Dave Heffern has six girls tennis state titles, one more than any other coach in Indiana high school history.
However, those titles all came at Park Tudor. Now in his ninth year as Fishers coach, his Tigers reached the state title match for the first time before losing to Carmel 5-0 June 4 at Center Grove High School.
The previous best finish for Fishers was reaching the quarterfinals last year.
“When you have five sophomores and a freshman starting, even though the freshman is so talented, you are going to have some ups and downs,” Heffern said. “Right before the Hoosier Crossroads Conference Tournament, we had a couple really good matches against Zionsville and Westfield. Then we got to the conference tournament and won three of the five spots and finished second at No. 2 singles.”
Heffern said the team played most consistent in the postseason.
“Maybe we won’t be so nervous next year,” said Heffern, whose team finished with a 21-2 record. “We played pretty well despite (the nerves). I think we were more nervous against Evansville Memorial because we didn’t know anything about them.”
The Tigers slipped past Evansville Memorial 3-2 in the June 3 quarterfinals and then beat Delta 5-0 in the June 4 semifinals.
Freshman Misha Briggs finished with a 25-4 record at No. 1 singles. She beat Carmel’s Lauren Littell in the regular season, but Littell avenged the loss with a 6-2, 6-0 triumph in the state title match.
Izzy Mokra, a junior, finished with a 21-7 record at No. 2 singles. Sophomore Caroline Ober was 25-4 at No. 3 singles.
“(Carmel) graduates three players and we don’t graduate any, so we’re looking forward to keeping it going,” Heffern said.
Sophomores Cassie Maurer and Emma Beehler were 18-11 at No. 1 doubles. Sophomores Madelyn Barron and Meredith Ober finished 24-5 at No. 2 doubles.
Mokra said chemistry as the key to the team’s success.
“We love our team, and everyone gets along really well,” Mokra said.