2016 Articles

2016 Season Recap

Metamora – The 2016 Redbird tennis season was another terrific one to remember!  The Redbirds returned every player from its 2015 team, and each member of the ’16 squad pushed the others so that everyone on the team contributed to the season’s successes.  Here are a few of the 2016 team’s highlights:

  •  Metamora finished with a sparkling dual record of 23-2, tying the all-time school record for wins in a season.  The only two defeats were 3-2 (after having match point) and 5-4.

 

  •  The Redbirds were the champions of the season opening indoor quad, the 8-team Red & White Invitational, the 4-team Washington Quad, the 6-team Ottawa Invitational, and the 4-team Chatham-Glenwood Quad.  Metamora also finished 2nd of 16 at Edwardsville (after holding match point to win the tournament) and 2nd of 15 at the Bloomington Invite.

 

  • At the conference tournament, the Redbirds played exceptionally well.  Dunlap entered the tournament unbeaten in conference duals and favored to easily win the tournament.  However, the Redbirds put up a stiff challenge, capturing titles at #1 doubles (Ryan Willard and Fletcher Koehrsen) and #2 doubles (Brendan Axelson and Carsten Boast) and finishing 2nd at #1 singles (Cameron Doerr).  Johan Olsen finished 3rd at #2 singles, allowing the Redbirds to score a total of 23 team points.  Dunlap won the tournament with 24.  It was the first time since 2006 that a conference foe scored more points than Metamora at the league tournament, a run of excellence that is hard to believe given the immense talent that has passed through the league over the last decade.

Willard and Koehrsen rallied from a set and 4-1 down in the finals to capture the #1 doubles title — it was Willard’s second M-I crown (#2 singles in 2014) and Koehrsen’s third (#1 doubles each of his three years).  Axelson and Boast were completely dominant at #2 doubles, only allowing a single game in the championship match.  It was each player’s second M-I title (Axelson won #2 doubles in 2015 and Boast won #1 doubles in 2015).  Doerr posted a grueling three-set win over Morton’s #1 singles player in the semi-finals before running into Victor Spolidorio from Dunlap in the finals.  Metamora entries in the league tournament have now played in 34 of the last 36 finals.

 

  • At the Dunlap Sectional, Metamora qualified both doubles teams again for the state meet.  Willard and Koehrsen advanced to the championship match for the third straight year but fell 7-5, 6-2 to a Richwoods team that would ultimately finish 6th at the state meet one week later.  It was the 11th year in a row that Metamora placed a doubles team in the sectional title match.  Axelson and Boast also qualified for the state meet, finishing 4th in the sectional after a three-set loss to Dunlap’s top team.

 

  • The Redbirds had an excellent state meet.  Willard and Koehrsen won three times in the main draw, including a terrific 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 upset of a top 16 seeded team.  They advanced to the final 16 of the 128 team draw, facing top-seeded Deerfield in the round of 16.  The Redbird duo earned third team all-state recognition for their state tournament play.  Metamora’s second doubles team, Axelson and Boast, finished in the top 48, winning three of four matches on Thursday to advance to Friday.  It was the first time Metamora ever had both doubles teams playing on the second day of the state meet.  As a team, even with only two entries, the Redbirds finished 20th in the last year of single-class tennis in Illinois.  It was the sixth time in the last seven years Metamora finished in the state’s top 20, a remarkable feat for a smallish, public school in Central Illinois.

Individually, the season was spectacular.  There were so many individual achievements; here are a few:

  • Joel Sutter compiled a 25-0 doubles record, the best in school history.

 

  • Jordan Rivera compiled a combined 27-2 singles and doubles record, the highest winning percentage in school history.

 

  • Ryan Willard extended his winning streak in dual matches to 57 in a row (singles and doubles) until finally losing to Richwoods.  He finished with a singles record of 11-1 and a doubles mark of 34-7.

 

  • Fletcher Koehrsen was a stalwart at the top of the line-up, compiling a 12-2 singles record.  His doubles mark was 32-7.

