2008 Articles

2007-2008 Articles

The 2008 Redbird tennis season brought with it very high expectations.  After all, the 2007 Metamora tennis team won Mid-Illini and sectional championships, qualifying 5 players for the state tournament.  In addition, Metamora’s top seven players from 2007 all returned to the tennis courts for 2008.  However, the schedule placed before the Redbird squad continued to become more difficult, as both conference and non-conference foes would challenge Metamora in ’08.  In the end, though, the Redbirds put together another remarkable tennis season, one that will be forever remembered by those lucky enough to participate in it.

Goals that seemed a bit outlandish were established at the onset of the season.  One by one, however, these over-the-top goals were checked off the list until the season ended with a magical IHSTCA state championship.  The Redbirds successfully (although not easily) defended their Mid-Illini Conference title from 2007, marking the first time in school history that the boys tennis team had won back-to-back conference crowns.  Metamora also tore through the Ottawa sectional, scoring 32 points while no other school had more than 16.  All six Redbird tennis players qualified for the state tournament for the first time ever.  The list goes on and on.

The Mid-Illini Conference featured several intense battles during the dual match season, with Metamora besting Dunlap 7-2 and Dunlap beating Morton 6-3 early in the spring.  Later, though, Morton scored a 5-4 win over Metamora, leaving the conference race up for grabs entering the league tournament.  Metamora’s four entries in the tournament played nearly flawless tennis, claiming two firsts and two seconds in the four flights to win the tournament and league titles.  The spectacular three-set upset pulled by sophomore Ryan Donnelly over Morton senior Michael Christison in the #2 singles flight to clinch the tournament will forever be remembered as one of the great wins in Redbird history.  Also winning a league title were sophomore Nate Wilson and senior Matt Elliott, as they were able to defeat a Morton doubles team consisting of a returning third team all-stater in the finals.  Sophomore Stephan Rauh finished 2nd at #1 singles to Morton stand-out Brock Reiman, and the doubles team of sophomore David Stewart and senior Tyler Lampe finished a close 2nd to Dunlap’s #1 doubles duo of Alex Clark and Martin O’Connor.

The rest of the regular season featured some high quality match-ups for the Metamora tennis team, highlighted by non-conference clashes with Belleville East, Richwoods, Notre Dame, Ottawa, Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin, Troy Triad, and Springfield.  Triad, Springfield, and Metamora would ultimately be three of the top four Class A teams in the IHSTCA State Tournament later in June.

Here are some highlights:
  • Metamora’s season began with wins over perennial powers Danville and Moline at the indoor quad.
  • The next week, Metamora’s Red & White Invite featured 5 teams that would win sectional crowns later in the season; Metamora tied Rockford Guilford for 1st place in the tournament, with Nate Wilson and Matt Elliott winning the #2 doubles flight via an excellent three-set win over Guilford.
  • The 16-team Bloomington Invite brought Metamora’s highest finish ever, as the Redbirds scored 31 points to only trail Edwardsville’s 33.  Nate Wilson and Matt Elliott were champs again, besting an Edwardsville duo in the #2 doubles final.   Three of Metamora’s five entries played in their respective finals, another best ever.
  • The Peoria High Invite was a party for Redbird players, as no one from Metamora lost to anyone from another school.  Stephan Rauh defeated Ryan Donnelly in the singles final, while Tyler Lampe and David Stewart beat Nate Wilson and Matt Elliott for the doubles championship.
  • Metamora’s fourth sectional title in the last six years was accomplished with an exclamation point.  Every Redbird player finished higher than his seed (except for top-seeded Lampe and Stewart who won the doubles crown!!)  Redbird doubles teams played each other for the sectional title, with Lampe and Stewart prevailing in three sets.  It was Metamora’s fourth sectional doubles title in the last five years and the third for Tyler Lampe with three different partners.
Here are a very few individual highlights:
  • Tyler Lampe ended his varsity career undefeated in sectional play (12-0).  He won three doubles championships.
  • Stephan Rauh set the all-time MTHS record with 31 singles wins in a season.
  • Nate Wilson, Matt Elliott, Tyler Lampe and Matt Elliott all set the all-time MTHS record with 32 doubles wins in a season.
  • All six Redbird players were named first or second team all-conference for the second year in a row.
  • Nate Wilson and Matt Elliott were the first Redbirds to ever play in the main draw quarterfinals at the Pitchford Invite (mini-state).
For the fourteenth year in a row, Metamora was unbeaten against Limestone, East Peoria, and Washington, extending the school’s overall winning streak against those three teams to 79.  Pekin experienced its second season in the Mid-Illini and continued to improve, finishing 4th.  Washington used a strong conference tournament to finish 5th; East Peoria was 6th; Limestone was 7th.
Mid-Illini teams continued to experience outstanding post-season success.  Metamora won the Ottawa sectional, Morton won the Bloomington sectional, and both Dunlap and Pekin nearly won the Richwoods sectional.  Those four squads qualified seventeen players for the state tournament, easily a new conference record.  Doubles in the league was an all-time best, at least for depth.  Metamora’s two doubles teams played each other in the sectional final.  Morton’s two doubles teams did the same.  Dunlap’s two doubles teams did the same.  It was remarkable doubles domination from a league in three different sectionals.

