Skibba, Webber aiming high at state

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Kaisey Skibba and doubles teammate Abbey Webber are the No. 2 seed at state./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

They first met when they were just 10 years old.

It seemed unlikely they’d ever combine forces, as one was a singles star and the other a doubles standout.

But now that their immense talents have been united, they could be poised for one of the most memorable weekends of their young lives.

Kaisey Skibba and Abbey Webber — Middleton’s top doubles team — head to the WIAA Division 1 state tournament, which begins Thursday at Nielsen Tennis Stadium. And the Cardinals’ sensational duo seems ready for big things.

Skibba and Webber have compiled a 20-1 record this season and are the No. 2 seed at state. The pair earned a first round bye, then play their first match Friday at 10:15 a.m.

Skibba and Webber could play as many as three matches Friday. The semifinals are Saturday at 9:45 a.m., and the finals are later in the day Saturday.

Middleton’s No. 2 doubles team of Lauren Coons and Maddie Clark (21-4) also qualified and has a first round match Thursday at 1:30 p.m.

“Our goal at state is to play to the best of our ability and to have no regrets by the end of the weekend,” said Webber, a senior. “I think Kaisey and I could do very well at the tournament, but we just need to take it one match at a time. I'm really looking forward to state. I know we will have fun, no matter what the outcome is.”

It’s certainly been a fun year for this unlikely pair.

Skibba, another senior, was one of the state’s top singles players the last three years.

Skibba won one match at state as a freshman, two as a sophomore, then finished sixth overall last year. Skibba would have been one of the top singles players in the state this year, but made the decision to play doubles instead.

“My goal for my high school tennis career was to get on the podium,” Skibba said. “I accomplished my goal last year in singles, so it wasn't that difficult to transition to doubles this year.”

Skibba had the perfect partner waiting for her in Webber.

Webber reached state her sophomore year and won one match with partner Baylie Gold. Last year, Webber and Allison Ragsdale finished fifth overall at state.

With Ragsdale graduated, Webber wasn’t sure who her partner would be in 2015. Then, two days before the season began, Skibba told Webber she was switching sides.

“Abbey and I have always thought it would be fun to play doubles together,” Skibba said. “We also knew we could be a pretty good doubles team, so right before the season started we decided to play together.”

Webber was thrilled to learn her longtime friend would now be her partner, as well.

“I've always wanted to play with her. She's a great player,” Webber said of Skibba. “But I didn't know that Kaisey was planning on playing doubles this season. It was a great surprise. I knew going into the season we could be a pretty good doubles team, we would just need to work on our communication as a pair.”

The duo has clicked immediately, as the skills of one perfectly complement the other.

Skibba’s groundstrokes, cultivated during her time playing singles, are some of the best in the state. Webber has always been a sensational player at the net.

Together, the pair has been virtually unbeatable.

“Those two types of games work really well together,” Webber said. “Now that I've been hitting with Kaisey, my groundstrokes have been getting better and she's becoming more active at the net. We're both learning so much from each other and growing as players.”

Skibba agreed.

“Abbey is very aggressive and likes to be at the net,” Skibba said. “I am good at getting the ball back and setting her up to finish the point.”

Now, the two want to finish what’s already been a memorable season.

Hartland Arrowhead’s Sara Geschke and Kali Flesch (32-2) are the No. 1 seed. But Webber and Skibba certainly believe they can play with anyone.

If they’re right, they could be hoisting gold Saturday afternoon.

“My goal at state is to play well and have fun,” Skibba said. “I believe Abbey and I can do really well and be one of the top teams.”

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