FAIRBORN — There are evenly matched athletic contests, and then there’s Wednesday night’s Sept. 18 battle between the Xenia and Fairborn high school girls tennis teams at Fairborn’s Community Park tennis courts.
The sun was well below the horizon before this one was determined.
Visiting Xenia roared out to a 2-0 lead with a pair of doubles wins. Sarah Bogan and Leah Pagett started things off with a 6-4, 6-1 straight set win over Fairborn’s Ashley Walker and Olivia Brinson at second doubles. The first doubles duo of Ally Baker and Anna Carlson then had the Buccaneers on the verge of spoiling Fairborn’s Senior Night, by rallying to a 0-6, 6-0, 6-2 win.
In a tribute to his seniors, Skyhawks coach Doug Coy started all of his seniors at once. Walker and Brinson are both Fairborn seniors at second doubles, and junior varsity players Jaiden Newsome, Rachal Darner and Kayla Terry were placed onto doubles teams, filling the four Community Park courts with a happy bunch of simultaneously playing Skyhawks seniors.
Singles action took over as each court opened up, and solid singles freshman Evan Gibson started the Skyhawks rally with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Xenia’s Autumn McCray.
Caitlin Bowling then evened the score with a 6-2, 6-0 win at second singles, and that set up an exciting marathon match between third singles players Alyssa Carter of Fairborn, and Xenia’s Allison Bogan.
With players from both teams excitedly cheering every point — even misses from their opponents — Carter claimed the first set with a 7-6 (9-7) tiebreaker. As the last wisps of sunlight barely covered the courts, Fairborn’s Coy and Xenia coach Kay Scott opted to play the second set as a super tiebreaker, rather than play a more time consuming regular set.
Coy and Scott even served as “ball kids” for the tiebreaker to speed things along.
And so, at 7:42 p.m., exactly three minutes after the sun had set, Carter escaped with a 10-8 win to earn Fairborn the come-from-behind win.
“That was a really good match, it was totally fun,” Xenia’s Scott said. “We really enjoy coming over to take on Fairborn. It’s a good rivalry, but its a very friendly rivalry.”
Coy wasn’t available to comment on the match, because his players insisted that he provide speeches for each of his Seniors, during a special ceremony the Skyhawks held in their honor after the match.
Fairborn (9-7 overall, 3-6 in the Miami Valley League) is back on the courts on Sept. 23 when they head south for a nonleague match against Middletown. Xenia falls to 3-14 overall, 1-8 MVL, and the Bucs’ next match is set for Sept. 25 at Miamisburg.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.