 

  • Carsten Boast won 42 combined singles and doubles matches, and partner Brendan Axelson won 40.

 

  • Johan Olsen emerged to win 27 total matches, and model of consistency Cameron Doerr won 25.  Olsen’s highlight of the year was defeating the #2 seed at the sectional, David Wu from Dunlap, in the first round.

 

  • Koehrsen, Willard, Axelson, and Boast were named first team all-conference.  Doerr, Sutter, Rivera, and Olsen were named second team all-conference.  The EIGHT players earning all-conference were an all-time record for any school, with six having been the previous high mark.

 

The 2016 Metamora tennis team had strength at the top of the line-up, strength in the middle of the line-up, and terrific depth at the bottom of the line-up.  Moreover, it featured outstanding kids that loved to compete and loved to be around each other.  The five seniors on the 2016 team (Ryan Willard, Cameron Doerr, Joel Sutter, Jordan Rivera, and Brendan Axelson) can be incredibly proud that they led the 2016 to one of the finest seasons in school history.  That the ’16 team was unable to capture league or sectional titles says less about the Redbird team but more about the quality of tennis in the Peoria area in 2016.

 

On a personal note, having a son on the varsity tennis team for the last four years will be a memory I will cherish forever.  It is my hope that every parent can experience coaching one of their children at some point.  It certainly brings a different dynamic but is oh so rewarding.  It is also my hope that the work ethic developed by this group will stick with these guys forever.  If it does, their futures are undoubtedly very bright.

Congratulations to the Metamora Redbird tennis team on another fantastic season!!

 

2010 Redbird Tennis Team to Enter MTHS Athletic Hall of Fame

Metamora – (8/16) – The MTHS Athletic Hall of Fame committee has elected the 2010 boys tennis team to the Hall of Fame.  The team will be inducted during ceremonies before the Homecoming football game September 23.

Please see the text of the biography that will appear in that night’s program below.

 

“The 2010 boys tennis team was the finest group in MTHS tennis history, obliterating its competition all year long.  The Redbird squad finished the year 21-1 and became only the second small public school to finish in the state’s top ten in 60 years.

During the regular season, Metamora’s tennis team beat every Mid-Illini opponent by a perfect score of 9-0, an achievement that has never been duplicated.  At the conference tournament, MTHS won all four flights, finishing the season with a 62-0 record against league foes.  It was Metamora’s fourth straight Mid-Illini crown.  In the Peoria Sectional, MTHS amassed 34 of a possible 36 points, qualifying all six players for the state meet and winning the sectional title for the fourth straight year.

The Redbirds earned five of the eight all-conference spots, with seniors Stephan Rauh, David Stewart, Nate Wilson, and Ryan Donnelly as well as freshman Kevin Wang named to the league’s top eight.  Those five plus senior Greg Coffman all qualified for the state meet by virtue of their sectional finishes.  Rauh and Wang finished 1st and 2nd at the sectional in singles while Stewart / Wilson and Donnelly / Coffman finished 1st and 4th.

A record three Redbird players were named to the all-state tennis team, with Stephan Rauh making the singles list and the doubles duo of David Stewart and Nate Wilson also being honored.

The 2010 team was so deep that two players that could not even crack the sectional line-up, sophomore Quinn Vaughn and freshman Christoph Goettler, wound up earning all-state status later in the MTHS careers, with Goettler being named first team all-state as a senior.

Coach Kelly Willard’s teams have captured nine sectional team titles in boys tennis since 2003, but all are compared to the 2010 group, the best in school history.  If IHSA tennis had had more than one class in 2010, this group would likely have won a state title by a very wide margin.  Instead, it can lay claim to being one of only two public schools with fewer than 1,250 students to finish in the state’s top ten in the last six decades.  Congratulations, 2010 boys tennis team, on your induction into the MTHS Hall of Fame!”

