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Juonela falls in second round
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MADISON - Monroe's Finnish exchange student, Lauri Juonela, lost Friday in the second round of the WIAA Division 2 individual state singles tournament to Racine St. Catherine's Jesse Hardacre, 6-0, 6-1, at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium on the University of Wisconsin campus.

"Hardacre was seeded third in Division 2 and was a very fine tennis player with a very powerful game," Monroe tennis coach Jim Bartholf said. "Lauri couldn't get into the match. He hits the ball hard all over to each corner. He finished fifth in state last year, and he will probably finish even higher this year. He's one of the strongest players I've seen in years."

Bartholf said that even at the state meet the levels of talent are vast.

"Once you get here, you would think they would all be at the same level, but they are not. The No. 1-seeded kid, Nick Buckely from University School in Milwaukee, is like a young Federer. He would have probably blanked (Hardacre)."

Juonela ends his lone season as a Cheesemaker with a 19-9 record.

"His goal this year was to get to state. He was disappointed in how he finished, but his goal was to get here," Bartholf said.

"Lauri was fun to have around this year. He's a good kid with great talent. The younger guys on the team will hopefully look up to him and see where his talent is, and then work hard in the summer and next year to get even better - because they have a lot of work to do."

On June 2, the tennis team held its annual banquet. Artem Beer and Jim Kundert, the team's No. 1 doubles team all season, were named the Most Valuable Players. Garrett Tschanz, who teamed with Pat Gellings in the No. 2 doubles, was named Most Improved, and Juonela won the Coaches Award.

"I was very impressed with our team this year. We were solid top to bottom. We went 12-1 this year, and we've never had 12 wins before," Bartholf said.

"We just couldn't overcome Edgewood. We finished second to them in conference, subsectionals, and sectionals. They were good. But our team this year was one of our better teams."