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Trio of ladies head to state
Monroes Kelsey Erickson, from left, Ashley Hermanson and Kristin McArdle will partake in the WIAA Division 1 girls tennis state tournament at 5 p.m. today at Nielsen Stadium on UW-Madisons campus. Erickson and Hermanson will compete in the No. 1 doubles bracket and McArdle will play in the No. 1 singles bracket.
MONROE - A trio of Monroe girls tennis players, including junior Kristin McArdle and the No. 1 doubles team of Ashley Hermanson and Kelsey Erickson are excited to extend their seasons to the WIAA Division 1 state tennis tournament.

McArdle (16-8) at No. 1 singles, will play Sheboygan North sophomore Erin Johnson (25-6) tonight in the first round of the WIAA Division 1 state tennis tournament at the University of Wisconsin's Nielsen Tennis Stadium. Johnson played No. 2 singles for Sheboygan North and also is a special qualifier.

After McArdle lost a sectional match to Madison LaFollette's Hannah Martin, 7-6(2), 6-2, she had to wait to see if she would be a state special qualifier. McArdle has an open mind heading into the state tournament.

"I'm excited to go," she said. "It's always been my goal to go to state. I'm going to go in and play my best and see where it goes. I want to win a match, get to the second round and see where it goes from there.

"It feels good to be thought of as the special qualifier. It's exciting for everyone on our team to know we are capable of getting this far."

The last time Monroe qualified a singles player for the state tournament was when Sydnee Wyss qualified in 2006. Monroe coach Stephanie Miller knew that McArdle had the resume to earn a special qualification including a win over Elkhorn's No. 1 singles player, who was a state qualifier last year.

"We were really hoping," Miller said. "The numbers looked like she deserved the special qualifier. She has always been a good player in pressure situations. I think the sectional kind of got to her. She will get a test run at it and hopefully, it will turn over for next year."

Hermanson and Erickson (24-2) will take on the Madison West sophomore duo of Sarah Kuhn and Lauren Rosenstock (22-7). This is the second straight year a Cheesemaker No. 1 doubles team qualified for state. Pam Lehman and Melissa Hill were state qualifiers last year. Kuhn and Rosenstock played No. 2 doubles for the Regents this year.

"We are just going to go out there and play our best," Hermanson said. "We made it there. That's more than anyone expected."

Erickson said communicating on the court has been a key to success.

"That's a pretty good accomplishment," Erickson said of the No. 1 doubles trip to state. "It's really exciting."

Erickson said serving and getting into the net to put points away will be critical at state.

Miller is excited with the way Hermanson and Erickson have developed a rapport as first-time doubles partners.

"I think it (state) has obviously been their goal all season," Miller said. "The next goal is to get out of that first round match. I think they have a chance of doing that."

Communication and cohesiveness as a doubles team are critical to success for Hermanson and Erickson.

"They are both aggressive," Miller said. "The athleticism Kelsey has combined with Ashley at the net ended up being a great pair. When they come in and get up to the net, they complement each other well."