Metamora – The 2017 Redbird tennis season was the first to compete in the IHSA’s new two-class format. This monumental change was greeted with guarded optimism by small school coaches and players. Metamora had an excellent showing at the first ever Class 1A state meet. Here are a few highlights from the season:
- Metamora finished with a dual record of 20-2, improving its two-year record to 43-4.
- The Redbirds were the champions of the season opening indoor quad, the 16-team Bloomington Invitational, the 4-team Washington Quad, and the 6-team Ottawa Invitational. Metamora also finished 2nd of 8 at the Red & White Invite.
- At the conference tournament, Metamora achieved at a high level. Eventual team state champion 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 (Carsten Boast and Fletcher Koehrsen won the three-hour final 7-6, 6-7, 7-5) and #2 doubles (Johan Olsen and Ethan Greenfield battled to a 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 win) and finishing 2nd at #2 singles (Sean Russell). Michael Poppen finished 3rd at #1 singles, allowing the Redbirds to score a total of 23 team points. Dunlap won the tournament with 24. It was the second year in a row that Metamora fell one point short at the league tournament.
For Koehrsen, the marathon doubles title was his fourth in a row at #1 doubles, a mark that will likely never be duplicated. His siblings, Taylor and Will, also won four Mid-Illini titles, giving the family a perfect twelve for twelve, a ridiculous feat that will certainly never be challenged. For Boast, it was his third conference title in three tries (#1 doubles in 2015, #2 doubles in 2016, and #1 doubles in 2017). Olsen and Greenfield each won his first conference title by virtue of their #2 doubles triumph. Metamora entries in the league tournament have now played in 37 of the last 42 finals.
- At the Washington Sectional (played entirely indoors at the Bloomington Tennis Center), Metamora qualified both doubles teams again for the state meet. Boast and Koehrsen advanced to the championship match and lost a tight match to Normal U-High’s outstanding team, 7-5, 7-5. It was the 12th year in a row that Metamora placed a doubles team in the sectional title match. Olsen and Greenfield also qualified for the state meet, winning an absolutely thrilling quarterfinal match over Morton’s top doubles team, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6, to earn their trip. They finished 3rd after a nice 7-5, 7-5 win over Bloomington in the last match of the sectional. Singles entries Michael Poppen and Sean Russell each reached the quarterfinals before being defeated.
- The Redbirds had an excellent state meet. Boast and Koehrsen advanced all the way to the semi-finals, including a thrilling 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 win over Chicago Latin in the quarterfinals. In the semis, they were soundly defeated by the eventual champs from Chicago University before rebounding to win the third place match over Lisle Benet. The Redbird duo earned first team all-state recognition for their state tournament play. Metamora’s second doubles team, Olsen and Greenfield, finished in the top 24, winning three of five matches in the tournament. It was the second year in a row that Metamora had both doubles teams playing on the second day of the state meet. As a team, even with only two entries, the Redbirds finished 6th in the first year of two-class tennis in Illinois.
Individually, the season was spectacular. There were so many individual achievements; here are a few:
- Fletcher Koehrsen finished 17-2 in singles and 26-7 in doubles, anchoring the Redbird line-up.
- Carsten Boast was 12-1 in singles and 31-8 on the doubles court, finishing his prep career as a dominant force in both.
- Johan Olsen and Ethan Greenfield made a senior-freshman combination work. Johan was 8-2 in singles and 35-10 in doubles. Ethan finished 7-3 in singles and 31-11 in doubles.
- Michael Poppen’s first varsity campaign ended with a singles mark of 18-6 and a doubles record of 10-3.Grant Gutwein (24 wins), Zack Lambiase (21), Sean Russell (21),
- Grant Gutwein (24 wins), Zack Lambiase (21), and Sean Russell (21) also contributed lots of wins to the Redbirds in 2017.
- Koehrsen, Boast, and Olsen were named first team all-conference.
The 2017 Metamora tennis team continued the tradition of excellence established by so many teams before them. Competing in the first ever two-class state tournament, they set the bar very high with a 6th place finish. More than that, however, the guys on this team truly loved coming to practice, going on trips, and spending time with each other. They developed into an excellent tennis team that made memories that will forever be cherished.
Congratulations to the Metamora Redbird tennis team on another fantastic season!!
