Brumbaugh, Falb ready to continue family traditions at D-II state tennis tournament


WEST MILTON — It shouldn’t come as a surprise when Milton-Union senior Taylor Falb and sophomore Shannon Brumbaugh take the court Friday morning at the Lindner Family Tennis Center near Kings Island in the Division II state tournament.

It is in the doubles team’s genes.

The Brumbaugh name has been well known in West Milton for years and Shannon is no exception.

After missing one by one match of making it to state a year ago, Brumbaugh will be continuing a family tradition.

“All my brothers have gone to state,” Shannon Brumbaugh said. “So, I was hoping to go to state at least one time.”

And Falb’s sister Brooke teamed with Claire Fetters to advance to state in 2014 — the last girls from Milton-Union to make it to state before this year.

“I wanted to knock her (Brooke) off the board,” Falb said about being the most recent qualifier. “And I told her that to. Now, we will be up on the board.”

Falb has had a very successful career from the time she was a freshman.

And this year she went 13-0 while playing second singles.

“I made it to district every year,” Falb said. “This year, I finally made it to state.”

When Brumbaugh came in as a freshman last year, it was a natural to make them a doubles team for the postseason.

“They both work really hard,” Milton-Union girls tennis coach Jenny Fox said. “So, I knew they would be a good team. They really compliment each other well out there.”

Falb said it was a no-brainer.

“We are both good players (in singles),” she said. “And we knew it would give us a better chance to get to state.”

Communication is never an issue for this duo, which is part of their success on the court.

“I think the fact we are really good friends off the court helps a lot,” Brumbaugh, who was 14-3 at first singles this year, said. “Going from singles to doubles is a big adjustment. But, we both work really hard and get along well.”

The duo will be challenged in their opening round match.

They face Alexis Burkhalter and Katie Zerbi of Columbus Wellington School.

Burkhalter and Zerbi finished fourth at state two years ago, before finishing as state runnerup last year.

Falb and Brumbaugh won six straight matches at sectional and district, before finishing fourth.

“I think if they go out and own the court and play like they can, they will be fine,” Fox said.

Falb said they will be ready.

“We have nothing to lose,” she said. “We just have to go out and play our best tennis.”

Brumbaugh agreed.

“I think if we go out and play our game, we have a good shot,” she said.

After all, it is in their genes.

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