Milton-Union’s Falb, Brumbaugh earn D-II state tennis berth


CINCINNATI — A year ago, the Milton-Union doubles team of Taylor Falb and Shannon Brumbaugh came within one match of advancing to the state tournament.

They weren’t going to be denied this time.

At the ATP Tennis Center near Kings Island, Falb (a senior) and Brumbaugh (a sophomore) advanced the D-II district semifinals to earn a berth in next week’s state tournament, also at the ATP Tennis Center.

On Saturday, they will return there to play the semifinals and first and third place round.

“Taylor (Falb) has been to district all four years,” Milton-Union coach Jenny Fox said. “So, that was great to be able to see her get to state. I think that (was a big motivator). And obviously, they are both very talented players who work really well together.”

The duo had opened Thursday with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Alana Baker and Annie Schaefer of Alter.

In the go to state match, they faced Summit Country Day’s Sadie Joseph and Maya Hajjar.

After winning the first set 6-3, they lost the second set 6-2 to create some drama for their fans.

“Of course, they had to make it nervewracking for us,” Fox said with a laugh. “Last year’s match (when they lost) was three sets today. In that situation, it just comes down to who is going to come out and go after it (in the third set).”

And Falb and Brumbaugh left little doubt about that.

They breezed through the third set without dropping a game to finish off a 6-3, 2-6, 6-0 victory and earn a trip to state.

“It was really quick,” Fox said. “It was the fastest set of the day. They just came out and played great.”

The duo will now face Indians Hill’s Lexi and Cassie Larsen in a matchup of sectional champions.

The winner will play in the championship match, while the loser will play in the third-place match.

And Fox knows Falb and Brumbaugh will be ready.

“Don’t get me wrong, they are excited (about qualifying for state),” Fox said. “But, they know what they have to do what’s at stake.”

Tippecanoe’s Mira Patel won her first singles match in D-II, beating Hannah Pollack of Indian Hill 7-6 (4), 6-1 before losing to Grace Lampman of Alter 6-0, 6-0.

Tipp’s Mia Tobias lost to Caroline Boyle of Badin 6-0, 6-0 and Ella Waibel lost to Ashleigh Grooms of Summit Country Day 6-1, 6-0.

In doubles, Lilly McDowell and Riya Patel lost to the Larsens from Indian Hill 6-0, 6-2 and Eliza Zweizig and Nicki Bauer lost to Sarika Singh and Elsa Zhou of Indian Hill 6-2, 6-1.

In Division I play, Troy had two doubles teams in action Thursday.

Elizabeth Niemi and Esha Patel lost 6-0, 6-0 to Danielle Read and Danielle Lebedev of Mason and Taima Rajab and Madailein Logan lost 6-1, 6-1 to Brooklyn Zappin and Neha Arcot of Cincinnati Ursuline.

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