Individually, the season was also a success for Metamora.  Stephan Rauh, David Stewart and Tyler Lampe were named to the Mid-Illini All-Conference first team, Tyler’s third time and Stephan’s second time being so honored.  Ryan Donnelly, Matt Elliott, and Nate Wilson were all named to the All-Conference second team.

Rauh won three matches at the state tournament and represented Metamora on the second day of state, the seventh year in a row Metamora has had players on that day.  Metamora scored six points at state, its seventh year in a row with at least that many.

Rauh was named the team’s Most Valuable Player.  Matt Elliott was named Best Teammate, and Nate Wilson earned Most Reliable.

The crowning achievement for Metamora came on June 13 and 14, when the Illinois High School Tennis Coaches Association conducted its first Class A dual team state tournament.  The Redbirds qualified for the event by how many players had advanced through the sectional and then how many points those players scored at the state tournament.  This dual match event consisted of 2 singles and 3 doubles matches, utilizing 8 players per team.

Metamora blasted through Peoria Notre Dame in the state quarterfinals and then outlasted Troy Triad in an epic state semi-final before defeating Chicago Payton in the Class A state championship match.  The team aspect of this event made for great excitement, and the closeness of the semi-final created many memories that will forever be cherished.  The coaches and players that attended this inaugural event had a wonderful time and will certainly look forward to the opportunity to attend again in the future.

Expectations for Metamora tennis teams continue to rise.  The Redbirds will return a large portion of 2008’s outstanding team to the courts in 2009, including four state qualifiers.  Metamora loses the services of seniors Tyler Lampe, Justin Cregger, Matt Elliott, and Laren Orsini next season.  Those seniors helped mightily in re-establishing the tradition of outstanding tennis teams at MTHS and, during their high school careers, have aided in the creation of so many wonderful moments and memories along the way.  It will be the job of the returnees to not be satisfied with this year’s results but to instead continue to strive to build upon them.  More tremendous accomplishments can continue to be achieved in the future.

Metamora has won three conference titles in the last six years and four sectional crowns.  There have been countless individual triumphs and awards as well.  Any success MTHS has obtained on the tennis courts has been truly earned through tremendous dedication by the individuals involved in the program.  The work ethic established years ago by the likes of Ty Wyffels, Kyle Shoff, Andy Ngo, Nick Vaughn and Nate Rauh (among many others) has been passed on to the current crop of Redbird tennis players so that they are now the role models for the younger kids.  This work ethic is what has allowed the exceptional achievements to keep on coming, with no end in sight.  I have absolutely no doubt that the dedication and results will both continue to come.
Mid-Illini champs.  Check.  Sectional champs.  Check.  IHSTCA Team State Champs.  Check.  This coach is extremely proud of the season the young men wearing Metamora tennis gear compiled in 2008.

Congratulations to all on an exceptional year!!!

Redbirds Have 2008 Tri-County Success

 Peoria – Metamora was again well represented in this year’s Tri-County tennis tournament, as all age divisions were loaded with current and future Redbirds.

In the boys 18 division, Metamora featured three of the four semi-finalists.  Stephan Rauh, Ryan Donnelly, and David Stewart, all juniors, reached the semis.  Rauh defeated Donnelly, 6-1, 6-0 in one semi-final, while Stewart was upset by Dunlap’s Alex Clark, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 in the other semi.  Nate Wilson was Metamora’s other entrant in the boys 18s, and he recorded a fine win over Dunlap’s Martin O’Connor, 6-3, 4-6, 10-7 before defaulting to Donnelly in the quarterfinals due to a scheduling conflict.

In the championship match, Rauh blasted his way through Clark, winning the title in just 42 minutes, 6-1, 6-1.  Despite playing on clay, Rauh showed the ability to hit through the court and completely befuddle Clark’s baseline game.

In the boys 14 division, Metamora had two players competing.  Seventh graders Tyler Ngo and Mitchell Nguyen played each other in the first round, with Ngo coming out on top.  He then was defeated in the semi-finals by Derek Rineberg of Pekin, 6-2, 6-0.

In the boys 10 division, three of the five players were future Redbirds.  Fourth grader Fletcher Koehrsen defeated fifth grader Brendan Axelson in the quarterfinals, 6-2, 6-2 to earn a date with fifth grader Ryan Willard.  Willard won the semi-final match-up, 6-4, 6-3 to reach the finals.  Iin the finals, he trailed 4-3 when rain moved the match to clay.  After the move, Willard was unable to win another game, losing to Alex Cheng, 6-3, 6-0.

On the girls side, Metamora had the 18s champion (Taylor Koehrsen) and the 18s runner-up (Rachel Ngo), as the Redbird teammates battled for almost five hours before Koehrsen prevailed, 7-5, 5-7, 7-5.  

All in all, the 2008 Tri-County tournament was a great success for all involved, win or lose.  The experience and confidence gained from tournament competition are invaluable.  Congratulations to all current and future Redbirds on a successful tournament.