 

Redbirds Take Summer Trip to Champaign

Champaign – (6/16) – For the fifth consecutive year, the Redbird tennis team played a summer team event at the Atkins Center on the campus of the University of Illinois.  Metamora took an 8-person team to battle squads from Belleville East, Gurnee Warren, and the Champaign area.  The Redbirds played with only 6 players on the second day, as Fletcher Koehrsen and Carsten Boast left for the Midwest Closed in Indianapolis.

vs Belleville East (Redbirds won 5 of 12 matches)

1  Loss  (F. Koehrsen)  6-3, 6-2
2  Loss  (C. Boast)  6-4, 6-4
3  Win  (J. Olsen)  6-4, 6-2
4  Loss  (S. Russell)  6-3, 2-6, 10-7
5  Loss  (E. Greenfield)  6-7, 6-4, 10-3
6  Win  (K. DeShon)  6-0, 6-0
7  Loss  (G. Gutwein)  6-3, 2-6, 10-7
8  Win  (G. Wood)  6-2, 6-3

1  Win  (F. Koehrsen / C. Boast)  6-4, 7-6
2  Loss  (J. Olsen / E. Greenfield)  1-6, 7-5, 10-8
3  Loss  (S. Russell / G. Gutwein)  0-6, 6-3, 10-3
4  Win  (G. Wood / K. DeShon)  6-3, 1-6, 10-1

vs Champaign Area (Redbirds won 5 of 10 matches)

1  Win  (F. Koehrsen)  8-2
2  Loss  (C. Boast)  9-7
3  Win  (J. Olsen)  8-3
4  Loss  (S. Russell)  8-0
5  Loss  (E. Greenfield)  8-0
6  Win  (K. DeShon)  8-6
7  Loss  (G. Gutwein)  8-0

1  Win  (J. Olsen / E. Greenfield)  1-6, 7-6, 10-7
2  Win  (S. Russell / G. Gutwein)  3-6, 7-6, 10-8
3  Loss  (K. DeShon / G. Wood)  6-0, 6-0

vs Gurnee Warren (Redbirds won 5 of 9 matches)

1  Win (J. Olsen)  9-8
2  Win  (S. Russell)  8-4
3  Loss (E. Greenfield)  8-5
4  Loss  (K. DeShon)  8-6
5  Loss  (G. Gutwein)  9-7
6  Win  (G. Wood)  8-5

1  Win  (J. Olsen / E. Greenfield)  6-3, 6-4
2  Win  (S. Russell / G. Gutwein)  6-4, 6-3
3  Loss  (K. DeShon / G. Wood)  6-3, 0-6, 10-8

Top Twenty for Redbirds at State Meet
Willard, Koehrsen Selected to All-State Doubles Team
Arlington Heights – (5/28/16) – Metamora capped off its excellent tennis season with a terrific showing at the last single-class state tennis tournament in IHSA history.  The Redbirds piled up 10 team points, all in doubles, to finish tied for 20th in the team standings, the sixth time in the last seven years that Metamora finished in the state’s top 20.
Ryan Willard and Fletcher Koehrsen had a great first day at the state meet, winning all three matches to advance from the field of 128 to the final 16.  In the third round, the duo recorded a win over a top 16 seeded team from Algonquin Jacobs to reach the last 16.  Willard and Koehrsen fell the next day to the tournament’s top seed and wound up placing in the top 24 overall.
Brendan Axelson and Carsten Boast also had a good first day, winning three of their four matches to reach the second day of competition.  On the second day, they lost their first match to a team from Gurnee Warren, finishing in the 33rd through 48th place group overall.
Willard and Koehrsen, by virtue of their top 24 finish, were named to the All-State doubles third team.  The pair was named honorable mention All-State last year for their top 32 finish.
All four Redbird players were still alive on the second day of the state meet.  The previous record for Redbird players playing on day two of the meet was three, so this year’s team achieved greatness in the final year of the single-class tournament.  Congratulations to the Redbird doubles players on a terrific state meet!
Four State Qualifiers for Metamora
Displaying IMG_3785.JPG
Dunlap – (5/21/16) – The 2016 post-season got underway with the IHSA sectional tournament at Dunlap High School.  Metamora entered the doubles duos of Fletcher Koehrsen / Ryan Willard and Brendan Axelson / Carsten Boast as well as singles players Cameron Doerr and Johan Olsen in the event.
Koehrsen and Willard advanced to the championship match for the third straight year, falling to the Richwoods tandem of Settelmyer / Patel-O’Connor 7-5, 6-2 in the finals.  Axelson and Boast lost to the same Richwoods team in the semi-finals and dropped a three-set match for third place to the Dunlap team of Oberoi and Yedavalli to finish fourth.  The top four doubles teams qualify for the state tournament, so both Metamora teams advanced through their sectional finishes.
Doerr reached the quarter-finals, where he fell to Alex Cheng of Richwoods.  Olsen, after a stunning first-round upset win over the tournament’s #2 seed from Dunlap, dropped his quarter-final match as well to Peoria Christian’s Stephen Ferkol.
Ten teams participated in the sectional, and the team standings showed Richwoods in first place with 29 points, Metamora second with 22, and Dunlap third with 21.  The other teams were far behind.  Congratulations to the Redbird team on another great sectional showing!
Redbirds One Point Short at Mid-Illini Tournament

