Given takes over girls tennis program

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Rob Reischel




Matt Given has them all. And Middleton’s new girls tennis coach hopes those qualities lead to big things on the court this fall.

Given replaces Terry Geurkink, who lasted just one year.

“The Middleton girls tennis program has so much history and success over the years,” Given said. “I know the potential that the girls program has and I am very excited to be a part of it. The tennis community here really supports the program and that is something that really drew me to this job.”

Given, a Math teacher at Middleton High School, was born and raised in Mesa, Az. He attended Arizona State University and has coached the last 12 years.

Given takes over a program packed with potential, but also one that has lacked consistency at the top.

Middleton is hoping that changes with Given.

“Two of (Given’s) greatest passions in life are the success of young adults and every aspect of sports,” said Mark Kryka, who served as Middleton’s interim athletic director this spring and hired Given. “The prospect of combining these two interests is a huge goal of his.

“He brings a lifetime of playing sports that will only enrich his ability to implement and improve the girls varsity tennis team at MHS. He will enjoy interacting, communicating and collaborating with diverse populations and will find great fulfillment in connecting athletes and their families to the game of tennis.”

Middleton has had terrific talent for years and has reached the state tournament seven times since 2006. The Cardinals won the WIAA Division 1 state title in 2013 and reached the state semifinals in 2010 and 2014.

Middleton finished second at sectionals last year, one point behind state qualifier Madison West. And with six players expected back from that team expectations will be high again this fall.

“My overall expectation for this season is that every girl in the program gets better, competes on a daily basis, and finds a true love for the game of tennis,” Given said. “These ladies will be prepared for each and every match they play! 

“I can honestly say that my coaching style will be one that focuses on making these ladies better each day! I love to focus on the process and the "little victories", rather than the overall result. I can tell you right now these ladies will be prepared.”

Tennis practice is scheduled to begin Aug. 11, and Middleton’s first match of the year is slated for Aug. 18. Of course, COVID-19 could change that.

For now, Given is optimistic there will be a season and he can begin building the type of program he envisions at MHS.

“The transition has been fairly smooth. I know most of the girls from teaching at the high school, and I know they will be ready to go when we get the green light,” Given said. “Every program is in the same boat right now, and I just hope it ends soon so that these kids can go back to enjoying their days in high school.”

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