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Girls tennis: Munster duo settles for third place at state

Updated: July 10, 2013 6:58AM



INDIANAPOLIS — Munster’s Paige Heuer and Nikki Heininger could never quite seize momentum during their semifinal match in the IHSAA doubles state finals.

It resulted in a competitive match against Evansville Memorial’s Macie Elliott and Brenna Wu finishing in a seemingly lopsided 6-1, 6-2 loss for the Mustangs duo.

Evansville Memorial went on to win the state championship over Park Tudor’s Hannah Klapper and Ali Lebovits, 6-3, 6-1. Elliott became the second player to ever win a state doubles and singles championship, earning the latter in 2011 as a sophomore.

In its match against Munster (20-2) in the semifinals, four of the six games Evansville Memorial (23-0) won in the second set went to deuce, along with two games it won in the first set.

“It was definitely hard coming away from that because the scores don’t show how close we were in that match,” Heuer said. “I wish we had another shot at them because I know we could have played a lot better, and maybe even pull it out.”

After each team held serve in the first two games of the second set, Munster had two break points against Elliott’s serve, but two hitting errors forced deuce. Evansville then won the game on Heuer’s mishit of a lob, a shot she had handled well on Friday during the quarterfinals.

It was a microcosm of small errors by Munster leading to big momentum swings.

“Any time you have an opportunity like that against the type of team we played you have to take advantage of that opportunity because you’re not going to get a lot of them,” Munster coach Bill Heuer said. “Most of the teams we played this year if you squander an opportunity like that you’re probably going to get another one. … I thought we played well and we played with them, we just didn’t take advantage of some of the opportunities that we had.”

Despite missing the opportunity to break service against Evansville Memorial’s best player, Munster responded. Heuer served four consecutive winning points and the Mustangs tied the set, 2-2.

Evansville Memorial then won the final four games, the last three going to deuce.

“I didn’t feel by any means we were blown out of the water or overwhelmed,” Bill Heuer said.

Paige added, “I think we just couldn’t pull out the close ones.”

With just a few hours to mentally and physically recover, Heuer and Heininger did just that to win the consolation match over Bishop Dwenger’s Elizabeth Maxson and Audrey Rang, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.



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