Morton – (5/16/16) – The 2016 Mid-Illini season came to a close on Monday, May 16, with the completion of the tournament that started three days earlier but was suspended due to rain.  Metamora entered the tournament in 2nd place, trailing Dunlap by one point.  The Redbirds had four of the six individual champions but were unable to surpass the Eagles, as Dunlap won its first conference title in fourteen years.

Fletcher Koehrsen and Ryan Willard won the #1 doubles title for Metamora, gutting out a roller coaster 6-7, 7-5, 6-2 match over Dunlap’s Atishay Oberoi and Ashwin Yedavalli.  It was Koehrsen’s third straight #1 doubles title and Willard’s second conference crown (#2 singles in 2014).  Brendan Axelson and Carsten Boast won the #2 doubles title easily, dispatching Dunlap’s Steven Chacko and Matt Siwicke, 6-1, 6-1.  For both Redbirds it was their second conference crown (Boast won #1 doubles last year and Axelson won #2 doubles).

Cameron Doerr played the #1 singles position for Metamora and reached the finals, where he lost to Dunlap’s Victor Spolidorio, 6-1, 6-1.  Doerr, champion last year at #2 singles, had a signature win in the semi-finals, beating Morton’s top player, Troy Hohulin, 1-6, 6-2, 6-4.  Johan Olsen held down the #2 singles spot for the Redbirds, finishing third.  In the semi-finals, Johan lost a tight match to Morton’s Tristan Kendall, 6-3, 7-6.  He rebounded to win the third place match, 6-1, 6-1.

The final team standings showed:  Dunlap 24, Metamora 23, Morton 15, Pekin 10, Limestone 7, East Peoria 6, Washington 3.  It was the first time since 2006 that Metamora was outscored by any conference team at the league tournament.  All in all, it was still a very successful event for Redbird players.  In the fourteen years of flighted competition at the tournament (2003-2016), Metamora has now captured ten #1 doubles titles and nine championships at #2 doubles.

Congratulations to all!

Redbirds Champs of Ottawa Invite

Ottawa – (4/23/16) – On a beautiful, sunny Saturday in Ottawa, the Redbird tennis team won another weekend invitational, dominating the 8-team Ottawa Invite.

The tournament featured a two singles, three doubles team format.  In the quarterfinals, Metamora easily defeated Rockford Lutheran, dropping only two of 62 games while winning 5-0.  Cameron Doerr and Johan Olsen handled the singles duties in round one, while the doubles duos of Ryan Willard / Fletcher Koehrsen, Brendan Axelson / Carsten Boast, and Bobby Kessler / Sean Russell swept through their competition.

In the semi-finals, the Redbirds played Normal U-High, again winning 5-0.  Koehrsen and Axelson played singles in this round, while the doubles teams were Willard / Boast, Joel Sutter / Jordan Rivera, and Doerr / Olsen.  Just like in the quarterfinals, Metamora players did not drop a set in this dual match.

