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Doubles teams shine in first tennis tournament

Staff writer

The Hillsboro High School No. 1 and No. 2 doubles tennis teams won the Hillsboro Invitational Tuesday.

The teams of Emma Heyen and Becky Faber and Elise Heyen and Courtney Weber had similar routes to success on Tuesday but had different levels of experience coming into the Hillsboro meet.

No. 2 doubles team Weber and Elise Heyen had played together all of last year.

“We’re good at reading each other,” Weber said. “We’ve gotten better at playing with each other.”

Several times in the tournament, when Weber was at the back line and Elise Heyen was playing up at the net, Weber would hit a short serve that the other team would be able to put over the net and then Elise Heyen would pound the ball past both opponents.

Weber and Elise Heyen defeated the No. 2 teams from Pratt, 8-4, Hesston, 8-6, and Wichita Collegiate, 8-3. Weber said it was the opposite of the Hillsboro Invitational from last year when Weber and Elise Heyen lost to teams from Collegiate and Hesston.

In the match against Hesston, Weber and Elise Heyen came back from a 5-4 deficit, winning two consecutive games. They held on to a narrow lead to win the match, 8-6.

“We were getting shots in and placing shots,” Weber said of their comeback. “They could get their shots back, so we had to place it.”

The No. 1 doubles team of Emma Heyen and Becky Faber overcame multiple deficits in their second match against the No. 1 team from Hesston. The match was tied 7-7 but Emma Heyen and Faber eventually won the tiebreak, 9-7.

“We were down a couple of times, during the match and during the tiebreak,” Faber said.

However, Faber and Emma Heyen used the left over adrenaline from their close match with the Swathers to defeat the No. 1 team from Wichita Collegiate, 8-1.

“We were relieved,” Faber said of making the final. “We really didn’t have anything to lose.”

Faber and Emma Heyen had played together once before Tuesday. Faber was primarily a singles player with the Trojans last year. She struggled with close shots at the net, but shined with serves and forehands from the back line. Faber said her skills complement Emma Heyen’s abilities.

“Since, she’s tall she’s more of a presence at the net,” Faber said. “I kind of like to slug it out at the base line.”

Hillsboro Tennis Head Coach Bob Woelk was pleased with the shot-making of both doubles teams Tuesday.

“We’ve got four 4.0s out there,” Woelk said. “They’re starting to think about shot making.”

He was also impressed with the Trojans’ improved strength, citing the step up in maturation of junior tennis players to senior tennis players. Although, Weber, the only junior on either doubles team, was the one who displayed the greatest improvement.

“Courtney spent a lot of time in the weight room this summer,” he said.

More than anything, Woelk was encouraged by the determination both teams featured in matches against Hesston.

“It’s what I’m most proud of,” Woelk said. “It’s a real intangible.”

Senior Haley Pankratz placed fifth in the No. 1 singles bracket after defeating fellow Trojan, sophomore Rachel Schneider.

Senior Aubrey Meier defeated Trojan freshman Abby Shope in the fifth place game of the No. 2 singles bracket.

Hillsboro, as a team, finished third behind first-place Hesston and second-place Wichita Collegiate.

Last modified Sept. 1, 2010

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