Metamora Tennis Open Held

Stephan Rauh Repeats as Champion in Event’s 20th Year

Metamora – The 20th Annual Metamora Tennis Open was held the weekend of June 26-28 in glorious weather conditions at the MTHS tennis complex.  Stephan Rauh, a 16-year old MTHS junior, won his second consecutive MTO singles championship, defeating classmate David Stewart in an extremely well-played final, 6-4, 6-2.  David clearly gave Stephan his most difficult challenge in the last two years of the tournament, battling through two very good sets of tennis.  Rauhs have started to monopolize the MTO, as a Rauh has now won the singles title in five of the last six years (Nate won in 2003, 2004, and 2006).  Stephan became only the fourth multiple singles winner of the MTO, joining Nate (3 titles), MTHS coach Kelly Willard (5 titles), and Dan Ritschel (7 titles).

In the semi-finals, Rauh defeated classmate Nate Wilson, 6-1, 6-2.  Despite the lopsided score, the match was very entertaining and featured many high quality points.  In the other semi, Stewart dispatched 2003 MTHS graduate Andy Ngo, 6-3, 6-3.  His ability to hit bigger groundstrokes and finish points at the net continues to make his game more difficult to match up with.

The consolation bracket was won by MTHS junior Ryan Donnelly.  He defeated recent graduate Matt Elliott in a nicely played final, 6-2, 6-2.


The doubles portion of the MTO was also filled with quality teams.  The top four seeds advanced through the first two rounds to reach the semi-finals.  In one semi, MTHS tennis coach Kelly Willard and 2006 graduate Nick Vaughn, the top-seeded doubles duo, defeated Tyler Lampe and Matt Elliott, 6-4, 7-6 in a very entertaining match for the fans in attendance.  In the other semi, second-seeded David Stewart and Nate Wilson continued to play better and better as a doubles duo, defeating the very good team of Stephan Rauh and Ryan Donnelly, 6-3, 6-3.

In the final, Stewart and Wilson won their first MTO title, defeating Willard and Vaughn, 7-5, 7-5, denying the duo their third consecutive doubles title.  It was Willard’s 25th appearance in a singles or doubles championship match; as the level of play at MTHS continues to improve yearly, it may also have been his last!

Boys 15s and 10s

Two more singles divisions were held for the 2008 MTO.  Twelve-year old Will Koehrsen won his third MTO title in a row, defeating Kevin Wang, 6-3, 6-3 in the finals of the boys 15 and under division.  The 15s bracket was full of future Redbirds, as seven very good players made up the draw.

Ten-year old Ryan Willard won his first MTO title, beating Brendan Axelson, 6-0, 6-2 and Fletcher Koehrsen, 6-2, 6-1.  Hopefully, the players in the younger divisions will continue to improve their games and grow their love of tennis.

Congratulations to all on another successful Metamora Tennis Open!!!

All-Conference Team Announced

Redbirds Place Three on First Team, Three More on Second Team

MortonThe 2008 Mid-Illini All-Conference teams were announced on Tuesday night, May 13.  Metamora was again well-represented, placing three members on the eight-person first team and three more on the eight-person second team.  Congratulations to all.

First Team Second Team
Brock Reiman (jr) Morton Ryan Donnelly (soph) Metamora
Stephan Rauh (soph) Metamora Nate Wilson (soph) Metamora
Alex Clark (jr) Dunlap Jeremy Milam (jr) Pekin
Tyler Lampe (sr) Metamora Branden Brill (soph) Pekin
David Stewart (soph) Metamora Matt Elliott (sr) Metamora
Martin O’Connor (sr) Dunlap Nick Skender (soph) Dunlap
Mike LaHood (sr) Morton Devin Norton (sr) Washington
Michael Christison (sr) Morton Phil Reinken (jr) Morton


2008 Mid-Illini Boys Tennis Preview

Metamora – The 2008 Mid-Illini Conference boys tennis race will undoubtedly be another good one.  Last year’s champion, Metamora, returns all six of its players from a year ago, while league runner-up Morton returns its top three outstanding players as well as a few others who should make an impact.  Third-place 2007 finisher Dunlap, always deep, brings back all of its significant players except two and will debut its fifth head coach of the decade.  

The M-I returns an astonishing 10 state qualifiers from a year ago, with conference singles champion Brock Reiman (third team all-state) of Morton leading the way.  Other returning qualifiers include Metamora’s Tyler Lampe, Stephan Rauh, David Stewart, Nate Wilson, and Ryan Donnelly, Morton’s Michael Christison and Mike LaHood (3rd team all-state in doubles), and Dunlap’s Martin O’Connor and Nick Skender.  Dunlap also returns a 2006 state qualifier, junior Alex Clark.  

Since 1995, Morton, Metamora, and Dunlap are a combined 201-0 in Mid-Illini matches against the rest of the league.  Pekin looks to have the best chance of breaking that stranglehold, as the Dragons return all six of their varsity players.  East Peoria, Washington, and Limestone all suffered substantial graduation losses and will look to rebuild during the ’08 campaign.  

(Metamora has been unranked)  

Predicted M-I Finish Last Year’s Result Last Six Years
1.  Morton  (Joal Stanfield – 4th year) 13-2 (2nd) 70-12
2.  Dunlap  (Rob Beckman – 1st year) 10-5 (3rd) 74-18
3.  Pekin  (Matt Rineberg – 2nd year) 4-5 (5th) NA
4.  East Peoria  (Shane Smith – 7th year) 8-4 (4th) 23-55
5.  Limestone  (Chuck Sanders – 14th year) 6-9 (6th) 29-58
6.  Washington  (Dave Krostal – 8th year) 3-10 (7th) 33-56
Metamora  (Kelly Willard – 11th year) 13-3 (1st) 72-18
Long Gone

  • Grant Zimmerman, Justin Sponholz.

