Milton-Union doubles team wins sectional; Tippecanoe sends full team to district tennis


TROY — It was the match everyone had been waiting to see.

And it did not disappoint.

At the D-II tennis doubles championship match, top seeded Shannon Brumbaugh and Ellie Coate from Milton-Union took on second seed Riya Patel and Ellie Waibel of Tippecanoe.

And the four seniors fired great shot after great shot back and fort at each other before the Milton-Union duo came away with a 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 win.

“I think anybody who knew about this match within a 20 mile driving radius was here,” Milton-Union coach Philip Brumbaugh said. “All four are seniors who have built up a great following. It was a great atmosphere and good match to have going to district.”

Tippecanoe coach Kaci Matthews did not disagree.

“I think it was a good match for both teams to have going to district,” Matthews said. “I was really proud of my girls and the way gutted out that second set and got to a third set. It was fun to see them play like that.”

Milton-Union had gotten two breaks up to take a 4-1 lead, before Tippecanoe answered cut the deficit to 4-3 in the third set.

“You know when you are up 4-1, you star thinking you just need two more game to win,” Coate said. “When it goes to 4-3, that is tough.”

Brumbaugh agreed.

“I felt like I was a little bit in my head at that point,” she said.

But, Coate held serve and they broke Tipp to finish off the match.

“It’s tough, but at that point you just have to find a way to pull through,” Coate said.

Brumbaugh advanced to state in doubles as a sophomore, before playing singles last year.

She would like nothing more than to end her career at the state tournament.

“That’s the goal and it would be great if we could make it happen,” Brumbaugh said.

Coate advanced to district last year in doubles.

“We started playing together in doubles late this season and it has gone really well,” she said. “The crowd was great today. Tipp has a lot of fans, so it can be a little intimidating.”

In the semifinals, Brumbaugh and Coate defeated third seed Amelia Staub and Kara Snipes of Tippecanoe 6-2, 6-1 and Patel and Waibel had defeated unseeded Sophie Clay and Emma Baugh of Kenton Ridge 6-0, 6-0.

Staub and Snipes won the third place match with Kenton Ridge 6-4, 6-3.

The championship match in singles was equally impressive as top seeded Taylor Errett of Northwestern and second seed Nicole Bauer of Tippecanoe had one long rally after another in the first two sets.

Errett would win 3-6, 6-3, 6-0.

“Nicole (Bauer) played a great match the first two sets,” Matthews said. “She got a cramp in her hamstring and that really affected her in the third set. But, Taylor (Errett) is a great player. She knows when to bring you up (to the net) and has great placement. Congratulations to her.”

In the semifinals, Errett had defeated third seeded Mia Tobias of Tippecanoe 6-0, 6-0 and Bauer had defeated the fourth seed, teammate Morgan Collins 6-4, 6-4.

In the third place match, Tobias outlasted Collins 6-3, 4-6, 6-1.

Which means Matthews will be coaching all seven of her players for at least one more week.

“I wouldn’t have been prepare for that Tuesday (the first round),” Matthews said. “To say goodbye to any of them. I told them that yesterday when we met. Now, I get to spend another week or two coaching them.”

Matthews doesn’t take her team’s success for granted.

“We don’t really have a dominant player,” she said. “But, we have great depth. These girls have such high expectations, sometimes they don’t celebrate their successes as much as they should. That is one of the things I told them on Friday. I am so proud of them and what they have accomplished. This is a very special group.”

Which, along with the Milton doubles team, will continue their seasons Thursday at the Lindner Family Tennis Center at the district tournament.

Sports Editor Rob Kiser can be reached at [email protected]

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