The returning doubles team of Ethan Wurtzel and Victor Kaufmann will anchor the Menomonie boys tennis team this year, as will returning letterwinner Jack Trunkel.
Wurtzel and Kaufmann advanced to the Division 1 state boys tennis championships as a team in 2018 after finishing third at sectionals. Jack Trunkel is coming off what seventh-year coach Bryce Supri called a ‘great’ offseason and will be a key cog for the Mustangs.
The Mustangs lose just one senior after the graduation of Brent Evan, who played at No. 1 singles for the Mustangs and brought leadership to the court. Like last year, Menomonie will once again be young with its returners as well as a sizable freshmen class of 13 players. Freshmen Joey Leipnitz, Peyton Wayne, Kevin Leach and Joaquin Gamez are among those youngsters who could make a push for playing time this spring.
“We return a lot of experience from a team that went 15-5 last season, but are, again, pretty young,” Supri said. “We only have one senior in our varsity lineup again this year. I expect us to be pretty competitive in all our matches again this year. There is still a lot of learning for us to do, but I think we will be much more confident as a team this year, and will be able to draw from all the experience a lot of the players received last season.”
The Mustangs finished in a tie for third place with Chippewa Falls in last season’s Big Rivers Conference standings behind Eau Claire Memorial and Hudson. All those teams could make up the top half of the league standings again this spring.
“Our conference is always really tough, and this season is no different,” Supri said. “With how strong our conference is, I would really like our team to finish in the top half of the conference. Eau Claire Memorial is still heads and shoulders about everyone and Hudson is going to be very strong again this year as well.”
Menomonie is currently scheduled to return to action on Saturday at an invitational at La Crosse Central before the Mustangs return home to host a quad with Eau Claire North, Baldwin-Woodville and Altoona on Tuesday. Menomonie also has home Big Rivers Conference matchups on the horizon with Eau Claire North (April 22), Eau Claire Memorial (April 25) and River Falls (May 2).
April—5, at Wausau East invite; 9, Winona (Minn.); 13, at La Crosse Central invite; 16, Home quad; 18, at Hudson; 22, Eau Claire North; 25, Eau Claire Memorial; 27, at Wisconsin Rapids quad; 30, at Marshfield.
May—2, River Falls; 3-4, at Wausau West invite; 7, at Chippewa Falls; 9, New Richmond; 11, at Big Rivers Conference tournament (Eau Clarie North).