Returning for More:  

  • Brock Reiman — two-time all-conference, two-time state qualifier, two-time all-state (3rd team), Mid-Illini singles champion (2006, 2007), sectional champion (doubles – 2006, singles – 2007),Peoria Journal Star Co-Player of the Year (2006).
  • Mike LaHood — two-time all-conference, two-time state qualifier, all-state (3rd team), Mid-Illini doubles champion (2006), sectional doubles champion (2007).
  • Michael Christison — two-time all-conference, state qualifier, all-state (3rd team), Mid-Illini #2 singles champion (2007), sectional doubles champion (2007).
  • Aaron Roecker, Sam Sollberger.

Potter Outlook:

Morton will be better than ever in the top half of its line-up in 2008.  The Potters return three all-state tennis players who will provide opponents many difficulties in both singles and doubles.  If Morton is to have its best team of all time, though, the bottom half of the line-up will have to close the gap with the top three players.  Look for Morton to continue its stranglehold on the Bloomington sectional plaque again in ’08.

Interesting Facts:

  • Brock Reiman’s 13th-16th place finish at the state tournament last year tied Jordan Nestrud (2005) for the highest Morton finish in school history.  
  • By winning last year’s sectional singles crown, Reiman became the second player in Mid-Illini history to win sectional titles in both singles and doubles (Metamora’s Nate Rauh is the other).
  • Mike LaHood and Michael Christison tied the school’s best finish at the state tournament in doubles via their 17th-24th result last year.
  • Morton will enter the 2008 campaign as one of the three or four schools favored to win the first ever Class A dual team state tournament.


Long Gone

  • Ryan McMickle — state qualifier.
  • Drew Ingersoll — state qualfier.

Returning for More:  

  • Alex Clark — state qualifier(2006), Mid-Illini singles runner-up (2007), Mid-Illini singles champion (#2 – 2006).
  • Martin O’Connor — state qualifier.
  • Nick Skender — state qualifier.
  • Spencer Graves.

Eagle Outlook:

Dunlap will begin the 2008 campaign with its fifth coach of the decade.  Sheryl Sattler’s one-year reign has ended, and she has been replaced by Rob Beckman.  The Eagles will again field a very deep squad in ’08, with senior Martin O’Connor and junior Alex Clark leading the way.  Several underclassmen, including sophomore Nick Skender and junior Spencer Graves, will add great depth to the Eagle line-up.  Despite continually fielding excellent tennis teams, 2007 was the fifth consecutive season that Dunlap did not win a conference title and was the third time in those five years that the Eagles finished in third place in the rugged Mid-Illini.  

Interesting Facts  

  • Dunlap was 0-2 against Morton and Metamora last season.  That marked only the second time in Dunlap’s 9-year affiliation with the Mid-Illini Conference that the Eagles did not post at least one win over those two opponents.  (The 2003 season was the other, when Dunlap was 0-4 against Morton and Metamora.)    
  •  Dunlap is 5-4 against Morton in the last five seasons and is 3-6 against Metamora. 
  • The Eagles have never lost a Mid-Illini Conference dual against Washington, East Peoria, Limestone, or Pekin. 


Long Gone:  

  • Ryan Piers, CJ Urban, Darrin Smith.

Returning for More:  

  • Devin Norton, Danny Corray, Craig Hines, Derek High.

Panther Outlook:

For the first time in well over a decade, Washington finished the 2007 campaign in last place in the Mid-Illini Conference.  The Panthers graduated three of their top four players, so rebuilding for the 2008 season will be a difficult process.  Senior Devin Norton will likely assume the throne at #1 for WCHS.  

Interesting Facts:

  • Washington has not defeated Morton, Metamora, or Dunlap since 1994, compiling a dual record of 0-67 against those three schools during that time period.  


Long Gone:  

  • Ben Morrow — all-conference, state qualifier, Mid-Illini #1 doubles runner-up.
  • Dewey Kim state qualifier, Mid-Illini #1 doubles runner-up.
  • Matt Jones.

Returning for More:  

  • Houston Mach, Will Miller, Matt Bourscheidt.

Raider Outlook:  

East Peoria had its best team in many years in 2007, finishing with a fine record of 8-4.  The Raiders were 4th in the Mid-Illini Conference and advanced a doubles team to the state tournament, EP’s first state entry in thirteen years.  The Raiders will look to build upon that success in ’08, as three returning varsity starters will lead the way.  Houston Mach, Will Miller, and Matt Bourscheidt will be the anchors around which Coach Shane Smith builds in 2008.  

Interesting Facts:

  • East Peoria has not defeated Morton, Metamora, or Dunlap since 1994, sporting a cumulative record of 0-67 in dual matches against those three schools during that time period.
  • EP graduate Eric Richrath (class of 1988) ended former Dunlap boss Mario Palmieri’s run of Tri-County titles last summer, winning the Mens 35 singles title, 6-4, 6-0.


