Boys Tennis State Tournament

Tom Batters

All six of the Metamora High School boys tennis players were playing in their first ever state tournament May 26-28, which makes their top 15 team finish quite an achievement, said Redbirds coach Kelly Willard.

“We definitely rose to the occasion up there,” he said. “Every one of our kids played great. I was very pleased.”

Freshman Will Koehrsen reached the fifth round of the consolation finals and was an honorable mention all-state selection.

He won four straight matches after losing his first match. Two of his victories came in three-set matches.

The Redbirds played in six three-set matches over the weekend — and they won five of them.

The doubles team of freshman Mitchell Nguyen and junior Quinn Vaughn won two three-set matches (after losing the first set in each one).

“To come back like that, twice, was pretty impressive,” Willard said.

Sophomore Christoph Goettler and freshman Tyler Ngo fell behind 4-0 in a doubles third-set tie break, but came back to win 7-6.

Senior Petr Vesely beat Christian Lynn (the Elgin Sectional champion) in his first match and reached the fourth round of the consolation finals.

“Petr was outstanding,” Willard said. “He beat a very tough opponent in his first match.”

Vesely won a second-set tie break in his last victory (6-4, 7-6 over Brian Hickey of Oak Park Fenwick).

Boys tennis is not divided into classes like most other sports, so the smaller schools compete against the much larger Chicago schools.

Metamora was the only school outside Chicago or St. Louis to finish in the top 15. Richwoods finished 49th. Morton was 84th.

Willard said the grueling schedule during the season helps prepare his players for the tough competition at the state tournament.

“We’re young, but we’ve seen some of these teams before. We’ve gone against some of the top players,” he said. “Nobody was intimidated by anybody. Our kids just went up there and played good tennis. They weren’t overwhelmed at all.”

All six Redbirds also received all conference recognition.

See the June 15 edition of the Woodford Times for a complete list of all the spring all conference teams.