It took a best-of-times, worst-of-times showdown, but the Hillsboro tennis team qualified its first state-tournament entry in three years when seniors Becky Faber and Emma Heyen finished fifth at the Class 3-2-1A regional Saturday at the Genesis Tennis Center in Wichita.
Faber and Heyen had to match up with teammates Elise Heyen and Courtney Weber in the fifth-place match to determine who would get the chance to move on to the next level.
Faber and Heyen prevailed, 6-3, 6-2.
?It?s probably not all that unusual for teammates to have face off in a state qualifying match, and maybe not even sisters,? coach Bob Woelk said. ?But for identical twins to face each other, that?s got to be pretty rare.?
Faber and Heyen?s path to state started with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Flores and Waite of Hutchinson Trinity. They then lost a heartbreaker to Central Kansas League foes Schlotter?back and Allie Dwyer of Lyons in a super tie-breaker, 6-3, 6-4 (10-8).
The Hillsboro duo then defeated Choitz and Herzog of Ellsworth, 6-3, 6-2 to nail down fifth place.
Heyen and Weber, meanwhile, defeated Noeller and Goodman of Neodesha in their first match, 6-0, 6-2, then lost to the eventual champions, LeMaster and Johnson, 6-1, 6-1, to force the all-Trojan faceoff.
In singles, Aubrey Meyer won a play-in match against Gaveson of Douglass, 9-1, before losing to Degner of Hutch trinity, 6-1, 6-0.
Hillsboro?s Hayley Pankratz lost her play-in match to Arnold of Neodesha, 9-5.
Woelk said his doubles teams played ?really well? in what was without question the toughest 3-2-1A regional in the state with perennial powers Wichita Collegiate and Wichita Indepen?dent heading the field.
The state tournament will begin Friday with play-in matches starting at 11:30 a.m. at Wichita Collegiate. The tournament concludes Saturday.
The pairing for Faber and Heyen will not be known until the coaches? meeting prior to competition.