Long Gone:  None.

Returning for More:  

  • Matt Julien, Blake Hunter, Brent Myers, Jeremy Milam, Max Weiler, Brandon Brill.

Raider Outlook:  

Pekin introduced itself to the Mid-Illini in 2007, finishing 5th with a line-up consisting entirely of non-seniors.  Coach Matt Rineberg’s second squad looks to surpass the results achieved in ’07 with the return of his entire team from a year ago.  Sophomore Brandon Brill and junior Jeremy Milam are two of Pekin’s top guns heading into the ’08 campaign.  They will likely find difficulty competing with some of the league’s top players, but Pekin’s depth will pose problems for teams throughout the Mid-Illini in 2008.  

Interesting Facts:

  • Pekin coach Matt Rineberg was The Journal Star Player of the Year in 2003, eclipsing Metamora’s Ty Wyffels and Morton’s Andrew Martin for the honor.
  • Between 1943 and 1975, Pekin was a tennis power, winning 20 district titles.  In the last 30 years, though, the Dragons have only one sectional title (1992).


Long Gone

  • Will Mosher (all-conference), Luke Leibach, Nick Jacobs, Tom Winchester, Alex Turner.

Returning for More:  

  • Adam Pitzer.

Rocket Outlook:  

Limestone has finished 0-26 in Mid-Illini matches over the past three seasons.  On the positive side, the Rockets are 13-8 in non-conference dual matches over the past three years, but winning inside the league has become much more difficult.  Coach Chuck Sanders, the dean of tennis coaches in the Peoria area, will enter his final campaign in ’08 with only one returning player from last year’s top six.

Interesting Facts:

  • Coach Sanders has spent more seasons prowling the tennis sidelines than any other local coach, as he enters his 14th season with the Rockets.
  • Limestone has never defeated Morton, Metamora, or Dunlap.


Long Gone

  • Kyle Cunningham, Matt Nosbisch.

Returning for More:  

  • Tyler Lampe — two-time all-conference, two-time state qualifier, honorable mention all-state (2006), Mid-Illini doubles champion (2007), two-time sectional doubles champion (2006, 2007).
  • Stephan Rauh — all-conference, state qualifier, Mid-Illini doubles champion (2007), sectional doubles champion (2007).
  • David Stewart — state qualifier, Mid-Illini #2 doubles champion (2007).
  • Nate Wilson — state qualifier, Mid-Illini #2 doubles champion (2007).
  • Ryan Donnelly — state qualifier.
  • Justin Cregger — Mid-Illini #2 singles runner-up (2007).
  • Matt Elliott, Laren Orsini, Nate O’Neil.

Redbird Outlook:  

The Redbirds were a very young team in 2007 and will continue to have a youthful look in ’08.  Of Metamora’s top six returnees, two were juniors and four were freshmen last year.  All six were named to either the first or second team all-conference, and five of the six qualified for the state tournament.  Metamora won Mid-Illini and sectional championships a year ago and certainly will have its sights set on more successes in 2008.

Interesting Facts:  

  • After not ever winning a sectional singles or doubles title for the first 16 years of the tennis program at Metamora, the Redbirds have now had a sectional champion six years in a row (2002 – Ty Wyffels, 2003 – Ty Wyffels, 2004 – Kyle Shoff and Nate Rauh, 2005 – Nate Rauh, 2006 – Nick Vaughn and Tyler Lampe, 2007 – Stephan Rauh and Tyler Lampe).  
  • Metamora has qualified fourteen doubles teams for the state tournament in the last 11 seasons.  Prior to then, Metamora had only qualified one doubles team in school history.  
  • The Redbirds have recorded eight dual match wins over Dunlap since 2001.


Redbirds Travel to Springfield

Mixed Results for Redbirds on a Beautiful Night at Washington Park

SpringfieldThe Redbird tennis team hopped in the mini-bus on Wednesday, April 30 and headed to Washington Park in Springfield for a tri-angular match with Troy Triad and Springfield.  The event showcased three strong teams, all of whom will be favored to win their respective sectional championships in a couple of weeks.  Metamora’s play on the night was very strong; an 0-4 showing in super tie-breakers, however, made the results not quite as sensational as they could have been.

Metamora vs Triad

Metamora began the evening in fine fashion against the Knights from Triad High School, winning four of the first five matches off the courts.  At #1 singles, sophomore Stephan Rauh played a very strong match, defeating senior Devan Faulkenberg, 6-3, 6-1.  Sophomore David Stewart also played well, winning his #2 singles match over senior Nathan Stachowski, 6-1, 6-3.  Senior Tyler Lampe dominated his singles match at #4, winning 6-1, 6-0 over senior Brian Munie.  At #1 doubles, sophomore Nate Wilson and senior Matt Elliott let a 5-2 second set lead nearly evaporate before recovering to post a very nice win over seniors Mike Rapp and Joe Loftus, 6-2, 7-6.  The only straight set match to elude the Redbirds occurred at #2 doubles, where juniors Alex Corwin and Jared Rauh were defeated by sophomore Tommy Rapp and junior Josh Lange, 6-3, 6-2.

