Locker Room: Fall/Winter 2017-18

Girls Tennis Wins State Team Championship

The University School of Milwaukee girls’ tennis team defeated Kenosha St. Joseph 6-1 and won the WIAA Division 2 State Team Tennis Tournament. USM made it to the tournament finals after winning their semi-final match against Eau Claire Regis by a score of 5-2.

The Wildcats won four straight titles from 2014 to 2007, back-to-back championships in 2011 and 2012, and another state title in 2014. The Wildcats were also runners-up three times—in 2008, 2009, and 2013.

In the tournament’s doubles competition, USM seniors Celia Buchband and Leah Schneck won the opening round of doubles play, but then fell to East Troy by a score of 6-4, 7-6. Grace Watkins ’19 and Grace Gridley ’20 lost their opening round match against Osecola.

USM’s Head Coach Matt Flack said, “I’ve been challenging the team to play their best tennis when it matters most, and they certainly played their best tennis this weekend. They played together as a team and rallied each other to win some very tough matched. They played the big points like champions, and proved they are the best team in the state.”

Veda Sane ’19 Wins State Championship

Congratulations to Veda Sane ’19, who won the 2017 WIAA Division 2 Girls individual Tennis Tournament. The number-2 seed Sane defeated Laura Larrain of Newman Catholic in the semifinals before prevailing 3-6, 6-0, 6-3 over top-seeded Olivia Czerwonka of Kenosha St. Joseph Catholic Academy to earn her title. She finished the year 28-3 and is USM’s fourth singles state champion.

In addition to Sane, Riley Strauss ’18 also competed in the individual state tournament. Strauss fell to 4th-seeded Giana Apostoli of Kenosha St. Joseph Catholic Academy.

USM Receives WIAA Award of Excellence

University School of Milwaukee was one of 15 schools in the state of Wisconsin to receive the inaugural Award of Excellence from the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA). The 2016-17 award recognizes member schools for their efforts and achievements in the areas of sportsmanship, ethics, integrity, leadership, and character.

“To be one of 15 schools in the state to earn this award is a great honor for USM,” said Director of Athletics Luke Houdek. “I am proud of our student-athletes, coaches, and athletic department personnel as their actions this past year are what allowed us to be recognized. Receiving an award like this is proof that we take education-based athletics seriously at USM.”

Students Race at State Championship

Clayton Cheney ’18 and Lexi Keppler ’20 represented USM’s cross country team as individual qualifiers in the WIAA Division 2 State Championships in October. This is the seventh consecutive year that USM’s cross country team has seen at least one individual competing at the state championship.

Keppler completed the 5-kilometer run in 21:04.63 against 149 other runners. Cheney crossed the finish line in his final cross country race for USM at 17:50.39 against 151 other runners. Coincidentally, both runners finished in 77th place at the tournament. “The race always goes out fast, so it’s easy to get pulled out over your head,” said USM head coach Eric Pilling. “Lexi and Clayton both ran smart, mature races.”

Girls Swimming and Diving Compete at State

Mary Holmes ’18, Katie Hayes ’19, Amanda Hoppe, Minasi Simhan ’20, and Abby Frenkel ’19 represented the Brown Deer/University School of Milwaukee Co-op girls’ swimming and diving team in the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Girls Swimming and Diving Division 2 Championships on Nov. 11, 2017, earning a 16th-place finish in the competition. Hayes, who had the best finish for BD/USM, took second place in the 100-yard butterfly event with a time of 56.26 seconds. She also finished fourth in the 100-yard breaststroke, at 1:06.85. Holmes captured eighth place in the one-meter diving event, finishing with 355.05 points. Hoppe, Simhan, Hayes, and Frenkel finished 12th in the 200-yard medley relay event at 1:54.47.

From left Mya Johnson ’21, Manasi Simhan ’20, Lizzie Borg ’20, Abby Frenkel ’19, Katie Hayes ’19, Mary Holmes ’18, and Mira Giles-Pufahl ’21.

Segerdahl Retires as USM Skiing Head Coach

University School of Milwaukee Wildcats Head Skiing Coach Jane Segerdahl has retired from her position following a highly successful run at the helm of the program for 20 years. Segerdahl has skied United States Skiing and Snowboarding (USSA) Collegiate Ski Racing before becoming a USSA-certified level 200 coach.

The USM ski team competes in what is regarded by many as the most competitive of the six conferences in Wisconsin. The USM team—either the boys’ or girls’—has qualified for the Wisconsin state ski championship in each of the past 19 seasons, and the team has may top-10 finishes since its inception. Sixteen USM student athletes have finished in the top place at state and have qualified for Team Wisconsin, which represents the state at the Eastern National Championships.

“The opportunity to be part of the coaching staff at this exceptional school has been an amazing life experience, and one that I am grateful for,” Segerdahl said. “Having worked with literally hundreds of students and seeing the support they’ve received from their parents and teachers has been so rewarding. The best experience for me has been watching both beginning and expert skiers improve their skills and compete at the highest level. Some of the best skiers in the state have skied for USM.”

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