Viroqua’s Colman Melcher saved his best tennis for state.
Playing at the WIAA Individual State Boys Tennis State Tournament at Nielsen Stadium in Madison last week, Melcher made it past his preliminary match, last Thursday, to the second day, Friday and the round of 16, of the three-day individual tournament.
That hasn’t been accomplished since 2003 when Viroqua’s No. 1 doubles team of Chris Bankes and Adrian Fuentes won their first match at of the individual state tournament in two sets.
At the 2013 state tournament, Melcher defeated Bailey Woodson of East Troy, 6-3, in the first set and came back to win the tiebreaker after falling in the second set, 7-5.
“Colman was as focused and determined to win as I’ve seen him all year,” VHS tennis coach Layne Hanson said.
In fact, Melcher kept Woodson on the defensive the entire first set by being consistent and aggressive at the net.
“Colman did a great job of thinking through his points with a clear objective of how he wanted to play and did an excellent job of finishing points, especially with his overheads,” Hanson said.
In the second set, though, Woodson made a nice recovery, Hanson said.
In that set, Woodson’s aggressive play was too tough for Melcher overcome.
Unfortunately for Woodson in the third set super tiebreaker, Melcher not only regained his focus, but tallied the first seven points of the tiebreaker and finished off the match “with great serving and consistent play,” Hanson said.
In the second round, however, Melcher was paired with Peter Jaeger from St. Thomas More.
Melcher fell, 6-0, 6-0, to Jaeger, but Hanson said the match was much better than the score showed.
“Jaeger really had to work hard to win points against Colman,” Hanson said. “It was a fun match to watch and I was very proud of the effort and competitiveness Colman brought to his game.”
Jaeger, incidentally, finished fifth at state, falling to the eventual D2 singles state champion Zane Navratil from The Prairie School.
And as proud of how he was of Melcher at state, Hanson said, too, that he was very pleased with the team’s season.
Viroqua finished with a dual record of 8-7, which Hanson said is very good, considering the caliber of teams the Blackhawks played. Hanson was also pleased with team’s progress throughout the season.
“I felt we were playing our best tennis at the end of the season, which is a great indicator of a team that works hard to improve as the season goes on,” Hanson said.
Not to mention a very good indicator of what 2014 might bring.