At #3 singles, sophomore Ryan Donnelly dropped a first set tie-breaker before recovering to win the second set.  In the third set super breaker, Ryan had two match points but was unable to convert them, ultimately losing to junior Spenser Kockler, 7-6, 4-6, 12-10.  Senior Justin Cregger let a 6-3, 5-4 lead slip away against freshman Alex Porter, losing 3-6, 7-6, 10-8. 

Despite the two losses in super tie-breakers, the match was a success for the Redbirds, with Metamora winning by the final score of 4-3.

Metamora vs Springfield

Against the Senators from Springfield High, Metamora again began the match very strongly.  MTHS won three of the first four matches off the courts and was entering third set tie-breakers in two others.  David Stewart won at #3 singles, beating sophomore Grant Robinson 6-2, 7-6.  Tyler Lampe cruised at #4, winning against sophomore Ben Trapp 6-4, 6-2.  Jared Rauh and Alex Corwin won at # 2 doubles over sophomore Bobby Bolt and freshman Eli Seidman 6-4, 6-2. Nate Wilson and Matt Elliott let a 4-1 first set lead slip away, losing to Nathan Piland and Nick Silliman 7-5, 6-3.  After four matches, Metamora led 3-1.

Stephan Rauh played perhaps his finest set of the year against senior Tom Shull, cruising 6-1 in the second set after dropping a long first set 6-4.  Unfortunately, Shull played a brilliant tie-break, beating Stephan 10-4.  Ryan Donnellywon the first seven games of his match against Ross White before cooling off.  After dropping the second set, the two battled through a super tie-break, with Donnelly jumping to a 7-4 lead.  He was unable to win another point, though, ultimately falling 0-6, 6-3, 10-7.  The last match to finish was between Justin Cregger and freshman Charlie Hoogland.  Justin had been battling the flu all night and was unable to muster enough to beat the Senator freshman, losing 6-3, 6-1.

Throughout most of the Springfield match, it seemed as if Metamora was dominating.  However, credit must be given to the way Springfield battled back and came up big in the tie-breakers.  All in all, it was an excellent evening of high quality tennis.

Redbirds Win Peoria High Invite

Metamora Only Loses to Itself in Strong Tournament Showing

East PeoriaThe 2008 Peoria High Invitational took place on the wind-swept courts of Illinois Central College on Saturday, March 29, and the Metamora Redbird tennis team won every possible match on its way to the team championship.

This weekend, there were not separate #1 and #2 draws for singles and doubles; all singles players competed in one draw, and all doubles teams fought through another draw.  Therefore, it was possible to play against one’s teammates toward the end of the day if everyone kept winning.

Metamora was able to enter three singles players due to one school only bringing five players.  Ryan Donnelly, a Redbird sophomore, had to defeat the tournament’s #2 seed, Tim Thomas from Pontiac, in the first round, while Justin Cregger, a senior, defeated the tournament’s #3 seed, Houston Mach from East Peoria in the first round.  After those matches, Donnelly and Cregger cruised into the semi-finals where they would battle each other.  Donnelly came out on top in a grueling 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 match that was filled with good shot-making by both players.  Sophomore Stephan Rauh, the tournament’s #1 seed, cruised through his half of the draw, ultimately defeating Washington’s Devin Norton, 6-1, 6-0, in the semi-finals.  In the title match, Rauh controlled play, beating Donnelly, 6-0, 6-1.

The doubles draw also went well for Metamora.  Senior Tyler Lampe and sophomore David Stewart played excellent tennis throughout the draw, dropping only seven games in eight sets.  Redbird teammates Nate Wilson, a sophomore, and Matt Elliott, a senior, were similarly impressive, sweeping through their first three matches in straight sets.  The championship match was hotly contested, but Lampe and Stewart were too much for Wilson and Elliott , winning the title, 6-2, 6-1.

See the complete team standings below.  See complete Metamora results here.

2008 Peoria High Invitational Results
  Total Points Place
Metamora 26 1st
Washington 12 2nd
East Peoria 7 3rd
Lincoln 6 4th
East Moline 6 4th
Limestone 6 4th
Pontiac 5 7th
Peoria Central 2 8th


Redbirds Tie for Red & White Title

Strongest Field in History Provides Many Challenging Matches

PeoriaThe 2008 Red & White Invitational, held at The Clubs at River City, offered four teams that won sectional championships a year ago (Metamora, Morton, Rockford Guilford, and Champaign Centennial) and featured 24 returning state qualifiers out of the 48 players in action.  To say that the field was loaded would be a very significant understatement.

Metamora and Rockford Guilford tied for the team championship, each scoring 30 points on the day, four more than third-place Morton.  The Redbirds had three of their four entries in the title matches, with the #2 doubles duo of sophomore Nate Wilson and senior Matt Elliott winning their bracket.

In the #1 singles draw, two outstanding semi-finals saw Morton’s Brock Reiman defeat Ottawa’s Alex Fleshman, 6-2, 6-4, and Metamora’s Stephan Rauh outlast Notre Dame’s Peter Heidrich, 6-2, 1-6, 7-6(5).  Reiman, a junior, and Rauh, a sophomore, then battled through a tremendous first set in the finals.  After Reiman held serve at 5-6 in the first set, the two battled to 5-5 in the tie-breaker before Reiman blasted one of many aces he hit on the day.  After winning the next point to clinch the first set, Reiman rolled to a 6-1 second set victory and Morton’s second #1 singles title in the event’s history (Jordan Nestrud won in 2004).

