Bradish first Division 1 singles tennis state qualifier for New Richmond boys tennisNew Richmond sophomore Nick Bradish became the first Tiger to qualify for the WIAA State Individual Tennis Tournament as a singles player in nearly a decade when he qualified at the WIAA Division 1 Marshfield Sectional Tournament last Wednesday.
New Richmond sophomore Nick Bradish became the first Tiger to qualify for the WIAA State Individual Tennis Tournament as a singles player in nearly a decade when he qualified at the WIAA Division 1 Marshfield Sectional Tournament last Wednesday.
Bradish qualified for state when he won his opening round meet at the sectional tournament. Bradish defeated Conrad Felten from Wausau East 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 to earn his trip to the state tournament.
Bradish’s opening draw at state is Waukesha North senior Sjoerd Vaandrager, who has a 14-7 record. Vaandrager was the third seed out of his sectional bracket. They will play in the 2 p.m. session of the state tournament, which is played at Nielsen Tennis Stadium in Madison.
One of the challenges of competing at the state level in tennis is players usually have no prior knowledge of their opponent’s tennis style. Most of the coaches base their goals for the first matches on where their opponents were seeded in their sectional.
“My guess is that this should be a match that Nick has a competitive opportunity,” Tiger coach Mike Montello said.
Bradish is one of the younger players to qualify for state in the Division 1 singles flight. He is one of five sophomores to make the field and there are three freshmen in the Division 1 flight which contains 28 entries.
Bradish is the first Tiger singles player to reach state since the team was elevated to Division 1 four years ago. He is the first singles player to play at state since foreign exchange student Marvin Rettenmeier was selected as an extra qualifier for state in 2004. The last New Richmond singles player to qualify for state was Andy Klein in 1997. Klein reached the third round of the state tournament before losing to the eventual state champion.
The Tigers have had several doubles teams qualify for state in recent years, including the team of Justice Harvieux and Jorden Aufderhar last year.
Montello said Bradish had to overcome some nervousness to win his opening match at the sectional meet. That led to the 6-2 loss in the opening set. In the second set Bradish began to find his confidence as he built toward the 6-3 win.
The third set was the true test of Bradish’s will. Felten took a 2-0 lead and Bradish faced several ad-outs in the third game. Bradish was able to win the third game and momentum quickly swung in his favor. He won four straight games to take charge of the set.
After locking up his place in the state tournament field, Bradish had two more matches to play at the sectional meet. His next match was against the sectional champion, Eau Claire Memorial’s Matt Delmastro. Delmastro will likely be a high placewinner at the state meet. The goal for Bradish was to learn from the experience of playing one of the state’s best players. Bradish was able to win three games in the match.
In the third place match, Bradish faced the top seed from the Stevens Point subsectional, Stevens Point sophomore Bradley Luetschwager. Both of the sophomores were dealing with fatigue after grueling matches earlier in the day. Luetschwager was able to edge Bradish 6-4, 6-4.
“He didn’t quit playing when the bounce in his step was completely gone,” Montello said of his sophomore. “There were times you could see the exhaustion in both players.”