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Area players take consolation prizes at state tennis

INDIANAPOLIS – A year ago, Canterbury girls tennis player Leah Barnes lost in the state finals. So did the Bishop Dwenger doubles team of Elizabeth Maxson and Audrey Rang.

This season, their title chances ended one game earlier.

Barnes and the Dwenger team fell out of title contention with losses in the semifinals Saturday at Park Tudor.

Barnes went on to a third-place finish in singles, while Maxson and Rang finished fourth in doubles.

Jackie Kawamoto of Greenwood and Evansville Memorial doubles partners Macie Elliott and Brenna Wu won the state titles.

Barnes and the Dwenger pair were undefeated entering Saturday’s semifinals.

Maxson and Rang lost to state runner-up Park Tudor 6-0, 6-3. And in a three-set consolation match against Munster’s Nikki Heiniger and Paige Heuer, falling 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.

Maxson and Rang finished 28-2.

For Maxson, a senior, it was bittersweet, but memorable. She finished her high school career with four appearances among the state’s final four doubles contenders.

“Not many high school tennis players can say they’ve been to state for all four years of their high school career,” Maxson said. “It didn’t go our way, but for the way we played, we played the best we could today. And that’s all that we can ask for.”

Barnes went down in similar fashion to Carmel’s Bailey Padgett. Padgett, who also came into the match undefeated, handed Barnes a 6-0, 6-4 loss and sent the Cavalier to the consolation round.

Barnes also went to three sets in her third-place game, defeating Hamilton Southeastern’s Kelly Iden 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 6-3. Barnes finished 31-1.

She finished her freshman season with one loss, as well.

“I was exhausted by the start of the third set, but I was like, ‘Alright, Leah. Keep it together. Stay focused,’.” she said of her consolation win. “You win some and you lose some. Bailey played really well (in the semifinal), and I’ll just have to try again next year.”

High School Sports Editor Greg Jones on prep sports.

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