Redbirds Take Summer Trip to Champaign
Warren 7, Metamora 2
1 Loss (E. Greenfield) 6-0, 6-1
2 Win (M. Poppen) 6-1, 2-6, 10-7
3 Loss (G. Wood) 7-6, 6-3
4 Win (C. Nevitt) 6-1, 6-2
5 Loss (K. Nevitt) 5-7, 6-3, 10-2
6 Loss (N Geurink) 6-1, 6-1
1 Loss (E. Greenfield / M. Poppen) 6-0, 6-1
2 Loss (C. Nevitt / Joey Shallat) 6-1, 6-2
3 Loss (G. Wood / K. Nevitt) 3-6, 6-1, 10-5
Metamora 5, Champaign 4
1 Loss (Z. Lambiase) 7-6, 6-1
2 Loss (G. Gutwein) 6-1, 6-1
3 Win (K. DeShon) 6-7, 6-1, 10-4
4 Loss (J. Poppen) 7-5, 6-1
5 Win (B. Manwaring) 6-3, 6-2
6 Win (I. O’Laughlin) 7-5, 7-5
1 Loss (Z. Lambiase / G. Gutwein) 6-2, 6-3
2 Win (B. Manwaring / K. DeShon) 6-2, 6-3
3 Win (J. Poppen / H. Olsen) 6-1, 6-2
Metamora 5, Champaign 4
1 Loss (M. Poppen) 6-3, 3-6, 10-6
2 Loss (E. Greenfield) 6-2, 6-1
3 Win (G. Wood) 7-5, 7-5
4 Win (C. Nevitt) 2-6, 7-6, 10-5
5 Loss (J. Shallat) 6-3, 6-7, 12-10
6 Win (N. Geurink) 2-6, 6-4, 10-7
1 Win (E. Greenfield / M. Poppen) 1-6, 7-6, 10-3
2 Loss (G. Wood / J. Shallat) 6-0, 7-5
3 Win (C. Nevitt / K. Nevitt) 6-4, 6-1
Warren 5, Metamora 4
1 Loss (Z. Lambiase) 6-1, 6-0
2 Loss (G. Gutwein) 6-2, 6-2
3 Win (K. DeShon) 6-1, 6-0
4 Win (B. Manwaring) 7-5, 6-4
5 Loss (H. Olsen) 4-6, 6-1, 10-8
6 Loss (I. O’Laughlin) 4-6, 6-4, 10-7
1 Loss (Z. Lambiase / G. Gutwein) 6-2, 6-3
2 Win (K. DeShon / B. Manwaring) 3-6, 6-4, 10-6
3 Win (J. Poppen / H. Olsen) 6-3, 6-2
Warren 5, Metamora 4
1 Loss (M. Poppen) 6-0, 6-1
2 Win (E. Greenfield) 6-2, 6-4
3 Win (G. Wood) 6-1, 6-3
4 Win (C. Nevitt) 6-1, 6-1
5 Loss (K. Nevitt) 4-6, 6-3, 10-8
6 Loss (N. Geurink) 7-5, 6-4
1 Loss (M. Poppen / E. Greenfield) 6-2, 7-5
2 Loss (C. Nevitt / G. Wood) 7-5, 6-1
3 Win (J. Shallat / K. Nevitt) 7-5, 1-6, 10-8
Metamora 5, Champaign 4
1 Loss (Z. Lambiase) 6-0, 6-0
2 Loss (G. Gutwein / J. Poppen one set each) 6-3, 6-0
3 Win (K. DeShon) 6-3, 6-3
4 Win (B. Manwaring) 6-1, 6-3
5 Win (H. Olsen) 6-3, 4-6, 10-8
6 Win (default)
1 Loss (G. Gutwein / Z. Lambiase) 6-1, 6-2
2 Loss (J. Poppen / K. DeShon) 7-6, 6-3
3 Win (default)
Fletcher Koehrsen and Carsten Boast had a phenomenal showing at the state meet, winning their first four matches to advance to the semi-finals. To reach the semis, the duo had to withstand a three set challenge in the quarterfinals from a dynamic Chicago Latin team. That match, played with a chair umpire on the show courts at Hersey High School, was the most exciting match a Metamora doubles team has ever played at the state meet. Koehrsen and Boast rallied from 0-2 in the final set to win 6-3, setting off a celebration unlike any in school history. For the first time ever, Metamora would play in the main draw on Saturday, the last day of the tournament.
In the semis, the Redbirds were soundly defeated by the eventual state champions from Chicago University High School, but the pair came back to post a convincing 6-3, 6-0 win in the third place match over a team from Lisle Benet Academy. The third place finish was Metamora’s highest ever and resulted in Koehrsen and Boast both being named first team all-state in doubles.
