By MARC TOBIAS
LIMA — Jen VanTilburg and Amanda Starnes had the best
finish of any area tennis players, but it was the Shawnee Indians
who won their unprecedented 12th Western Buckeye League title.
Van Tilburg and Starnes finished second in the first doubles
bracket of the WBL tournament, as they fell to Shawnee’s
Megan Quay and Kristen Martin 4-6, 6-0, 4-6.
“In the championship round they actually won more games
but lost the match,” said Celina coach Jan Morrison. “I
was happy with the way they played, they showed some brilliance
at times, and they almost couldn’t believe it was Shawnee
because they were playing so well.”
Morrison said they lost some momentum down the stretch and couldn’t
hold on for the win.
Van Tilburg and Starnes did pick up one win on Saturday, when
they knocked off Bath’s Erin Staley and Kelsey Degen 6-1,
4-6, 6-4 in the semifinal match. The Bulldogs lost a match to
the Bath doubles team last Wednesday.
“That was nice for them to get a little revenge and redeem
that loss,” Morrison said.
VanTilburg and Starnes had lost only three league matches all
season, with the other two coming against Shawnee and St. Marys.
The Roughriders’ Katie Tebbe was the only other local
player to advance to Saturday’s play, and she finished
third in the girls second singles bracket. Tebbe lost her semifinal
match to Shawnee’s Samantha Jimenez-Medina, the eventual
winner, by a score of 6-0, 6-4.
In the third-place match, Tebbe bounced back by winning 7-6,
6-1 over Elida’s Rachel Webb.
“She was seeded fourth, and I think she was very pleased
with how she finished,” said St. Marys coach Brice Brenneman.
“I think it’s the best she’s been playing
Celina and Defiance tied for sixth at the tournament with six
points, while St. Marys finished in eighth with two points.
Shawnee easily won the event with 32 points, and their 8-0 regular
season secured the WBL title.
Wapakoneta was second with 14 points, followed by Van Wert with
12 and O-G and Elida were tied with 10 points.