Webber, Skibba win state doubles title

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Abbey Webber (above) teamed with Kaisey Skibba to win the girls state doubles title last weekend./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Their timing was impeccable.

Kaisey Skibba, a singles player most of her life, blossomed into a doubles standout at the perfect time.

Abbey Webber, always a sensational doubles player, took her game to a new level when the stakes were the highest.

When the two combined forces, the rest of the state paid the price.

Webber and Skibba combined to win the WIAA Division 1 girls state doubles championship last weekend at Nielsen Tennis Stadium. The Cardinals’ dynamic duo became the first Middleton doubles team to win a state title since Jill Karofsky and Kristin Moe in 1982.

“This weekend was amazing,” Webber said afterwards. “Kaisey and I had a lot of fun. We both played our best tennis this weekend, which is great to do when it really matters. I will definitely remember this weekend, even though it seemed to go by quickly.”

Skibba agreed with her teammate.

“This weekend was incredible,” Skibba said. “I'm definitely going to remember it for a long time. I'm just so proud of us and what we accomplished.”

Skibba and Webber entered the tournament as the No. 2 seed, so they certainly expected to make a run at a title. But few could have envisioned the ease in which they trampled over the state’s best.

The Cardinals’ pair didn’t lose a set in their five matches and dropped a total of just 14 games in the entire tournament. Skibba and Webber defeated Elise Gerard and Annabelle Crowley of Nicolet, 6-1, 6-1, in the finals.

“I think Abbey and I really played the best matches of our career this weekend and that is how we were able to win our matches,” Skibba said. “I was a little surprised that we played so well, but then again I knew Abbey and I could do it.”

Webber agreed.

“I wasn't surprised with the outcome because we were the second seed and we were expected to make it to the finals,” Webber said. “Even though we had a good seed, we took every match like it could be our last.”

The focus, determination and drive of the duo was evident from start to finish.

Webber and Skibba received a first round bye on Thursday, then cruised past Madeline Slicker and Lexi Heth of Homestead, 6-2, 6-1, in their first match on Friday.

In the third round, the Cardinals’ duo toppled Maddie Coleman and Bryn Urban of Divine Savior Holy Angels, 6-1, 6-0. Then in their final match Friday, Skibba and Webber rolled past Cedarburg's Melina Schaetz and Lizzy Bensen in the quarterfinals, 6-1, 6-1.

That win vaulted Skibba and Webber to the state semifinals Saturday, and they were more than ready. Middleton’s pair defeated third-seeded Emily Pepperl and Devon Bourget of Eau Claire Memorial, 6-2, 6-4.

On the other side of the bracket, Nicolet’s duo of Gerard and Crowley — the tournament’s No. 4 seed — upset top-seeded Sara Geschke and Kali Flesch of Arrowhead in the semifinals. Skibba and Webber then made quick work of the Nicolet duo in the finals.

“One of the reasons Abbey and I wanted to play together was because we knew we could do well at state,” said Skibba, who was a singles player her first three years at MHS, but switched to doubles this season. “Now that we won, switching to doubles was definitely worth it.”

It was a memorable weekend for both Middleton standouts.

Webber had a good deal of family on hand, including two brothers that returned from college to watch the festivities.

Skibba capped an enormous week for her and twin sister Loren. Earlier in the week, Loren helped lead Middleton’s girls golf program to the second state title in school history. Four days later, Kaisey was hoisting gold herself.

“It definitely hasn't sunk in yet that we won state,” Kaisey Skibba said. “It just seems surreal that we won and that our high school tennis careers have come to an end. I'm glad that we got to end our careers as state champions.”

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