October 10, 2011
CELINA – It’s difficult to distinguish the two.
Twins Audra and Samantha Manci have opposing tennis doubles teams guessing all the time.
This past weekend, the two Celina seniors baffled the opposition en route to their second consecutive Division II sectional title in doubles at the University of Northwestern Ohio.
The Manci’s, along with three other teammates, will make their way to the Division II district tournament at the University of Findlay, which runs on Wednesday and Saturday.
This season played out a little differently for the twins, however, as they did not play doubles together until the sectional tournament. For the sake of the team, Samantha played first singles, while Audra continued to play doubles, but with different partners.
At the WBL Tournament, Samantha made it to the finals in first singles where she lost to Shawnee’s Lauren Rovner, 6-2, 6-1. Rovner won the sectional singles title on Saturday. In first doubles, Audra teamed up with Katie Kerr to win the league title. The year before, the Manci twins won the WBL title in first doubles. As a team, Celina has won the WBL title three years in a row.
"We got split up during the season," Audra said. "She (Samantha) played singles and I moved around in doubles. The plan was to get her in singles, so she could work on some things. She flourished in singles...She lost to Lauren Rovner (in the finals)."
Celina coach Jan Morrison said the twins understood the reasoning behind the move.
"They are very close," Morrison said. "They play really well together. I split them up (during the regular season). I had Samantha play first singles, so we could win the WBL. She did it for the team. She knew we could win the title."
Samantha said it has always seemed natural for the two of them to play tennis together.
"We started to get serious in eighth grade," Audra said. "We’ve always played together. We never played with anyone else until this year.
"Sometimes we don’t even communicate, but we know where each other is on the court."
Along with the Manci’s, the doubles team of Katie Kerr and Allison Laux; as well as singles player Brianna Beougher will compete at the district tournament for Celina. The top three placers at the district tournament will advance to the state tournament.
Morrison said she is pleased on how her players competed this past weekend.
"To have five competing at districts is really great," Morrison said. "I’m looking forward to this week."