LIMA — Brianna Beougher entered the Western Buckeye League girls tennis tournament at UNOH with a little bit of experience in the event, having won third and second singles championships in her freshman and junior years.
On Saturday, she added a first singles WBL title to her long list of accomplishments, and helped Celina cruise to the team WBL Championship.
“I’ve always said Brianna (Beougher) has the most heart and soul of any player I’ve ever coached,” Celina head coach Jan Morrison said. “She just digs in every time and doesn’t give up, and I think that’s what won it for her today.”
Beougher defeated Bath’s Emily Ruhe in three intense sets, 3-6, 6-1, 6-3. Beougher said it was the most grueling match she’s ever played.
“I had to stay focused the whole time,” Beougher said. “The whole season is practice for today, and you begin to learn how girls hit and you prepare for them.”
Beougher has a career high school singles record of 60-12, and will team up with Katie Kerr for first doubles in next week’s sectional tournament, also at UNOH. Kerr and partner Lea Rose also came up big for Celina on Saturday, winning the first doubles title over Ottawa-Glandorf’s Hailey Inninger and Kayla Siefker. Celina’s winning point total was 50.
Shawnee and Van Wert tied for second on the day with 39 points.
Shawnee’s Isabelle Baird, in second singles, and Anita Kottapalli, in third singles, each won their respective tournaments, and the tandem of Hankoru Anigbogu and Morgan Holloway came in second in the second doubles tournament.
“We discussed a strategy with our girls based on what we had seen this season,” Shawnee head coach Jim Curram said. “They had more confidence having beaten these girls earlier in the season. Anita is a very intelligent player, and she doesn’t rush the net. She lets the other girl make a mistake. They were both very prepared for this tournament.”
Van Wert’s first year player combination of freshman Ally Moreland and junior Sydney Dull defeated Anigbogu and Holloway in the second doubles final match 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 for the title. Van Wert’s Katie Etter also took third place in first singles.
“A lot of teams we played this year beat us,” Dull said. “So, we wanted to come back today and show how much better we’ve gotten.”
Ottawa-Glandorf came in fourth Saturday with a score of 26 points, while Wapakoneta rounded out the top 5 with 22 points.
Bath’s first singles runner-up Ruhe won the tournament’s Sportsmanship Award, which is voted on by the 10 WBL coaches. Celina’s Jan Morrison won the Coach of the Year Award.