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TENNIS:: Cheese finish second
Monroe's Pat Gellings reaches for a slam during the second set of the No. 2 doubles semifinal match against Milton on Saturday. Gellings and partner Garrett Tschanz los in three sets, 3-6, 6-4, 5-7, but beat Portage to finish in second place.
MADISON - The Cheesemakers struggled during the second day of the Badger Conference Tennis Tournament and finished in second place behind Madison Edgewood at the UW-Madison Nielsen Tennis Stadium.

"It's kind of disappointing," Monroe head coach Jim Bartholf said. "This is the best team we've had in five or six years. But Edgewood is so good, it's kind of depressing. I think if (Edgewood's) JV team played in the tournament, they would have finished fourth."

Monroe finished with one second place finish, four third place and a fourth with no champions.

Mark Hoesly and Dan Becker finished runner-up in the No. 3 doubles division, after losing to Edgewood 3-6, 6-7 in the finals.

"They did a good job. There is a lot of good competition out there," Bartholf said.

Carson Root, Matt Le, and Eric Knudtson all finished in third place in the No. 2, 3 and 4 singles.

"Carson Root played very well. He came back and beat a kid from Sauk Prairie that already had beaten him earlier this year," Bartholf said.

Root lost to Aaron Kondrasuk of Monona Grove in the semifinal match 2-6, 0-6 before knocking off Sauk Prairie's Tyler Mazerek, 6-1, 7-6.

Root has grown throughout the season, thanks to playing Monroe's No. 1 singles player, Finnish-exchange student Lauri Juonela, in practice every day.

"That's been great for Carson. To play someone like Lauri everyday has really helped him grow," Bartholf said. "All of our seniors have been great. They've helped this program and have set a great example to all the underclassmen. They're never late for practice and they've done everything we've asked them too."

Le lost to Tyler Piddington of Edgewood 4-6, 3-6, then came back to win third place in the No. 3 singles. Knudtson lost to Ben Winding of Edgewood 2-6, 2-6 before taking third himself in the No. 4 singles.

Juonela lost his semifinal match to Jack Cullen 4-6, 1-6 and then pulled out of the third place match due to a stomach injury.

"It's an injury that hurts when you go and serve. The match wasn't meaningful, so we just forfeited," Bartholf said.

After practice on Monday, it appears that Juonela will be able to play in his lone match today at the Edgewood sub-sectional at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium.

"The only problem is, if he wins, then he would have to play three different matches on Wednesday at the sectional in Whitewater," Bartholf said.

Monroe's No. 1 doubles team of Artem Beer and Jim Kundert finished in fourth place after a pair of losses. The first was a 7-6, 5-7, 5-7 defeat to Baraboo and the second was to Tyler and Taylor Banh of Milton, 3-6, 4-6.

Monroe's No. 2 singles team of Pat Gellings and Garrett Tschanz lost 3-6, 6-4, 5-7 to Riley Bailey and Austin Grandt of Milton in the semifinals before defeating Portage's squad 2-6, 3-6.

"In the positions we were in, we didn't get a good shot at a lot of seconds. We expected some thirds, some seconds, and we hoped for a shot at a champion," Bartholf said.

Edgewood finished first overall with 52 points, and Monroe had 34. Sauk Prairie had 26, Monona Grove 24, Milton 22 and Fort Atkinson had 13 points.

"Edgewood ran away with the tournament. They are a very good team outdoors, but when they play indoors they are unbeatable."

In the Badger South standings, Edgewood won, followed by Monroe, Monona Grove, Milton, Oregon, Fort Atkinson and Stoughton.