By Jake Thompson
BROWNSBURG — In a battle between two teams wearing purple last night, it was Brownsburg that prevailed over visiting Ben Davis.
But the Bulldogs sent the Giants home black and blue following a 5-0 win on senior night by utilizing some grit and determination.
“We’re really pleased because in a lot of positions we are younger and being able to battle back in close matches has been something we needed to do,” Brownsburg coach Karen Starkey said. “That’s a little maturity issue.”
The final match to finish the evening was a grueling two-set tiebreaker between Brownsburg senior Katie Suiter and Ben Davis’ Savannah Wills. The match lasted over an hour after the other four matches were completed and took nearly three hours from start to finish.
In the end, Suiter prevailed after fighting back from a two game disadvantage in the second set and falling behind in the tiebreak 6-3, 7-6 (6).
“I got down and just got into my head that I wasn’t doing well and coach told me to stay positive and fight through that, it helped me win tonight,” Suiter said. “It means a lot to me actually as I have a reputation for being the last off the court. But I’m happy I worked hard and pushed through it, especially with being down.”
Two other matches took dramatic swings from two games down in the second sets for the Bulldogs.
At No. 2 singles, freshman Morgan Bettner rallied to eclipse Ben Davis’ Julia Calhoun in the second set after falling behind by a game. Bettner led 4-3 and was behind 5-4 before fighting through and winning 6-2, 7-5.
“She’s starting to figure out how to focus in and that’s part of the maturation process,” Starkey said. “Also, it’s her understanding of using her body in the shot and keeping her depth.”
Brownsburg’s No. 1 doubles duo of senior Emily Doehrman and Shelby Hornback won their first set 6-3 before trailing Ben Davis’ Alyssa Montgomery and Haley Runyon 4-3 in the second after a two game swing. Like their teammate, Doehrman and Hornback turned the match around, winning three straight for the 6-3, 6-4 win.
Starkey said she was pleased with how her players that were up and then down rallied back for their victories.
Battling the Giants’ No. 1 singles player, Natalie Drummond, Bulldogs junior Nicole Weisman took home a 6-3, 6-2 win.
“She varied strokes there and was very patient,” Starkey said. “By mixing up the drive and the slice and not getting involved in the lob too much was a good strategy.”
In the first match to finish, Brownsburg’s No. 2 doubles team of senior Nikki Meade and Yolandi Geldenhuis dominated Ben Davis’ Jayashree Brown-Riddles and Emma Drummond 6-0, 6-0.
With Suiter, Meade, and Doehrman all taking victories, senior night was that much sweeter for the Bulldogs.
“Emily played doubles and switched to singles and then back to doubles and her versatility is a great example to underclassmen,” Starkey said. “Katie has always been a gut-it-out singles player and again, that’s a good example as well. Nikki is one of those that has played a mix of everything and made the doubles team her senior year and that’s been a sweet victory for her.”