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Published: Sunday, 10/21/2001

Bhat, Lohner win doubles

BLADE STAFF, WIRE REPORTS

COLUMBUS - St. Ursula juniors Anjali Bhat and Kate Lohner captured the Division I girls state tennis doubles championship yesterday, the first girls doubles title ever for a Toledo pair.

St. Ursula junior Anna Volberg lost 6-4, 6-4 in the singles championship to Lexington senior Melissa Schaub.

Volberg was 25-3 this season and all three losses were to Schaub, who didn't lose a set at the state tournament. Volberg did beat Schaub once this season.

Bhat and Lohner won their title with a 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) victory over Upper Arlington senior Eimaer Bahnson and sophomore Sarah Lodge.

“We didn't know ahead of time, but it makes it even better knowing that we're the first (from Toledo),” Lohner said. “We always had the dream, but once we got there we tried to take it one point and one match at a time.”

“We were up 5-0 in the tiebreak,” Bhat said. “Then on the final point they missed. We were kind of in shock and then we heard the crowd cheering and it hit us.”

Bhat and Lohner trailed 6-5 in the second set but broke serve to send it to the tiebreaker.

Their semifinal match yesterday proved to be just as tough. They battled to a 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 win over Cincinnati Ursuline senior Andye Kelley and sophomore Catherine Rentschler.

“That was a very tough match,” St. Ursula coach Susie Miller said. “In the final set, they played aggressive and got the momentum going and couldn't be stopped.

“We've never had anyone make it past fourth place. Now we have a champion doubles and a runner-up singles. The girls are very excited. They all played with great determination.”

Bhat and Lohner played singles during the regular season and teamed together at tournament time.

“We did well as a team because we stayed confident,” Bhat said. “We tried to shake off the second set (in the semi) and get it back.

“I really think just winning in the first round on Friday got us going - just getting past the first match gave us the confidence.”

In that match, the Arrows lost a first-set tiebreaker to a Centerville team and were down 5-4 in the second before rallying to win 7-5.

Volberg can look to next year with great anticipation. Her nemesis Schaub will graduate.

“It is a disappointment because we're so close and it could have gone either way.” Volberg said. “It came down to some crucial points and she won those big points.”

“Anna's chances are going to be great next year,” Miller said. “She had a great attitude and played wonderful.

“It just took a few points here and there to decide the match. Anna led 4-3 in the second, then Schaub held to tie it.

“At 4-4 Anna was serving and missed a couple of overheads in that game and that was it. It was that close.”

Erica Adams (Notre Dame) won the 1986 Class AAA title. Lauren Rose (Southview) won the 1994 Division I title.



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