By GREG MENGELT
A short stay at Park Tudor High School for the 23rd annual IHSAA Doubles state tournament can’t diminish the season that Floyd Central’s No. 1 doubles duo of Whitney Batliner and Dana Frank had.
The Highlander pair fell to Fort Wayne Dwenger’s defending state runner-up tandem of Elizabeth Maxson and Audrey Rang in Friday’s quarterfinal round, 6-3, 6-2.
“They were really, really good,” Floyd coach Rick Miller said of the Dwenger duo. “They hit the ball so clean, very few mistakes. It was hard for us to handle.”
Maxson and Rang, who will play in this morning’s state semifinals, ended Batliner’s and Frank’s 20-match winning streak, which included nine straight victories in the state tournament.
Miller said the serving by Batliner and Frank, who finished the 28-3, just wasn’t good enough to beat an experienced, powerful team like Maxson and Rang.
“The bottom line is we served terrible today,” Miller observed. “[Serving] is so important in doubles. That was the difference in the match. The plain truth is we didn’t play well enough to win.”
The Batliner-Frank combination finished the 2013 tournament with a 9-1 mark. Batliner leaves Floyd Central has the program’s winningest player with 105 victories.
“[Batliner’s] undoubtedly the best doubles player we’ve ever had, if you look at the numbers,” Miller praised. “It was an unbelievable season for them. They had a great time together.”