Wilhelmi & Wilhelmi take 4th
Wade and Aaron Wilhelmi hadn’t played doubles together in a match all season until Thursday and Friday’s section meet in St. Peter.
The lack of experience didn’t show as the Wilhelmis earned a fourth place medal in the tournament.
“We knew we would have the best chance of advancing to state if we played together,” Wade Wilhelmi says. “Prior to the tournament we practiced a lot together and knew we would have the most fun playing as a team.”
The twins started strong, winning two matches on Thursday before facing tough competition in Friday’s championship rounds.
In the first round, the Wilhelmis took down Fairmont’s Luke Sandersfeld and Grant Becker 6-3, 6-2. The twins exhibited consistent play while trying to take some risks.
“We tried to be really aggressive at the net,” Wade Wilhelmi says. “In doubles you have to put away shots to win.”
The quarterfinals featured the BEA doubles team digging deep and rallying after a 6-4 loss in the first set to St. James’ Seth Jacoby and Matt Jurgens. Confidence never wavered as the twins relied on past experience.
“We had played players from both teams before Thursday’s section and knew we had a good chance,” Wade Wilhelmi says. “We knew it was our last tournament and wanted to end our careers on a positive note by just focusing on one point at a time.”
With that confidence, the tandem won sets two and three by scores of 6-4 and 6-2.
Friday, the Wilhelmis consistent play from Thursday did not carry over.
“We were not as consistent Friday (against St. Peter and Minneapolis Washburn),” Aaron Wilhelmi says.
In the semifinals, the Wilhelmis had a shaky start, dropping the first set to St. Peter’s Spencer Gault and Sam Peterson 6-1. The second set was a lot closer with the Buc teammates losing in a tie breaker 7-6 (2).
The third place match resulted in a three set battle with the Buccaneer duo coming up just short. Minneapolis Washburn’s Jacob Toffler and Varo Zembryki ended up winning 4-6, 7-5, 6-2.
The match concludes the careers of both BEA tennis stand outs. Only the top two teams in the section advance to the state tournament.
“The Wilhelmis would just never give up,” assistant coach Randy Kuechenmeister says. “They are great kids.”
The Wilhelmis will attend the University of Minnesota Duluth next fall and hope to play intramural tennis. Both mentioned that it’s their favorite sport to play and they hope to continue with the game in the future.