The #2 singles draw saw many close matches throughout, with Notre Dame’s Scott Caughey and Metamora’s Ryan Donnelly, two sophomores, emerging as the finalists.  After splitting the first two grueling sets, Donnelly raced to a 4-2 lead in the third.  Unfortunately for him, he needed a medical time out for severe cramps, and Caughey was able to sweep the next four games to win the #2 draw.  It was the first championship for a Notre Dame player in the event’s history.

The #1 doubles draw featured several very good teams as well.  Guilford’s Scott Shepardson and Danny Park outlasted Champaign Centennial’s Quinn Miller and David Ruedi, 6-4, 7-5 in a hotly contested championship match, Guilford’s third #1 doubles title in the history of the Red & White Invite.

At #2 doubles, Metamora’s Nate Wilson and Matt Elliott battled Guilford’s Johnny Brandon and Cory Hatch through three outstanding sets of tennis before emerging as the champions of the draw with a 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-2 victory.  The win allowed Metamora to tie Guilford for the overall team title.  It was Metamora’s third doubles title in the event’s history but the first in the #2 draw.

All 8 teams can be very pleased at the high level of competition for this early in the season.  Good luck to all of them throughout the 2008 season.  See the team standings below.  See complete Metamora results here.

2008 Red & White Invitational Results
  #1 Singles #2 Singles #1 Doubles #2 Doubles Total Points Place
Metamora 8 8 2 12 30 1st
Guilford 4 6 12 8 30 1st
Morton 12 2 6 6 26 3rd
Notre Dame 4 12 0 0 16 4th
Centennial 0 4 8 2 14 5th
Ottawa 6 0 4 4 14 5th
Teutopolis 2 4 0 4 10 7th
Glenwood 0 0 4 0 4 8th


Season Opens with Indoor Quad

Redbirds Have Tremendous First Competition

PeoriaThe 2008 season officially began Saturday with the Sixth Annual Metamora Indoor Quad, held at The Clubs at River City.  This event has showcased outstanding tennis for six consecutive years, and this year’s event was certainly no exception. 

A year ago, Metamora’s young squad managed to win only two of fifteen matches, as Danville, Moline, and Deerfield were far ahead of the Redbirds at that point in the season.  The ’07 Metamora team still went on to win the Mid-Illini Conference and Ottawa Sectional championships a couple of months later.

This year, Metamora’s team, experienced but still young, had far better results, winning mini-duals against Danville and Moline before falling to Deerfield in the final match of the day.

Metamora vs Danville

Danville came to town having bested the Redbirds three of the five years the two schools have met, including last year’s 5-0 shellacking.  This time, though, Metamora was the dominator, as the Redbirds dropped only ten games in ten sets in recording their first ever 5-0 win in the quad. 

Metamora 5, Danville 0
#1 singles Stephan Rauh (SOPH) d Ahmed (JR) 6-0, 6-0
#2 singles Ryan Donnelly (SOPH) d Huber (JR) 6-1, 6-1
#1 doubles David Stewart (SOPH) / Tyler Lampe (SR) d Clapper (JR) / Reddy (JR) 6-1, 7-5
#2 doubles Nate Wilson (SOPH) / Matt Elliott (SR) d Patel (FR) / Hardy (JR) 6-0,6-1
#3 doubles Alex Corwin (JR) / Justin Cregger (SR) d Gaudio (SOPH) / Butcher (JR) 6-0,6-1

Metamora vs Moline

Moline returned seven of its top eight players from a year ago and had dominated Metamora last year, 4-1.  The Redbirds won three of the five matches on the day, however, to record their second win over Moline in the six-year history of the indoor quad.

Metamora 3, Moline 2
#1 singles Stephan Rauh (SOPH) d Gustafson (SR) 6-4, 6-1
#2 singles Ryan Donnelly (SOPH) d Sirandis (SR) 6-2, 2-6, 6-2
#1 doubles David Stewart (SOPH) / Tyler Lampe (SR) d Golden (SOPH) / Sandholm (JR) 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
#2 doubles Wood (JR) / Boyle (JR) d Nate Wilson (SOPH) / Matt Elliott (SR) 6-4, 6-1
#3 doubles Nimrick (SR) / Anderson (SR) d Alex Corwin (JR) / Justin Cregger (SR) 6-3, 6-0

Metamora vs Deerfield

Deerfield finishes in the top five in Illinois almost every year and has a roster stocked full of tremendous players.  The Redbirds battled tough, particularly at #1 singles and #1 doubles, but found the Warriors a little too tough.

