LIMA — Heat and humidity were the calling cards in the opening rounds of the Lima Area Tennis Association’s men’s and women’s doubles tournaments held on the hard courts of the University of Northwestern Ohio.
Both tournaments have a double-elimination format.
On the men’s side, the defending champions from 2018 – Jeff Brown and Michael Rutter – decided not to team up this season, so the men will have a partial new champion.
Maybe not so for the women.
Last year’s champions, Andrea Arango-Brown and Olivia Kesner, won their first-round match 6-0, 6-0 against Mara Stiles and Abby Metzger.
Several men’s teams had byes, such as Landon and Evan Neuman, Cade Mullins and Cody Hurley, Brandon Amstutz and Justin Haggard, Brown and Jeff Arthur, Mason Stahl and Gabe Burke and Zach Beaschler and Noah Elliott.
Three matches that went off were Ben and Nate Schroer downing Drew Wilson and Eden Nygaard 6-0, 4-6, 10-7 in the first round.
The second also went three sets: Gabe and Jonny Rutter outlasted Ben Brinkman and Isaac Hanover 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 10-7, also in the first round.
In the quarterfinals, Arthur and Brown downed Stahl and Burke 6-0, 6-2 to advance to the semifinals.
That sets up the following matchups starting at 9 a.m. today: Neuman and Neuman against Ben and Nate Schroer; Mullins and Hurley versus Amstutz and Haggard and Rutter and Rutter vs. Beaschler and Elliott.
On the women’s side, Esther and Ruby Bolon knocked off Paige Brinkman and Katie Clark 6-1, 6-2.
Morgan Chaney and Kunmi Ojo defeated Ally Cranston and Madison Snider 6-2, 1.
Arango and Kesner will tangle with Esther and Ruby Bolon starting at 10 a.m. today in hopes of repeating as champions, while Chaney and Ojo will take on the winner – starting at 8:30 a.m. – of the matchup between Kassie Hill and Jeanne Haggard versus Kaitlin Snider and Madison Watt.
The year before, the winning teams had a teacher-student relationship.
On the men’s side, Brown helped teach Michael Rutter – from Shawnee High School - the game and it paid off with them defeating Chris England and Jeff Arthur, the champions from the 2017 tournament.
Unfortunately, them not teaming together in 2019 will not allow them the chance to repeat.
On the women’s side, Arango-Brown helped develop the abilities of Kesner – from Lima Central Catholic - so much so that it resulted in a defeat of Mackenzie and Miranda Willis in the 2018 finals.
They hope to do it again in 2019.
To do so will require them to battle not only their opponents but the heat and humidity set for today and Sunday.
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.