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King of the doubles
Times photo: Mark Nesbitt Monroe junior Pat Gellings finishes a volley at the net to win a critical point in a semifinal match. Gellings and Garrett Tschanz won the No. 2 doubles title Saturday and Monroe won four of the five flights to win the Cheesemakers Doubles tournament.
MONROE - The Cheesemakers Doubles tennis tournament may have served as a double edged sword for some doubles teams.

The conference records and head-to-head records are critical in seeding the Badger Conference tournament May 22-23 at the University of Wisconsin's Nielsen Tennis Stadium.

"For singles players, it doesn't mean a lot to them, but they can win and help the team," Monroe coach Jim Bartholf said. "This is important for the doubles players because this is added into their record. There is more pressure on the doubles teams."

No matter what the motivation was for playing in the Cheesemakers Doubles tournament, the Monroe boys tennis team slammed its way to success by capturing the championship after winning doubles titles at four of the five flights to defeat McFarland, 25-17.

"It was one of the best showings in recent years," Bartholf said.

As Monroe's top two singles players - Lauri Juonela and Carson Root teamed up to win the No. 1A doubles bracket by defating Sauk Prairie's Joe Breunig and Austin Nolden in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4.

The Cheesemakers received championships at No. 2 doubles from Pat Gellings and Garrett Tschanz; No. 3 doubles with Mark Hoesly and Dan Becker and the No. 4 doubles team of Matt Le and Eric Knudtson.

Juonela and Root breezed through the field by defeating Fort Atkinson's Jacob Starkweather and Marc Dahnert, 6-1, 6-1. In the semifinals, Juonela and Root defeated Monona Grove's Trevor Sisson and Tyler Thompson, 6-2, 6-2.

Even though Root is usually the Cheesemaker's No. 2 singles player, he enjoyed playing doubles and hoped to fine-tune his singles game.

"In doubles, you have to place your serve," he said. "You have to have good volleys and it helps with your reaction."

For Juonela, the doubles tournament was a break from the intense No. 1 singles play. He wasn't fazed by the gusty winds that swirled through the court at Recreation Park.

"It's windy every day so it doesn't really matter," Juonela said. "I think it's a fun tournament before the conference. We just have to have fun today and beat everybody."

At No. 2 doubles, Gellings and Tschanz defeated a McFarland tandem in the championship match, 6-1, 6-0. Gellings and Tschanz, who are 15-3 this year, battled through a tough opening round match to defeat Stoughton's Mike Ringstad and Zach Opheim, 6-4, 6-3.

Hoesly and Becker at No. 3 doubles defeated their Monona Grove counterparts, 6-0, 6-2 in the title match. With the win Hoesly and Becker improved to 17-1 this year. Hoesly and Becker opened the tournament by defeating Christian Fabian and Jordan Wyss, 6-2, 6-2 and rolled to a win over Sauk Prairie's Erik Meyer and Eren Schulz in the semifinals.

At No. 4 doubles Le and Knudtson defeated McFarland's duo, 6-1, 6-2 to win the title. Le and Knudtson stormed through the tournament by beating Monona Grove's Michael Wanta and Joel Kastorff, 6-1, 6-1. In the semifinals, Le and Knudtson defeated Fort Atkinson's Seth Kleinschmidt and Nate Dialing, 6-1, 6-0.

Seniors Jim Kundert and Artem Beer at No. 1 doubles had only lost a couple matches going into Friday's showdown with Madison Edgewood. The Crausaders swept the Cheesemakers and then Kundert and Beer came back and lost their second straight match of the season to Baraboo's Chris Siebert and Graham Greve, 6-3, 6-0. Kundert and Beer rebounded to win the consolation championship.

Kundert said the No. 1 doubles team was kind of off in the first match.

"We want to come back and win the consolation bracket," Kundert said after the first round loss to Baraboo. "We have to get a little confidence going. Hopefully, we can get first in conference."

Monroe's No. 1 doubles team will enter the Badger Conference tournament with a 13-5 record.

"We have to get excited," Beer said. "We didn't have a chance to get excited after a mistake," Beer said.

Beer wasn't ready to push the panic button.

"We just played very unusual for us," he said. "We have a week to prepare. We just need to put our game back together."