New Richmond's Mattie Kidder defeated in opening round at state tennis tournament
New Richmond’s Mattie Kidder didn’t lose to the state champion at the WIAA State Individual Tennis Championships in Madison last Thursday.
She did lose to the state champion’s practice partner.
Kidder was defeated 6-2, 6-4 by West Bend East freshman Melina Schaetz in the opening round of the Division 1 singles tournament at the state championships last Thursday. Schaetz is West Bend East’s number two singles player. West Bend East’s number one player, freshman Lexi Keberle, capped an undefeated season by winning the Division 1 state championship.
Schaetz lost to Keberle in the second round of the state championships after defeating Kidder.
Kidder finishes her career with an 87-30 record, one of the top career marks in team history. She’s been a varsity player in all four years of her high school career. She played three doubles as a freshman. She moved up to one doubles as a sophomore. Last year, she switched between one doubles and two singles, advancing to state in doubles with Kaycie Anderson. Kidder and Anderson won their opening match at state last year.
Tiger coach Denise Devereux said it took Kidder a couple games in the opening set to adjust to the power with which Schaetz hit the ball. Schaetz won the opening set 6-2. The second set was much more of a battle. The second set stood at 5-4 for numerous points with both girls having advantages, before Schaetz was able to finish the match.
Kidder qualified for state by playing in one of the best sectionals in Division 1. The three girls who finished ahead of Kidder at the sectional meet all placed among the top eight Division 1 singles players in the state. Stevens Point’s Emily Leutschwager took fifth at state and Eau Claire Memorial’s Catherine Lindsay took sixth place. Leutschwager defeated D.C. Everest’s Gabi Kitchell to advance to the fifth place match.
Devereux said there are several colleges interested in having Kidder join their program. At 6 feet, 2 inches, Kidder has the leverage and reach to continue improving as a tennis player. She’s already come a long way from her days as a spindly freshman.
“She’s definitely put on some muscle. She can hit a hard ball,” Devereux said.