Best prep sports photos from 2016-17

St. Catherine’s Rachel Anderson returns the ball during her No. 1 singles match Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 27, 2016, during final day action of the Racine County Girls Tennis Invitational at the Prairie School.

GREGORY SHAVER, gregory.shaver@journaltimes.com

On Wednesday, Rachel Anderson will take part in a St. Catherine’s High School tradition.

On Thursday, the Angels senior will continue a tradition of her own.

Anderson will complete a four-year run at the WIAA State Individual Girls Tennis Tournament in Madison beginning Thursday. She won her first match at last week’s Division 2 Whitewater Sectional to automatically qualify for state.

But before that, Angels coach David Mooney said she will do a walk-through during lunch at school as she is recognized for her achievement.

“She’s excited and her whole family is excited,” Mooney said. “The walk-through at lunch is a great tradition at St. Catherine’s, and she’s upheld the tradition of being a great student-athlete for four years.”

The unseeded Anderson’s first match is at 5:30 p.m. Thursday against sophomore Caroline Kowieski (28-2), a special qualifier from Eau Claire Regis.

If Anderson beats her, next up would be senior Laura Larrain (21-0) of Wausau Newman, the No. 3 seed. Also in Anderson’s half of the bracket are No. 2-seed Veda Sane of University School of Milwaukee (24-3), No. 6 seed Mia Larrain of Newman and No. 7 seed Baluck Deang of Madison Edgewood, whom Anderson lost to in three sets at the sectional.

Anderson has never played Kowieski and said she will just have to adjust on the fly.

“When I see the way she plays, I’ll have to adapt my own game and play from there,” Anderson said. “I don’t really have a strategy.”

Mooney is very confident in Anderson’s abilities.

“I feel Rachel has the upper hand in the first match, based on who Rachel is and her strategy going in,” Mooney said.

As for playing against Larrain, whom Anderson has played against before, Mooney said Anderson is totally capable of getting past her and beyond.

“If both play well, that would be one of the good matches in the tournament,” Mooney said. “Honestly, (Anderson) has the talent to be in the top four. She has to use her talent wisely and she has to play her opponent very carefully, and strategically. If she combines her talent and mental aptitude about playing strategic tennis, she can do it.”

The only previous WIAA singles medalist for St. Catherine’s has been Jenna Zimmerman, who was second in Division 2 singles in 2013 and fifth in 2012.

“I’m going to play my best and hope I can make the podium this year,” Anderson said.

Jones and Gesner (12-12) earned special qualifier status based on strength of their opponents. They play at 7:30 p.m. Thursday against special qualifiers Morgan Dekan and Kate Harris of Altoona (13-11).

The winner of that match will have to face Meredith Heckert and Izzy Klesmith of Big Foot/Williams Bay (21-2), the No. 2 seed.

Teams on the move

The Waterford girls volleyball team finally got some recognition from the Wisconsin Volleyball Coaches Association.

For the first time since the first poll of the season, the Wolverines received honorable mention in Division 1 in this week’s WVCA poll.

Also in Division 1, Burlington dropped from seventh to 10th and in Division 4, Catholic Central, which clinched the Metro Classic Conference title Thursday, moved up from seventh to fifth.

In the Wisconsin Soccer Coaches Association state poll, all three ranked Racine County teams changed positions, however slightly.

St. Catherine’s, which beat Prairie last Wednesday in a battle of Division 4 teams, traded positions, with the Angels moving from third to second and while Prairie slipping to third. In Division 1, Union Grove fell one spot to ninth.

What’s coming up

Saturday features conference meets in cross country and girls volleyball.

In cross country, the Southeast Conference Meet is at Grant Park in South Milwaukee, the Southern Lakes Conference Meet is at Lake Geneva Badger and the Metro Classic Conference meet is at UW-Parkside.

In girls volleyball, the SEC Tournament is at Kenosha Indian Trail, the SLC Tournament is at Elkhorn and the MCC Tournament is at Catholic Central in Burlington.

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