Geneseo’s Jane Thomas and Madi Miller made school history becoming the first Geneseo doubles team to reach the second day of the Class 1A State Tennis Tournament.

Geneseo’s Jane Thomas and Madi Miller made school history becoming the first Geneseo doubles team to reach the second day of the Class 1A State Tennis Tournament.

On Friday, Oct. 19, Thomas and Miller won a pair of doubles matches at state to advance to the second day and finish among the elite top 16-32 at state.

In Geneseo’s opening round, the duo battled for a three-set victory 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 against Lake Villa’s Kylie Jozwik and Melissa Variny.

After Geneseo dominated the first set, Lake Villa came back by lobbing shots over the Leafs who attack the net.

In the third set, Geneseo was able to make adjustments to solve the lob and came back and won in a match that lasted nearly three hours.

In Geneseo’s second match, the Lady Leafs played against Normal University’s Grace Matheis and Anna Huber who were seeded among the top 9-16 in the state.

Geneseo pushed the duo from Normal in the second set but fell 6-1, 7-5.

NU’s Matheis and Huber advanced all the way to the quarterfinal round in the championship bracket at state.

With Geneseo facing elimination in the consolation bracket, Miller and Thomas won the pivotal match over Flora’s Kyrsten Darrough and Gracy Himelick in a tiebreaker 6-2, 7-6 (6) to advance Geneseo to the second day of the tournament.

“Our energy level was kind of low,” Geneseo Coach Kevin Reed said. “I would say by the third game we switched that around. We started playing well and the other team maybe realized that we were pretty good.”

Things got tight in the second set with the victory decided by a handful of points.

However, Geneseo never doubted they could make history.

“That third match, I kept telling them what was at stake,” said Reed of making school history. “They kept saying, ‘We can do it.’”

With Geneseo battling in each match, Miller and Thomas were on the court for nearly six hours with only 20-minute breaks in between matches.

“It was a long strenuous day for them,” Reed said. “They were some tired puppies.”

In the first match on Oct. 20, Geneseo fell 6-3, 7-6 against St. Thomas More’s Caroline Waddell and Kayley Schacht.

“We were very competitive,” Reed said. “Our only problem was we could not put the ball away at the net and the other team did which was the difference.”

On the final day, Geneseo went to watch the quarter-final matches and saw familiar faces they had faced from Alleman, Ottawa and Sterling Newman all vying for a state honors.

“That’s something the girls who went to state can see,” Reed said. “If we do things correctly, we can get one of those spots and be one of those teams.”