Posted by Steve Lettau on Oct 26, 2017

By Andrew Gruman, Now News Group

For the past two seasons, the Homestead girls tennis team has not been stopped. 

The Highlanders capped their second consecutive WIAA Division 1 state team championship with a 5-2 victory over Neenah in the championship match Oct. 21 at Nielsen Tennis Stadium in Madison.

Homestead has now won seven team state girls tennis championships and have won in consecutive seasons for the first time since winning five straight from 2008-12. 

The win over Neenah (15-2) capped the Highlanders team record at 26-0, leaving Homestead at a perfect 53-0 over the past two seasons.

Homestead downed the Rockets by sweeping the three singles flights and splitting the four singles matches. 

The No. 1 doubles team of seniors Frankie La Londe and Alyssa Boyer swept the top-seed from the doubles state tournament in Hannah and Amanda Dorsey, 6-1, 6-4.

Sophomores Sasha Shapsis and Bridget Brown won 6-2, 6-1 over Mairin Kearny and Grace Hackinson and junior Grace Crawley and freshman Kate Wade took down Kaylin Roth and Ashlyn Brown, 6-1, 6-1. 

In a rematch of the state individual singles championship match, sophomore Andie Weise dropped a close battle with state champion Kiki Risgaard, 5-7, 6-1, 8-10. 

But Homestead received the wins it needed from its No, 2 and No. 3 singles players, as they each won close matches.

Sophomore Natalie Yang with earned a 7-6 (5), 7-6 (6) win over Anna Beyer and sophomore Jamie Gebhardt won 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (1) over Ava Asbury.

Homestead opened the state team tournament with a 6-1 win over Notre Dame in the quarterfinals on Oct. 20. 

Weise, Gebhardt and Helen Watkins won singles matches, while La Londe/Boyer, Shapsis/Brown and Crowley/Wade swept the doubles flights. 

Instead of facing North Shore rival Nicolet in the semifinals, the Highlanders took on Brookfield East, which pulled a quarterfinal upset over the Knights.

The Spartans pushed the Highlanders to a 4-3 score, but Homestead survived to advance to the championship match.

Brookfield East won three of the four singles matches, but the only way the Spartans could have won is if Weise or one of the doubles teams fell. Weise took care of business in straight sets and none of the three doubles teams were pushed. 

Homestead will return a good portion of its roster in its pursuit for a third straight title. The Highlanders will have to replace the talented team of La Londe and Boyer. The only other senior to play at the team state tournament was Watkins.