The championship round featured Metamora against Rockford Boylan.  The Redbirds played nearly flawlessly in doubles, capturing each of the three matches in dominating fashion.  Willard / Koehrsen, Axelson / Boast, and Sutter / Rivera clinched the match for Metamora.  In singles, Cameron Doerr battled through a long match, ultimately falling just short, 12-10 in a third set tie-break.  Johan Olsen played a similar match at #2 singles and found a way to win his third set tie-break, setting the final score at 4-1 in favor of Metamora.

Metamora has now won the event the last two times it has been played (2014 and 2016).  As the season is getting shorter, Redbird players appear to be primed and ready to play their best tennis in the post-season.  Congratulations to all on another tournament victory!

Redbirds 2nd at Bloomington Invitational

Bloomington – (4/9/16) – Metamora used strong doubles play to pile up 29 team points at the 15-team Bloomington Invitational, finishing 2nd as a team.

Despite morning temperatures in the 20s and an ice delay at one site, each of Metamora’s three doubles teams was hot, as the pairs of Ryan Willard / Fletcher Koehrsen, Brendan Axelson / Carsten Boast, and Joel Sutter / Jordan Rivera each won three matches to reach the finals.  In the finals, Metamora met Normal U-High in every flight in a rare semi-dual match between the two schools.

Each championship match was tightly contested.  Willard and Koehrsen forced a third set with a decisive 6-0 middle set win, but the U-High team of Totten and Friesen held off the Redbird pair, 6-3, 0-6, 6-3.  Axelson and Boast also dropped a three-set encounter against a very good #2 team from U-High, 5-7, 6-3, 6-1.  Metamora salvaged a championship at #3 doubles, as Joel Sutter and Jordan Rivera prevailed over U-High’s #3 team, 7-5, 7-6.

In singles, Cameron Doerr and Johan Olsen battled talented opponents all day, with Doerr picking up a win in the main draw of #1 singles and Olsen recording three wins in the #2 singles draw.  Each of these Redbird players contributed team points to the overall second place total of 29 points.  Normal U-High won the team title with 37 points.

Redbird players earned six medals at the Bloomington Invite, the most a Metamora team has ever had.  Congratulations to all!

Metamora Wins Red & White Invite

Metamora – (3/26/16) – The 2016 Red & White Invitational was held outdoors for the first time in six years, and the Redbird tennis team survived a nailbiter in the championship match again Dunlap to win the team event.

In the first round, Metamora defeated new entrant Effingham, 4-1.  Fletcher Koehrsen and Ryan Willard handled the singles duties for the Redbirds, with neither losing a game.  The doubles duos of Jordan Rivera / Joel Sutter and Johan Olsen / Cameron Doerr were victorious for Metamora, while the team of Brendan Axelson / Carsten Boast suffered a tight loss at #1.

In the semi-finals, the Redbird tennis team got by Teutopolis, 3-2.  Koehrsen rallied from a first set deficit to win at #1 singles, 6-4, 6-1.  Cameron Doerr won a very competitive match at #2 singles, 6-3, 6-4.  Metamora won its other match with the doubles team of Willard / Olsen.  The pairings of Axelson / Boast and Rivera / Kessler each lost tight third set super tie-break matches.

In the championship match, Metamora found Mid-Illini foe Dunlap waiting.  Dunlap easily captured the two singles contests, as Doerr and Kessler were unable to solve their Eagle foes.  The Redbirds won #2 doubles (Axelson / Boast) and #3 doubles (Olsen / Sutter), leaving the #1 doubles match as the winner take all battle for the tournament title.  Koehrsen and Willard lost the first set 6-2 but rallied to win the second 6-1, forcing a super tie-breaker for the title.  After a back and forth breaker in which Dunlap held two match points at 9-7, Metamora’s #1 doubles team rallied for a 12-10 win and the tournament championship.  It was a very exciting finish to a long day on the tennis courts.

Congratulations to all Redbird players on another tournament title.  Good luck to the rest of the Red & White teams during the rest of the season.

