Tennis families pass on the Blugold tradition from generation to - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Tennis families pass on the Blugold tradition from generation to generation


Eau Claire (WQOW)- Two UW-Eau Claire tennis players recently won Doubles Team of the Week from the WIAC. But they aren't the first ones in their family to hit the mark for the UW-Eau Claire tennis team. Their skills have been passed down to them by their mothers. It's a legacy three decades in the making.

Earlier this month, Maddie Johnson and Gretchen Bachmeier were named the WIAC Doubles Team of the Week in tennis. 

"We won in a tie-breaker," remembers Maddie.  "So that was really exciting, couldn't have made it any closer; but it was worth it. It was fun."

But they aren't the first from their families to start making headlines at UW-Eau Claire. That title belongs to both of their moms. Three decades back, Joan Bachmeier and Theresa Johnson were also tennis teammates at UW-Eau Claire.

"In our tennis room, there are pictures of them hung up.  So we kind of make fun of them a little bit there," Maddie says smiling.

They may not have been doubles partners.

"We probably would have been darn good together," Joan laughs. "With that wicked forehand and this mean backhand, we would have been all-conference."

"I think so, right there," Theresa adds with a grin.

But they were roommates.

"Let's just say we have a lot of stories, a lot of memories, but we have vowed to not talk about them until these two are done," Theresa laughs.

"However, there are a few things that they tell us about and we go ‘Oh that sounds familiar,'" remarks Joan.

Theresa is now in Minnesota, working in healthcare marketing.  Joan is the girls' tennis coach at Eau Claire North High School and is one of the most winning female tennis players in Blugold history; recognition that doesn't sneak past Gretchen.

"It was nothing new to hear that my mother was a great athlete," Gretchen relents. "So it was just continuation of what I already knew."

Now to the big question that's on everybody's mind: Who would win if these two groups of teammates, both current and former, faced off in a doubles matchup on the court?

"I think we can still give them a run," Joan says. "Mhmmm," Theresa adds.

"In their prime, they were still playing with wooden rackets then," Gretchen points out. "So if we are going to be fair, they have to go back to the equipment that they were using."

Maddie has two years of eligibility left at UW-Eau Claire.  Gretchen, a three-time captain for the Blugolds, just finished up her college career this month.

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