CENTERVILLE – Freshman Claire Burns made Wilmington High School girls tennis history in the Division I sectional tournament at Centerville High School.
Burns won three matches on Friday, finished fourth overall and earned a berth in this week’s Div. I district tournament 9 a.m. Thursday at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.
“Claire had an amazing day Friday,” WHS head coach Doug Cooper said. “Her second round match really tested her skills and her mental toughness. It took a while to make a few adjustments. In fact, she lost the first set 2-6, which was the first set she’d ever lost in a high school match. I think she’d played 25 or 26 matches by then.”
Wilmington’s Allie Kees and Rachel Barker both won their opening matches at the sectional tournament before being eliminated.
“This is a team that exceeded its goals,” Cooper said. “They established the best single season record in our program’s history (13-3, 9-1), won a conference championship, and had a district qualifier. It was a true team effort. Our seniors will be missed next year, but our future remains very bright.”
After winning three matches Friday and moving into the semifinal round, Burns had secured her place in the district. Burns final match started outdoors at Centerville High School but was moved indoors because of a thunderstorm. She won all four games at the Five Seasons tennis club to continue her rookie varsity tennis season.
On Saturday, the remaining two matches were about seeding and her opponent in the tournament. She lost both and will face a No. 1 seed.
“Saturday was all about experience,” Cooper said. “Her first opponent (2 seed Dhira Venkatramani) is a senior and her second opponent (3 seed Julia Bays) is a junior, both from Beavercreek. Claire played very well under the circumstances, but in the end the experienced players prevailed.”
Burns was unseeded in the sectional and is the only freshman among the 16 singles qualifiers to the Div. I Southwest District tournament.
Oct 5-6, 2018
Div I sectional
• Claire Burns def Pandrangi (Bellbrook) 6-1, 6-1; def Dhaliwal (Centervile) 2-6, 6-2, 6-3; def Fugate (Fairmont) 6-4, 6-1; was def by Venkatramani (Beavercreek) 5-7, 0-6; was def by Bays (Beavercreek) 2-6, 1-6. Finished fourth
• Rachel Barker def Brandon (Monroe) 4-6, 6-1, 6-1; was def by Venkatramani (Beavercreek) 0-6, 0-6. Did not place.
• Allie Kees def Etler (Monroe) 6-0, 6-0; was def by Camp (Centerville) 4-6, 3-6. Did not place.
• Jenna Taylor, Emma Schroeder were def by N. Arora, A. Arora (Bellbrook) 4-6, 2-6. Did not place
• Zane Bekheet, Kristina Walt were def by Wright, Daugherty (Miamisburg) 1-6, 3-6. Did not place.