Two represent Craig at state tennis tournament

Two of Craig’s tennis players, freshman Rya Arreazola and senior Allison Grund, competed at the state tennis tournament from Thursday, Oct. 17 to Saturday, Oct. 19. 

They were among 64 players who qualified for state.

Rya won her first two matches to advance to the final 16. 

In the first round, Arreazola defeated 14th seed junior Sonya Agapov from Middleton, who had a 30-1 record on the season. 

She won the match in a third-set tiebreaker.

In the second round, she defeated Quin Babiarz from Wausau West in three sets.

On Friday, she lost her third-round match to fellow freshman Parker Christensen of Elkhorn.

Christensen went on to finish second in the tournament.

Allison Grund played her opening match against junior Kathy Kops from Whitefish Bay. 

She lost in two sets, 6-4, 6-4.

Rya has had a strong first season for Craig’s tennis team.

Her record this year at the number two singles flight was 14-2. 

She finished 3rd in her flight at the Big 8 conference meet.

“This was a major accomplishment,” said coach Pam Klutson.

She went on to take first at Sectionals. 

“Rya is one of the most consistent players I’ve ever had the pleasure to coach,” said Klutson.  “She is patient with her game and has court intelligence.” 

Grund was part of a doubles team that qualified for State.  Last year, she qualified as a singles player going 11-2 in the number 2 spot.  

This year, as the number-one singles player for Craig, she earned a special qualifier for State.  Her record this year is 11-8.  

“Her dominant wins over Jefferson (6-0, 6-3) and Whitewater 6-0, 6-1) and her hard-fought win over Madison Memorial (4-6, 6-3, 6-3) were the significant wins,” said Klutson.

“These achievements helped her to earn her the State Qualifier this year.” 

Arreazola was happy to go to state, and she reflected on her accomplishment before making the trip to Madison.

“Making it to state an awesome feeling of accomplishment, but also knowing my work isn’t done yet,” she said.

“The season for me has gone really well. My current record is 14-2, and hopefully will continue to get better.”

She enjoyed her freshman season.

“This season wasn’t only successful stat-wise, but also team-wise. I’ve had a great year so far with my team, especially starting as a freshman the team has been incredibly welcoming and kind.”

Making it to state was a surprise for her.

“From the beginning of the season, I did not expect to make it to state. Winning sectionals was such an awesome experience. I’ve worked very hard not only all season, but all my life playing tennis to get me to where I am right now,” she said.

One of her keys to success has been her focus.

“Staying focused with a good mindset, and not giving up even when it’s hard is something that’s very important,” she said.

“I hope I do well at state, but even if I get knocked out first round, just qualifying is such an accomplishment.” 

Making it to the third round shows that she exceeded her goal.

As for Allison Grund, last weekend’s tournament was her third trip to state.

In the nine years that Pam Klutson has coached Craig’s team, Allison stands alone.

“No player has qualified for State three years in a row since I’ve been here,” she said.

“This is a testament to Allison’s hard work and tennis skills.”  

Those skills include “great endurance and footwork and a very strong forehand and backhand,” said Klutson.

The path through the Big 8 Conference and sectionals was difficult because of the talented tennis players in the area.

“The Big 8 conference is one of the strongest conferences in the State in regards to tennis,” said Klutson.

“We have a talented team that finished 4-5 in conference and 5th at the Conference Tournament,” said Klutson. 

The team took first at Sub-sectionals, and for a second straight year was second at Sectionals.