TROY — After an entire fall season playing within the Miami Valley League’s bubble, the Tippecanoe tennis team was glad to get the opportunity to play other familiar rivals that they hadn’t been allowed to see until now.
“They were just really excited to see what else was out there,” Tippecanoe coach Kaci Matthews said. “This was an exciting day for the girls on many levels.”
And after the first day of the Division II sectional tournament in Troy, four Red Devils — Dakota Schroeder and Mira Patel in singles and the doubles team of Amelia and Eliza Zweizig — and Milton-Union’s doubles team of Shannon Brumbaugh and Taylor Falb qualified for next week’s district tournament, advancing to Saturday’s sectional semifinal round.
It’s the third trip to the district tournament for Schroeder, who entered as the No. 1 seed in the singles bracket, while fourth-seeded Patel will make her first trip in singles. It’s also the second straight trip for the Zweizigs as a doubles team, with Amelia making her fourth trip — once in singles, twice with her sister and once with Patel as a sophomore.
“They’ve been working towards this all year, so this was a very exciting day for them,” Matthews said. “We came in here, got a good warmup in the morning, played a little music, felt really good, and they were really excited to play in this tournament.
“They’ve worked really hard all year on their goal to make it to districts. And four of our girls — two singles and a doubles pair — are going to get to go.”
And, for the Devils, getting to play non-MVL competition for the first time was a big plus.
“That was part of the excitement, too, seeing where we are outside of our league,” Matthews said. “You kind of get an understanding of what we’re capable of within our league, especially after the first round, and then being able to maintain focus on goals through the second round. Now, we were excited to play some of the area schools that we typically play throughout the season.”
Schroeder opened play with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Bellefontaine’s Samantha Starkey, swept Greenville’s Felicity Lance 6-0, 6-0 and swept Milton-Union’s Ellie Coate 6-0, 6-0 to advance to Saturday’s semis — where she will face teammate Patel. Patel only dropped one game all day, defeating Milton-Union’s Amelia Black 6-0, 6-0, Greenville’s Faith Mansfield 6-1, 6-0 and Kenton Ridge’s Ava Sullivan 6-0, 6-0 to advance.
The Zweizigs, the top-seeded doubles team, needed only two wins to reach the semis — and took more time waiting for opponents to finish than they did on the court. After a bye, they swept Greenville’s Stephens and Hartsock 6-0, 6-0 and Bellefontaine’s Shields and Scott — who played a pair of lengthy matches to reach the quarters — 6-0, 6-0 to move on to the semis, where they will face Northwestern’s Pederson and Tanner, who upset Kenton Ridge’s fourth-seeded team in the quarters.
Also for Tippecanoe, the second doubles team of Riya Patel and Katy Shultz defeated Brookville’s Williams and Herbert 6-0, 6-0 before dropping a three-setter to Northwestern’s third-seeded team of Errett and Yeager 3-6, 6-3, 6-0. And in singles, Mia Tobias lost to second-seeded Emily Marchal 6-1, 6-0 in the opening round.
Milton-Union’s Brumbaugh and Falb also made short work of their opponents to reach the semifinals. The second-seeded duo had a first-round bye, defeated Greenville’s Lance and Savoy 6-0, 6-1 and defeated Bellefontaine’s Wang and Easton 6-0, 6-0 in the quarters to advance. They will face Northwestern’s Errett and Yeager in the semis.
Falb qualified for districts for the third time in as many tries, while the freshman Brumbaugh qualified for the first time.
Also for the Bulldogs, Maggie Black was one win away from a trip to district, defeating Springfield Shawnee’s Lily Trevino 6-0, 6-0 and Lehman’s Madi Gleason 6-2, 6-0 before falling to Marchal 6-0, 6-0 in the quarters. Amelia Black lost in the opening round to Mira Patel and Coate defeated Greenon’s Taylor Houseman 6-1, 6-0 and Lehman’s Lilly Williams 6-0, 6-1 before falling to Schroeder. And in doubles, Madison Silveria and Paige Barnes lost to Northwestern’s Pederson and Tanner 6-0, 6-0.
For Lehman, Gleason defeated Urbana’s Shelly Johnson 6-0, 6-0 before falling to Maggie Black, Mary Lins defeated Urbana’s Jazmine Collins 6-1, 6-0 before falling to Bellefontaine’s Courtney Sims 6-0, 6-0 and Williams defeated Urbana’s Maddy Skelton 6-0, 6-0 before falling to Milton-Union’s Coate.
And in doubles, Annie Stiver and Liann Trahey lost to Northwestern’s Pederson and Tanner 6-2, 6-2, and Macie Verdier and Taylor Reineke lost to Greenville’s Lance and Savoy 7-6 (6), 6-0.
The semifinals begin at 9 a.m. Saturday at Troy Community Park.