Deerfield 5, Metamora 0
#1 singles Siegel (FR) d Stephan Rauh (SOPH) 6-2, 6-4
#2 singles Dioutkine (JR) d Ryan Donnelly (SOPH) 6-3, 6-0
#1 doubles Schwartz (SR) / Shklyar (FR) d David Stewart (SOPH) / Tyler Lampe (SR) 6-2, 6-4
#2 doubles Lieberman (JR) / Sylvan (JR) d Nate Wilson (SOPH) / Matt Elliott (SR) 6-1, 6-3
#3 doubles Croll (SR) / Kolof (JR) d Alex Corwin (JR) / Justin Cregger (SR) 6-1, 6-1


Pre-Season Top 10

State of Illinois 2008 Tennis Rankings

Metamora – The 2008 boys tennis season is about to begin, and this year’s rankings will reflect the IHSTCA’s new 2-class format for the year-end team state tournament.  The IHSA state tournament will still remain a one-class event.  It will be left to the reader to determine whether or not any of the Class A teams would be competitive enough to fit into the Class AA rankings.

Class A Class AA
Chicago (The Latin School)    Head Coach:  Howard Carley Latin returns 5 state qualifiers from last year’s St. Ignatius Sectional championship team.  Mac McAnulty (sr) finished 6th; Michael Jacobson (sr) finished top 24; Kevin Prescott and Ryan Williams (jr/sr) finished top 24. Lincolnshire Stevenson    Head Coach:  Mark Linnenburger Stevenson returns 3 state qualifiers from last year’s second place state team.  Blake Bazarnik (so) finished 5th in singles; Allen Pukshansky (sr) finished top 24; Richard Brej (so) finished top 8 in doubles.  Another standout (Chris Speer) is scheduled to return for Coach Linnenbruger from a one-year absence as well.
Crystal Lake Central    Head Coach:  Judy Elder CLC returns 3 state qualifiers from last year’s Crystal Lake Central Sectional championship team.  Bobber Nelson (sr) finished top 24. Hinsdale Central    Head Coach:  Jay Kramer The Red Devils return 3 state qualifiers from last year’s state championship team.  Augie Bloom (so) finished 4th in singles; Krishna Ravella (so) finished top 12.  Dan Ballantine (so) finished top 12 in doubles
Morton    Head Coach:  Joal Stanfield Potters return all 3 state qualifiers from last year’s Bloomington Sectional championship team.  Brock Reiman (jr) finished top 16; Mike LaHood and Mike Christison (sr/sr) finished top 24. New Trier    Head Coach:  Tim Kajfez The Trevians return 3 state qualifiers from last year’s Evanston Sectional championship team.  James Ong and Ian Fisher (sr/sr) finished top 24; Kevin Porter (sr) was also part of a top 24 doubles team.  New Trier will also welcome back to the team two outstanding singles players (Michael Laser and Jon Schroeder).
Metamora    Head Coach:  Kelly Willard Redbirds return all 5 state qualifiers from last year’s Ottawa Sectional championship team.  Tyler Lampe (sr) and Stephan Rauh (so) finished top 48.  Four of the returnees are sophomores. Glenbrook South    Head Coach:  Larry Faulkner GBS returns 4 state qualifiers from last year’s Glenbrook North Sectional championship team.  Michael Moore (jr) finished top 8; Ben Hoogland (so) finished top 12.
Galesburg    Head Coach:  Gary Wagher Streaks return 3 state qualifiers from last year’s team.  A talented freshman will join the team in ’08 as well. Oak Park River Forest    Head Coach:  John Morlidge OPRF returns 4 state qualifiers from last year’s OPRF Sectional championship team.  Michael Jacobs (jr) was on the 3rd place doubles team; Tim Martin (sr) was on a top 24 doubles team. 
Champaign Centennial    Head Coach:  Bill Carson Chargers return 2 state qualifiers from last year’s Danville Sectional championship team.  Quinn Miller (sr) finished top 32. Highland Park    Head Coach:  Steve Rudman HP returns 4 state qualifiers from last year’s squad.  Ben Woldenberg (sr) was a member of the 4th place doubles team.
Peoria Richwoods    Head Coach:  Patti Shaw Knights return 2 state qualifiers from last year’s Peoria Sectional championship team.  Chase Klaus (sr) finished top 12. Deerfield    Head Coach:  Josh Leighton Deerfield returns 3 state qualifiers from last year’s Highland Park Sectional championship team.  Kyle Schwartz (sr) finished top 32 in singles; Danny Mihalov (jr) was a member of the 5th place doubles team.
Teutopolis    Head Coach:  Greg Brumleve Teutopolis returns all 4 state qualifiers from last year’s team.  Three of the four are seniors. Rockford Guilford    Head Coach:  Mike Muldowney Guilford returns all 6 state qualifiers from last year’s Machesney Park Harlem Sectional championship team.  Scott Shepardson (sr) and Austin Roos (jr) finished top 24.
Springfield    Head Coach:  Ross Graham Springfield returns 1 state qualifier from last year’s team.  Tom Shull (sr) was on a top 16 doubles team. Lyons Township    Head Coach:  Bill Wham Lyons returns 4 state qualifiers from last year’s Downers Grove South Sectional championship team.  Dave Robare (sr) was half of the state championship doubles team.
10  Normal U-High    Head Coach:  Bob Runyan Pioneers return 2 state qualifiers from last year’s team.  Ben Yue (so) finished top 48; Andre Aung (jr) finished top 48 in doubles. 10  Gurnee Warren    Head Coach:  Greg Cohen Warren returns 3 state qualifiers from last year’s Warren Sectional championship team.  Denis Bogatov (jr) finished 3rd in the state in singles.

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