ANDERSON — At the beginning of the 2012 girls’ tennis season, Alexandria tennis coach Matt DeVault decided to take on an experiment.
In the past, he hadn’t paired great friends together to form doubles teams, and with then-freshman Abbie Miller just picking up tennis, he wasn’t sure how putting her with then-sophomore Allie Hueston would shake out.
But DeVault went with his gut, and in his duo’s first season, Miller and Hueston made it to the first round of regionals in the state tournament.
This year, though, they’ve made it onto the semi-finals of the regionals at Kokomo with a record of 23-2 as they take on seniors Alissa Brouilette and Sophie Marquie (11-7) from Benton Central Saturday at 10 a.m.
DeVault said he and the girls don’t know much more than their opponents’ record, but he does know the tough schedule that his Alexandria team has faced this season has prepared it for anything during the state tournament.
“They (Benton Central) have seen two or three good teams, and we’ve seen a lot of good teams,” DeVault said. “I think we match up really well with the combination of the two styles that Abbie and Allie play.”
Although Miller and Hueston had to adjust to taking their friendship to the tennis court, they said that losses and down days on the court have only brought them closer, both as teammates and friends.
“We get along so well, and it’s nice having someone there that will back you up,” Miller said. “When we get down, we’ll pick each other up right away.”
Hueston agreed, saying her teammate was able to pick up the sport very quickly last season and has turned into a great opponent to compliment her already seasoned skills on the court.
“She has definitely held her share, “Hueston said. “I can count on her for just about anything.
“We have fun, and we’re both really competitive and both want to win, but we don’t get mad at each other.”
Miller said she’s appreciated the risk that her coach took in pairing her with Hueston, and she said she would love to grab a win Saturday and show her coach that he made the right choice two seasons ago.
“It would mean a lot to show our coach that we do have what it takes and that all of our hard work will pay off,” Miller said.
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