Johan Olsen and Ethan Greenfield also had a very good tournament, winning three of five matches to finish in the 17th-24th group out of the 64 state qualifying teams. On the tournament’s first day, the pair played the maximum of nine sets in three matches. They won their first round encounter 7-6 in the third set, showing grit and determination that was impressive to watch. In the second round, Olsen and Greenfield had four match points but could not convert, ultimately losing 6-2 in the third set. They bounced back to win two more matches in third set super tie-breaks before eventually losing 7-5, 6-4 to one of the tournament’s top eight seeds. As a result of their finish, they were both named third team all-state in doubles.
Four State Qualifiers for Metamora
Bloomington – (5/20/17) – The first ever two-class post-season began with the Washington Sectional, played entirely at the Bloomington Tennis Center (indoors) due to inclement weather. Metamora entered the doubles teams of Fletcher Koehrsen / Carsten Boast and Johan Olsen / Ethan Greenfield as well as singles players Michael Poppen and Sean Russell.
Koehrsen and Boast, the top seed, advanced to the championship match but were unable to win the sectional title, falling to the Normal U-High duo of Josh Friesen and Carter Burk, 7-5, 7-5 in the finals. Olsen and Greenfield, seeded fifth in the sectional, advanced to the semi-finals via a thrilling three-set quarterfinal win over Morton’s fourth seeded doubles team, including a thrilling 8-6 third set tie-break. Olsen and Greenfield lost in the semis to U-High but rebounded in the 3rd place match to defeat third seed Bloomington, 7-5, 7-5. It was the third year in a row that Metamora qualified both doubles teams.
Both Poppen and Russell reached the quarter-finals in singles, falling just shy of qualifying for the state meet. Poppen fell to Bloomington’s Adam Hanson, 6-4, 6-1 in the qualifying round, while Russell lost to Washington’s Ethan Sabotta, 6-3, 6-4 in the match to get to the state meet. Russell had already defeated the tournament’s #5 seed, Adam Dryden from Morton, 6-3, 6-1, in the quarterfinals. Both Redbird singles players were impressive in their efforts, and Poppen will surely set his sights on qualifying in 2018.
Normal U-High, behind 1st and 2nd place finishes in singles and a championship in doubles, won the team sectional title. Metamora finished 2nd and Bloomington was 3rd. It was the 16th time in the last 20 years that Metamora finished either first or second at the sectional level. Congratulations to the Redbird team on another great sectional showing!
Washington – (5/13/17) – The 2017 Mid-Illini season ended with the league tournament at Washington on Saturday, May 13. The Redbird tennis team entered the tournament in 2nd place, trailing Dunlap by one point. Metamora had four of the six individual champions but was unable to surpass the Eagles, as Dunlap won its second conference title in a row by a single point over the Redirds.
Fletcher Koehrsen and Carsten Boast won the #1 doubles title for Metamora, winning a thrilling three-hour affair over Dunlap’s Steven Chacko and David Wu, 7-6, 6-7, 7-5. It was Koehrsen’s fourth straight #1 doubles title and Boast’s third conference crown (#1 doubles in 2015 and #2 doubles in 2016). Those two doubles teams would go on to finish 2nd and 3rd at the state tournament two weeks later. Johan Olsen and Ethan Greenfield also won a three-set thriller in the #2 doubles final, defeating Dunlap’s Kashyap and Rahbar for the title. For both Redbirds it was their first conference crown.
Michael Poppen played the #1 singles position for Metamora and reached the semi-finals, where he lost to Washington’s Ethan Sabotta in a tight two-set match. Poppen finished third place after a default by Morton’s Adam Dryden. Sean Russell played the #2 singles position and reached the finals, where he lost to the top seed, Dunlap’s Ashwin Yedavalli. Russell dispatched the #2 seed from Morton in the semi-finals on his way to the finals.
The final team standings showed: Dunlap 24, Metamora 23, and everyone else a lot less. It was the second year in a row that the Redbirds finished one point behind Dunlap. Not since 2006 has another team outscored Metamora at the league tournament other than the last two years. All in all, it was still a very successful event for Redbird players. In the fifteen years of flighted competition at the tournament (2003-2017), Metamora has now captured eleven #1 doubles titles and ten championships at #2 doubles.
Congratulations to all!
