind Mukwonago for the second and final state qualifying spot at the sectional. Catholic Memorial shot 373, led by sophomore Lauren Klubertanz (83).
Brandy Rajala shot 84 in her final career golf meet for Waukesha, and Sam Joers of Waukesha shot 91.
Competing at the WIAA Division 1 sectional at Oconomowoc last week, entrants in No. 1 flights needed one victory to qualify for state. That was the case for sophomore Rachel Gantz of Waukesha West and senior Ellie Wilkie of Waukesha South in singles, and the two wound up meeting for third place in the sectional, with Gantz prevailing.
Gantz (16-9) will battle Morgan Wilson of Verona Area (20-8) in the first round, with a 2 p.m. start time projected for Thursday afternoon. The winner would face Stephanie Londre of Burlington (28-0) in the second round.
Wilkie (13-13) will take on Shelby Chorney of Waunakee (18-9) and could meet Bridge Bellissimo of Middleton (26-3) with a win. Bellissimo is seeded fifth in the Division 1 singles draw.
In doubles, West's Cat Phoubandhyt and Katelyn Asfeld (11-4), both juniors, will meet Mo Livesey and Julie Rickert of Middleton (25-4). One potential second round foe: Maddie Theisen and Kristin Zeilinger of Janesville Parker (29-1). The duo won their first match at the sectional to qualify.
Waukesha West will bring the top seed into the boys soccer tournament, beginning with regionals Tuesday and second-round matches today. The Wolverines appear on track to face second-seeded Kettle Moraine in the Oct. 22 sectional final. West won the battle of conference rivals in last year's sectional final.
Defending Division 2 state champion Catholic Memorial possesses the No. 2 seed and could meet Pewaukee in the sectional final.
Want to take a glance at who Waukesha West or Catholic Memorial might face in the WIAA football playoffs? Visit LivingLakeCountry.com and check out the Preps Alcove, where sports director JR Radcliffe offers "Bracketeering," his semi-scientific stab at predicting the brackets.