APPLETON — Watertown No. 1 singles player Dylan Geske qualified for the WIAA State Individual Tennis Tournament with an opening round victory in sectional competition on Thursday.

Geske defeated Appleton East’s Grant Trygstad 6-2, 6-2 in the opening round to earn an automatic bid. He later lost to Oshkosh West’s CJ Counts 6-2, 6-1 and to West Bend West’s Benjamin Bembenek 6-1, 6-1 to finish fourth in his flight.

“An incredible accomplishment for Dylan and really our entire program,” Watertown boys tennis coach Andy Dobbins said. “He is an amazing story and a testament to hard work and dedication. Two years ago as a freshman, he wasn’t even in our top JV lineup, but he loves tennis and made a commitment to improving. Despite not having a season last year, he kept working and started taking some lessons and playing tournaments. I’ve been so impressed by his steady improvement and how he approaches the game.

“He can play a variety of styles depending on the situation. In the match to qualify, he started off just getting balls back and grinding out points. His opponent started to pick up his level, and Dylan responded with some great shot making and aggressiveness. It was fun to watch. I’m proud of him and what he has accomplished. He’s a great player and an even better person, and represents Watertown so well.”

The No. 3 doubles team of Jake Olszewski and Eli Zubke closed out a successful season with a 1-1 finish at the sectional and a 15-1 record for the season.

“Jake and Eli had an amazing season,” Dobbins said. “They embraced their role on the team and dominated pretty much every match. They were pushed a few times and always responded. I love their attitude and demeanor on the court, and how they always support each other.

“Their strokes have come a long way, and they have really turned up the aggressiveness recently. In the final, they ran into a Neenah team that would play No. 1 for most teams. But Jake and Eli made them work in the second set and kept it close. There’s no shame in losing that one. I know these guys are excited to step up next season and will be ready for it. It’s been a blast to coach them.”

Watertown results

1 Singles

Dylan Geske (W) def. Grant Trygstad (Appleton East) 6-2, 6-2

CJ Counts (Oshkosh West) def. Geske (W) 6-2, 6-1

Benjamin Bembenek (West Bend West) def. Geske (W) 6-1, 6-1

3 Doubles

Jake Olszewski/Eli Zubke (W) def. Jorgensen/Appleton (Oshkosh West) 6-1, 6-4

Keller/King (Neenah) def. Olszewski/Zubke (W) 6-0, 6-3

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