Redbirds Repeat Champs of Ottawa Invite
DeKalb – (4/22/17) – The 2017 Ottawa Invite was moved 45 minutes north to DeKalb due to Ottawa’s courts being under construction, but it did not deter the Redbird tennis team, as Metamora won the Ottawa Invite for the third consecutive time. Metamora beat Rockford Lutheran, Ottawa, and Rock Island Alleman in the 6-team event.
The tournament featured a two singles, three doubles team format. In the quarterfinals, Metamora easily defeated Rockford Lutheran, winning 5-0.
In the semi-finals, the Redbirds played Ottawa. Metamora loaded the doubles line-up and easily swept each of the three doubles matches. Metamora dropped the two singles tilts but wound up on the right side of a 3-2 decision.
The finals pitted Metamora against Rock Island Alleman. Some gritty play by Metamora gave the Redbirds three wins out of the five matches and the tournament title.
Metamora has now won the event the last three times it has been played (2014, 2016, and 2017). 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 Champs of Bloomington Invitational
Bloomington – (4/8/17) – Metamora played a phenomenal tournament at five locations in the Bloomington-Normal area over the weekend, winning the championship of the 16-team Bloomington Invite. It was the fourth time in school history that the Redbirds have won the prestigious event but the first time since 2014.
The Redbirds swept the singles titles in the event, with seniors Fletcher Koehrsen and Carsten Boast each finishing a perfect 4-0 on the day. Koehrsen had to beat the event’s top two seeds to win the championship, and he was able to do so with not much energy remaining at the end of a long day! His punishing serve and forehand wore down his opponents, and his will to win was evident more than ever in the championship match. Boast, the second seed at #2 singles, used his strong doubles skills to propel him through the singles draw, as he combined lobs, approach shots, volleys, and overheads to frustrate all four of his opponents.
In the doubles competition, MTHS players won eight of twelve matches and had match point in three of the four losses. At #2 doubles, Michael Poppen and Grant Gutwein advanced to the finals with three straight wins before succumbing to a good team from St. Charles North. The #1 duo of Ethan Greenfield and Johan Olsen won twice and lost twice, holding match point in each of its two losses. Zack Lambiase and Sean Russell played #3 doubles for Metamora and finished 3rd, losing the semi-final after having match point.
Metamora won the team title with 34 points. St. Charles North (29), Normal U-High (25), Normal Community (24), and Springfield (21) rounded out the top five in the event.
Koehrsen, Boast, Poppen, and Gutwein all earned individual medals at the Bloomington Invite for their top two finishes. Congratulations to all!
Metamora – (3/25/17) – The 2017 Red & White Invitational went back indoors in 2017, and the Metamora tennis team finished 2nd in the very strong flighted event. Dunlap, later to be the Class 1A state championship team, won the team title.
Sean Russell and Zack Lambiase handled the singles duties for the Redbirds. Playing primarily against other schools’ top players, the Redbird duo had a tough day. Russell played #1 singles, losing both of his matches. Lambiase won his first round match but lost the next two to finish 4th at #2 singles.
Fletcher Koehrsen and Carsten Boast played #1 doubles for Metamora, winning their first two matches easily before running into Dunlap’s team of Steven Chacko and David Wu in the finals. Metamora could get nothing going, falling in straight sets to the Dunlap duo, 6-2, 6-1.
Johan Olsen and Ethan Greenfield played #2 doubles for the Redbirds and breezed through the entire tournament. Olsen and Greenfield only dropped six games in six sets, winning the final over Dunlap’s Jack Disharoon and Aanan Kashyap, 6-0, 6-2 to cap off their perfect day.
Dunlap (54 points), Metamora (34), Teutopolis (29), and Chatham-Glenwood (25) were the top four finishers in the 8-team event.
Redbirds Win Season Opening Quad
Peoria – (3/18/17) – The 2017 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.
The Redbirds began the day with a 5-0 win over Ottawa and followed that up with 3-2 victories over Springfield and Moline. Johan Olsen (sr) and Ethan Greenfield (fr) provided the most tense moments of the day, gutting out a win at #1 doubles against Springfield, 7-6, 3-6, 11-9 to clinch the team dual for the Redbirds.
Both Springfield and Moline won their sectional championships in 2016, so starting the 2017 campaign with wins over both programs was an excellent sign for the Redbird group.
The quad is always an excellent way to begin the season. There is good competition was mutual respect among the competing teams. Congrats to the Redbirds on beginning the year 3-0!