Fishers High School girls tennis team earns state runner-up finish


The Fishers High School girls tennis team has developed into a perennial state title contender.

“Our team had never been to state before my freshman year,” senior Caroline Ober said. “So, it’s really exciting to get to state all four years and I hope to keep that going.”

The second-ranked Tigers dropped a 3-2 decision to No. 1 South Bend Saint Joseph June 1 in the IHSAA girls tennis state championship at Pearson Automotive Tennis Center in Zionsville. The match was played indoors because of rain. Earlier June 1, Fishers defeated No. 6 Franklin 4-1 at North Central.

Fishers reached the quarterfinals in 2021, was runner-up in 2022 and semifinalist in 2023.

“We were unbeaten when we got here, the first time that’s happened,” said Tigers coach Dave Heffern, whose team finished 19-1. “We have a great bunch of kids, with five seniors, who have worked hard to get where they’re at. The last three years have been the most successful and efficient in Fishers High School history, so a really great run.”

Heffern, whose teams won six girls state titles and six boys state crowns at Park Tudor, said the future is bright. Heffern said he had five younger reserves attend the postseason matches.

“They see what’s going on and they learn from it,” said Heffern, who is in his 11th year at Fishers. “Hopefully, it inspires them to play a lot more and get involved in the whole program. A program starts with seniors and the younger players see what they do, and they want to be like them. That’s how any great program gets going.”

Caroline Ober and senior Cassie Maurer got one of the two points against St. Joseph at No. 1 doubles, beating Dani Graham and Libby Yergler 6-2, 2-6, 6-2. Meredith Ober, Caroline’s twin sister, and senior Emma Beehler earned the other point by not dropping a game against Ella Michaels and Anna Walsh at No. 2 doubles.

Caroline Ober and Maurer, unbeaten in the postseason, advanced to the state individual doubles finals, which is scheduled for June 7-8 at North Central High School.

Junior Mischa Briggs was eliminated from postseason singles competition by losing to St. Molly Bellia. Briggs, in her third year at No. 1 singles, finished the season with a 24-2 record. Her younger sister, Allison Briggs, will join the team as a freshman next season.

“She told me this was Mischa’s last year playing No. 1,” Heffern said. “She has no chance against Mischa, but you have to love that attitude. She’ll move right into the starting lineup.”

Also returning is junior Izzy Ireland, who played No. 3 singles. Senior Madelyn Barron played No. 2 singles.

The Tigers’ former assistant coach Matt Foley died March 22 after a battle with cancer.

“His daughter (Bridget) is a freshman, and she didn’t come out because he was in hospice at the start of the season,” Heffern said. “We dedicated the season to his memory. She is going to come out again and two other pretty good freshmen. It might take a little while to get the doubles to where we want them to be. I’m going to have three good singles players. No one is going to cry for me (about losing five seniors).”