Both tennis standouts already claim spots in district tournament
MASON — Caroline Boyle and Emmy Demmel might put themselves in a familiar situation this weekend as the Division II girls tennis sectional tournament wraps up.
The Badin High School standouts could face each other in the sectional title match — again — if both win their semifinal matches on Saturday at Mason.
And they said that’s fine by them.
“Yep. I can see it happening,” Boyle said of the possibility of playing her teammate. “It happened last year. It was interesting. She’s a great friend and an awesome teammate. We play together all the time at practice, so it’s all good. She’s a great player.
“But you know, you always want to win,” Boyle added. “I know she wants to go just as a far as I do. It would be really fun to end sectionals that way if we can pull it off again.”
The top-seeded Boyle faces Summit Country Day’s Jayden Puryear in a semifinal, while the second-seeded Demmel battles the winner of CHCA’s Ava VanKuren and Seven Hills’ Brogan Bell in the other semifinal.
Boyle outlasted Demmel in last year’s sectional final.
“We’re both going to districts,” Boyle laughed, “so it’s all for seeding anyway.”
Boyle, a junior, went 14-0 in the regular season at first singles and made her top-seed honors standout by cruising past all three of her opponents on Tuesday with 6-0, 6-0 victories.
“Caroline had a pretty decent draw,” Badin coach Anne Zettler said. “She’s improved her game a lot this year, and it’s really showing.”
Boyle reached the state tournament last year as a sophomore and was the first girls state qualifier for Badin since Jessica Flannery and Kylee Wiegand captured the doubles title in 2003.
Zettler said Boyle shows similar characteristics as Wiegand in that she stays composed throughout her matches.
“Caroline hasn’t been tested too much this season,” Zettler said. “That’s the big thing — you can’t tell that when she’s out there. You can’t tell if she’s won a point or lost a point. She just walks back the same way every time, and she stays in the zone. She could be losing, and you can’t tell.”
Demmel, a senior who notched a 12-1 record in second singles during the regular season, fought through her three opponents on Tuesday.
“She’s matured in the way she handles certain situations,” Zettler said of Demmel. “Last year, there probably would have been a few stomps, but not anymore. She stays focused.”
MAKING THE MOST OF IT
Demmel has had built-in ambition that’s carried her throughout the season.
“My main motivation right now is that I’m a senior,” Demmel said. “I tell myself that I’ve got to do really good this year. If I want to play college tennis, I’ve really got to work hard at it. That’s been a lot of my motivation. I get sentimental about that kind of stuff.”
Demmel credited her teammates for the extra push, too.
“They’ve have helped me a lot, especially our No. 1, Caroline. She’s really good. I get to hit with her every day in practice, which is really nice.”
Boyle competed on Tuesday in front of the person who inspired her to pick up a tennis racket.
“I love playing the sport, so that helps,” Boyle said. “But my grandpa, Moe Flaig, kind of got me into it. I love bonding with him over it, too. He started the whole tennis thing with me. I fell in love with it. I love talking with him after matches, and he gives a bunch of advice.”
“They’ve dominated almost everybody that they’ve played,” Zettler said of Boyle and Demmel. “Even though they haven’t played these particular girls, they come out on top. The power is all in the Southwest District. It’s going to be hard to get out of the district, but these two girls are the ones to do it.”