TROY — It was definitely worth the wait Saturday for the Milton-Union doubles teams at the D-II sectional tournament at Troy City Park.
Overnight and early morning rains put a hold on the semifinals and finals, but some hard work from tournament officials, coaches and players had the courts ready for play by 3 p.m.
Once play started, it was a good day for the Bulldogs, as Ben Iddings and Tyler Kress won the sectional title and Titus Copp and Tyler Combs finished third.
“First and foremost, I just want to say how proud on I am of all four guys,” Milton-Union tennis coach Kevin Brackman said. “They did a great job today.”
In the semifinals, the second seeded Iddings and Kress defeated fourth seed Drew Phillips and Trey Taylor of Bellefontaine 6-2, 6-3, while the third seeded Combs and Copp lost to the top seeded brothers Ethan and Jason Kneymeyer from Yellow Springs 6-4, 6-1.
“I felt like they played the those guys from Yellow Springs tough,” Brackman said. “Even though they lost, it was a good match.”
In the third-place match, Combs and Copp defeated Phillips and Taylor 6-1, 6-4.
“They had a really good tournament,” Brackman said.
The title match was a rematch from last year.
The Kneymeyer brothers were two-time defending sectional champions, having never lost a match at sectionals.
After losing in three sets to them a year ago, Iddings and Kress were determined to change that — and did with a 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-0 win.
“We had lost to them two years ago and lost to them again last year,” Brackman said. “It just feels good to see the hard work we jave put in rewarded.”
But, it didn’t come easy.
After winning the first set, Milton got up a break early in the second set, before Yellow Springs rallied and won the tiebreaker to force a third set.
“The thing that they (Yellow Springs) do really well is feed off each other,” Brackman said. “So, there was a never a point where we felt like they were out of the match. They are a really good team.”
But, Iddings and Kress turned things around quickly, winning the deciding set 6-0.
“We knew we had to get off to a fast start,” Brackman said. “And we did that. Now, it is just a matter of waiting for the district brackets and seeing who we have to go beat.”
That will take place at the Lindner Tennis Center on Thursday and Saturday — where the Bulldogs hope for another couple days of great tennis.
Sports Editor Rob Kiser can be reached at [email protected]