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Franklin's girls tennis team continues to reach new heights in 2012

Shiotani, Donovan and Gossett advance to WIAA tournament

Oct. 9, 2012

Franklin - First singles player Yuka Shiotani and the first doubles team of Kat Donovan and Ensley Gossett again made history as they punched tickets for the WIAA State Individual Tournament as the Franklin girls tennis team's super season marches on to Madison this week.

Coach Jon Vogt said it is the first time that Franklin has advanced competitors to state in multiple brackets ever and Shiotani is the first Sabers' singles player to get to state since 2008. Shiotani's week was even grander as she was also named to the school's homecoming court.

It was all part of a strong fourth-place team finish in the WIAA sectional meet Oct. 4 at Greenfield.

Shiotani (17-16 on the season) will play Janesville Parker's Becky Harmata (12-13) in a 2 p.m. Thursday first-round match at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium in Madison. If she were to advance she would have an 8:30 a.m. Friday date with eighth-seeded Gabi Kitchell of D.C. Everest (27-1).

Donovan and Gossett (16-8), meanwhile, will take on Green Bay Preble's Kasey McCormick and Annie Robertson (9-6) at approximately 5:30 p.m. Thursday. If they win, they will take on the fifth-seeded team from Brookfield East at approximately 10:30 a.m. Friday.

Play continues through Saturday's championship matches.

Those qualifying efforts led the Sabers to a 28-point total in the 16-school sectional as Nicolet won with 51. On Oct. 1, Franklin won the Greenfield subsectional for the second straight year.

Shiotani earned her state berth with wins over Bay View (6-0, 6-0) and Bradley Tech (6-1, 4-6, 6-1) opponents before falling to foes from both Whitefish Bay and Nicolet to claim fourth.

Donovan and Gossett took second place after defeating duos from Greenfield (6-0, 6-0); Milwaukee Riverside (6-1, 6-0) and Whitefish Bay (2-6, 7-6, 6-3) before falling to a powerful pair from Nicolet (6-0, 6-0).

As far as Vogt knows, Donovan and Gossett's triumph over the Bay duo was the first such victory for a Franklin tennis player in school history.

All the remaining Franklin entries at sectionals finished fourth and that included singles players Kassie Murawski (17-17), Keara Thiele (18-14) and Eva Oklobdzija (20-10); as well as the third doubles team of Kathryn Bartels and Katie Krueger (11-8).

Among the other things that made Vogt happy included the following:

"Eva got close to getting a set off Bay at (No.) 4 singles, and Keara had a 3-6 set against Nicolet, a girl who made it to state as a special qualifier at (No.) 3 singles," he said. "Being able to hang with someone of that caliber at (No.) 3 singles is quite impressive. Kassie hung with a state qualifier from Bay at (No.) 2 singles and even had a lead on her in the second set."

"The point is, we competed well in many spots against top 10 teams (in the state, including Nicolet and Bay)."

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