Girls tennis sectional competitors battle elements


By Mike Miller - sports@limanews.com



ELIDA — Mother Nature took one final shot at the Division II tennis tournament Saturday that was held at the Denny Schwinnen Courts at Elida High School.

Following two days of rain that forced a day of play being canceled and another forced indoors; high winds were the culprit Saturday that affected play.

Eleven different high schools participated in the tournament and, in the end, four singles players and four double teams advanced to play in the Bowling Green District tournament which begins Wednesday.

The Bath doubles team of sisters Ruby and Esther Bolon claimed the sectional title with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 win against the Lima Central Catholic duo of Maddie Moore and Madie Brinkman, who claimed the number two seed. The Wildkittens also saw Charis Barnes move on as the number four singles seed after dropping a 7-5, 0-6, 2-6 match to Mykaela Schriber from Kenton, who received the number three seed.

“I could not be any prouder of the three of them; they have worked hard to get to where they are today.” Bath coach Sandy Dackin said. “Being able to share in the experience makes it even better.”

Ruby and Esther Bolon are home schooled freshmen who played singles during the season for Bath before it was decided they stood a better chance of moving on in the tournament by playing as a doubles team.

“It was different playing together but we were able to adjust to it,” Esther Bolon said. “I am looking forward to the districts.”

“The wind was strong and you had to use it,” Ruby Bolon said. “It will be a big match (at districts).”

Besides Moore and Brinkman, the Thunderbirds received another number two seed when Olivia Kesner fell to Clare Caywood from St. Marys in the sectional singles championship match by a score of 6-3, 5-7, 6-2. Kesner had advanced to the final match after winning four straight matches by identical scores of 6-0, 6-0.

“We have two, one singles and one doubles, going (to districts) as number two seeds.” LCC coach Kevin Bruin said. “We got beat by better teams today; they adapted to the conditions better than we did and they played real well.”

Caywood was not flustered in the least by the windy conditions.

“A lot of the girls take lessons and practice indoors; I play mostly outside so that helps me with the wind,” Caywood said. “I just try to get it in and that is my game, it worked today.”

Third place doubles was won by Grace Dicke and Bailey Liniger of St. Marys who bested Shaelyn Hughes and Audree Thompson from Defiance by a score of 2-6, 7-5, 6-1.

Division I

FINDLAY — Shawnee’s Aria Patel fell 6-0, 6-1 in the semifinals to Perrysburg’s Emma Carter and then dropped a 6-3, 6-3 encounter to Perrysburg’s Lindsay Onest in the third-place match.

Wapakoneta’s Makayla and Madison Schroeder fell 6-4, 6-0 to Perrysburg’s Belen Balibrea and Gemma Smith and Shawnee’s Sanjana Rajasekaran and Katie Clark lost 6-1, 6-0 to Perrysburg’s Abbie O’Connell and Caitlyn Schankula in the doubles semifinals.

The Schroeders then went on to defeat Rajasekaran and Clark 6-4, 7-5 for third place.

The top four singles players and top four doubles teams advanced to the Bowling Green district where D-I matches are scheduled to begin Thursday.

Bath’s Ruby Bolon hits a serve during a Division II sectional doubles match Saturday in Elida.
Bath’s Ruby Bolon hits a serve during a Division II sectional doubles match Saturday in Elida. Dean Brown | The Lima News
Bath’s Esther Bolon volleys at the net during a Division II sectional doubles match Saturday in Elida.
Bath’s Esther Bolon volleys at the net during a Division II sectional doubles match Saturday in Elida. Dean Brown | The Lima News

By Mike Miller

sports@limanews.com