INDIANAPOLIS | Coach Bill Heuer wasn’t quite sure what to expect from his No. 1 doubles team in Friday’s quarterfinals.
“This is the deepest that Paige or Nikki has advanced,” Heuer said. “I wasn’t sure what to expect.”
What he got was a trip to the final four on Saturday morning.
Paige Heuer and Nikki Heiniger got over a rocky start to defeat Delta 7-6 (10-8), 6-2 in 6-2 in Friday’s quarterfinals to earn a berth in the 23rd Annual IHSSA Doubles State Tournament finals on Saturday.
The tandem got a bye in the early round Friday, but had to work their way past a 25-1 Delta team that came ready to play.
“We knew they were a very strong team,” Paige Heuer said. “We knew we would have to be at the top of our game to have a chance to advance.”
Heiniger, a sophomore, admitted to a case of the nerves to at the beginning.
“The intensity was up a few notches,” she said. “We were a little rocky at the start. It took a few games to get our feet under us and begin to play our game.”
Part of Munster’s strategy was for Heiniger to drive volleys deep to set up Paige Heuer at the net on the return. Midway through the first set, a couple of well placed shots gave the Mustangs the confidence they needed.
“After we got a couple of points off of our volleys we felt we could take control of the match,” Heiniger said.
“We had to stay with what works for us and use it to get out on top,” Paige Heuer said. “Once we got on a little bit of a roll we were able to expand a lead.”
The Mustangs (19-1) will take on Evansville Memorial in the semifinals Saturday morning at 10 am. They will face Macie Elliott, who won the individual state title at No. 1 singles two years ago.
“We will definitely be the underdog,” Bill Heuer said. “But we have a lot of confidence that we can compete.”