Redbirds Win Season Opening Quad

Peoria – (3/19/16) – The 2016 varsity tennis season began with the traditional indoor quad meet, held at The Clubs at River City in Peoria.  Springfield, Moline, and Ottawa joined the Redbirds for a 2 singles, 3 doubles competition, with Metamora’s team finishing the day with a perfect 3-0 record.

Ottawa was the first opponent for Metamora, and the Redbirds looked sharp from the first point of the match.  Each Redbird entrant won quickly, as Ottawa was held to one game in each of the five matches contested.  Fletcher Koehrsen (jr) and Ryan Willard (sr) played singles for Metamora, while the doubles duos were Brendan Axelson / Carsten Boast (sr / jr), Jordan Rivera / Joel Sutter (sr / sr) and Cameron Doerr / Bobby Kessler (sr / jr).

The second match of the day featured the best tennis.  Springfield, which easily captured its sectional title last year and returns almost its entire team, provided a stiff challenge for the Redbird squad.  Doerr and Kessler played singles for Metamora, and, although each presented a good fight, neither could muster a victory.  The best match of the day occurred at #1 doubles, where Metamora’s Koehrsen and Willard pulled out a 7-5, 6-2 win over a Springfield duo that won three matches at last year’s state meet.  Metamora also captured #2 and #3 doubles to clinch the team win.

Finally, the Redbirds battled Moline.  The Maroons are a traditional power, winning sectional titles virtually every year.  Last year’s sectional championship team was heavy on seniors, though, and Metamora’s depth and talent were too much for Moline.  The Redbirds won in all five spots, defeating Moline for the eighth time in the last nine years but winning 5-0 for the first time ever.

All in all, the quad serves as an excellent first weekend of competitive tennis.  The teams have lots of respect for each other, and the caliber of play is always quite high. Congratulations to the Redbird players for coming out of the weekend unbeaten!

2016 Mid-Illini Preview

Metamora – (3/7/16) – The 2016 Mid-Illini Conference tennis season is upon us, and the league battles look to be fierce again this year.  Mid-Illini teams graduated several talented players a year ago, headlined by Morton star Chandler Stimpert.  However, the returnees are very strong and are joined by some newcomers that will immediately impact the league standings.A year ago, Metamora won three of the four flights at the league tournament, capturing the Mid-Illini title for the second year in a row and the eighth time in the last nine years.  Victor Spolidorio of Dunlap was the conference’s best singles player and captured the #1 singles title, ending a string of five straight Metamora champions at that position.  At #2 singles, Metamora had its sixth straight champion, with Cameron Doerr earning the title via a hard-fought three-set match in the finals.  The #1 doubles championship team was Metamora’s Fletcher Koehrsen and Carsten Boast, and the #2 champs were Metamora’s Brendan Axelson and Joel Sutter.

The league returns six of eight first team all-conference performers to the courts in 2016.  Dunlap brings back Victor Spolidoirio and Atishay Oberoi, while Metamora returns Fletcher Koehrsen, Ryan Willard, Brendan Axelson, and Cameron Doerr.

Metamora (9) and Morton (4) have combined to win the last thirteen Mid-Illini titles and have won nineteen sectional championships since 2003.  The team to beat in 2016, however, may be the Dunlap Eagles.  The Eagles return a very talented team and will be bolstered by two outstanding freshmen.  They will look to win Dunlap’s first conference championship in fourteen years.

Good luck to all Mid-Illini teams in 2016!  Continue to represent the league with great talent but also class on the courts.  Joal Stanfield would like that.  Also, good luck to Dave Krostal’s Panther squad, his last after a long career on the tennis courts at Washington.

Mid-Illini Conference Boys Tennis Teams
Team
Coach
Last Year
Last Six Years
Metamora Kelly Willard 19-6 120-19
Dunlap Pat Gornik 15-9 54-57
Morton Pat Lowder 11-5 79-26
Pekin Garry Garver 5-5 41-32
Washington Dave Krostal 7-10 32-45
East Peoria Shane Smith 3-12 21-45
Limestone Bill Wallinger 5-10 29-53