Oshkosh connection at U.P. tournament

ESCANABA – Scott Niemi and Nate Kilsdonk were roommates and teammates at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Sunday they were partners in the doubles division at the 67th annual Michigan-Wisconsin Open tennis tournament.

But Saturday they were opponents in the M-W finals of the Class A men’s singles in Ludington Park. Fittingly it went into overtime before Niemi emerged with the championship.

After splitting 6-4 (Niemi), 5-7 (Kilsdonk) decisions in matches just as tight as the scores suggest, Niemi won the super playoff tie-breaker 7-5.

“My legs were gone,” Niemi, of Appleton, Wis., said of the mutual decision to forego a third set for the tie-breaker. “It makes it sweet and short. “

A former M-W junior division champion who lost in the Class A title match to Marquette’s Brett Girard a couple years ago, Niemi frequently hit to Kilsdonk’s backhand. “We were both trying to get points pretty quick,” he said.

Kilsdonk, of Waukesha, Wis., upset defending champion Girard 7-6, 7-6 in an epic semifinal as they matched powerful strokes on the newly resurfaced court. He was down 5-2 before a strong rally stopped Girard, who had won the past three M-W titles and five of the past six.

The Appleton dominance of this tournament also continued in the women’s division, where Patti Stinski won the round-robin Class A title by taking all three matches in the round-robin format.

The former Wright State University player topped runner-up Allison Carlson of Negaunee in her final match, after beating Katie Cuthbertson of Gladstone and Hannah Tresedder of Kingsford. Tresedder, whose sister Abby is a former M-W women’s champion, will play tennis at Concordia, Wis. College.

The brother-sister duo of Brady and Katie Hicks of Kingsford also won titles. Brady took the Class B men’s title with a 7-5, 6-3 decision over Spike Houle of Marquette.

Katie Hicks took the combined age 12-15 and 16-18 round-robin singles division.

Mark Stinski and Nels Naslund defeated Mike Osier and Tom Mitchell 6-3, 6-0, to capture the men’s senior doubles title.

In other doubles action, Scott Niemi and Nate Kilsdonk defeated Kingsford’s Brian Tresedder and Derrick Harrington 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, to capture the Men’s A Doubles championship.

Girls Doubles winners were Emily Bugni and Katie Bugni of Iron Mountain.