Burlington’s Timo Schernoster competes at No. 4 singles during the SLC tourney Friday at Wilmot High School. (Mike Ramczyk/SLN)


By Mike Ramczyk


With one of the best tennis facilities in Racine County, head coach Ken Savaglia and the Burlington varsity boys tennis team were proud to host the county tournament for the first time May 5 and 6.

And thanks to some standout performances from a few players down on the depth charts, the Demons enjoyed a third-place team finish.

Timo Schernoster, a foreign exchange student competing in his first year at No. 4 singles, and the No. 3 doubles team of Ben Zott and Travis Ellertson, both took second place.

At No. 2 doubles, Chandler Spiewak and Declan Kipp finished in third place.

“Over the past two weeks, Timo and Ben and Travis have been our saviors,” said Savaglia, who said it was nice to show off one of the best tennis facilities in the county. “They have gotten us team wins when the matches come down to the end. Timo is a gift of a foreign exchange student playing for us. We got really lucky to have him be a competitor on varsity. He also puts it all on the court and has fun doing it.”

“For Ben and Travis, two seniors, those are my seasoned vets. Both have been kind of “utility players” for me up until this year, filling in where needed and now they have an opportunity for a solid spot.”

Savaglia added that the depth of Racine Prairie, who won the tournament with 42 points, provided strong competition for Schernoster and Zott and Ellertson. Savaglia said those Prairie players would be at the top of the depth chart on most other teams.

Union Grove finished second with 19 points, and Burlington followed with 16.5.

Schernoster made quick work of Racine Case, 6-1, 6-1, before edging Waterford’s Ryan Dalton, 7-6 (2), 7-5. In the finals, Prairie’s Pranav Bajaj took care of Schernoster, 6-1, 6-3.

Zott and Ellertson breezed past Case, 6-3, 6-1, and also handled Waterford, 6-1, 6-3.

But Prairie stopped the duo in the finals, 6-1, 6-0.

After a slow start, Burlington improved to 6-7 overall with a 4-3 victory over Union Grove May 4.

Burlington proved its mettle in a talent-rich county, advancing to the winners’ bracket in five of seven flights.

“We were about where we should have been at third place,” Savaglia said. “With only eight teams, first-round matchups make a huge difference. If we got the winners’ draw on one more flight, we take second. Prairie was just too good for us to take down.”


Ludwig, Dam meet again

At 1 singles, Jacob Ludwig went 1-2 to drop to 12-4 on the season. Burlington’s top performer ran into Union Grove’s Alec Dam in the third-place match.

Dam won the first set, 6-4, before Ludwig answered with a 6-1 second set. The closely contested battle went to Dam with a 10-8 third set.

Two days before the tournament, Ludwig beat Dam, 7-5, 6-3, in Union Grove.

Savaglia was impressed with Quinn Adamek, a freshman at No. 3 singles.

Adamek lost in the first round before earning two wins in the back draw.

“Quinn had a good day,” Savaglia said. “He has a good future ahead of him. It was very nice to see.”

At 2 singles, Johnny Puntillo lost to Racine Case before beating Racine Park’s Pedro Ventura, 6-1, 6-1. He fell to Waterford in the fifth-place match.

At 1 doubles, Andrew Zeman and Malik Tiedt beat Racine Horlick, 6-3, 6-3, before falling to Prairie, 6-2, 6-2.

In the third-place match, Waterford beat the Demon duo, 6-2, 6-3.

Spiewak and Kipp crushed Park, 6-0, 6-0, before falling, 6-2, 6-3, to Prairie.

However, the boys bounced back to handle Horlick in the third-place match, 6-4, 6-3.