With no question marks this time around, Germantown first singles player Marissa Marks earned her way into the WIAA state tennis field.
The two-time state qualifier had to get in through the special qualifier process in both 2014 and 2015 after losing in the quarterfinals of sectional, but with her 6-0, 6-0 win over Lisa Nuelk of Sussex Hamilton in the quarterfinals of the Homestead sectional on Oct. 5, she claimed a free and unencumbered spot.
Marks wound up taking third in the sectional and will challenge Brookfield Central freshman second singles player Bianne del Campo (25-5) in a WIAA state individual tournament first-round match at Nielsen Stadium in Madison at noon on Thursday, Oct. 13. If she wins, she will play a second-round state match at 4:30 p.m. Oct. 13. Play will continue through to the championship rounds on Saturday, Oct. 15.
Marks (19-9) is relieved not to have go through the special qualifier process anymore.
"It was great to win my first match because I knew that meant I automatically qualify for state," she said. "Taking third wasn't the ultimate goal, but it is really awesome to take third at sectionals in my senior year."
After beating Nuelk, Marks lost to Rina Niehoff of Waukesha South, 7-6 (5), 4-6, 10-5, and beat Maddie Shipshock of Arrowhead, 6-0, 6-1, to take third.
"I'm extremely proud of Marissa this year," said first-year coach Vincent Daniels. "This is the first time in her career that she has automatically qualified for state. In years past, she had to special qualify. Her match she lost to Rina Niehoff was tough. Every time those two play, it goes to a third-set tiebreak. Marissa took her down in August and then lost in October. That match can go either way every time they play."
The Warhawks had one other entry at sectionals, as the senior first doubles team of Emma Brandenburg and Casey Riesch (9-4) lost their quarterfinal match to a Waukesha South pair, 6-1, 6-1. Daniels put in for a special qualifier slot for them, but they did not get selected by the state seeding committee.