Center Grove seniors take aim at state doubles championship

Nearly a week after picking up their diplomas, Ava Beecher and Lauren Dick aren’t done representing Center Grove.

Only now, for the first time, it’s their alma mater.

The Trojans’ No. 1 doubles team is one of seven combinations remaining for the quarterfinal round of the individual singles and doubles tournament, which takes place Friday at North Central.

Beecher and Dick look to become the third pair of Trojans to win a state titles, joining Becca Porter and Melanie Sullivan in 2006 and then-juniors Cassidy Hardin and Isabella Schoolcraft in 2017.

The duo, though hardly the first CG athletes to still be competing post-graduation, admit it does create a somewhat unusual dynamic.

“Lauren and I talked a little bit about this,” Beecher said. “We graduated Sunday, and it really didn’t hit home because we’re still playing.”

Last week, Beecher and Dick improved their season record to 14-1 by winning the Fishers Regional. The pair began with a 6-1, 6-0 triumph over the duo from Terre Haute North and followed with a hard-fought 7-5, 7-5 conquest of Carrie Grissom and Caroline Robinson of North Central, last year’s state runner-up.

The Trojan duo trailed in the second set, 4-1, before rallying to advance — a result that perhaps best illustrated its resolve.

“We’ve had some tough competition, but we have beaten some really quality opponents,” Trojans coach Debby Burton said. “There are some tough teams out there. They have to just trust their games and play good tennis.”

Beecher and Dick play a quarterfinal match against Angola’s unbeaten sister tandem of Ava and Maya Harris. Should they prevail, they’ll return Saturday morning to play a 10 a.m. semifinal against Fishers seniors Cassandra Maurer and Caroline Ober.

Both Beecher and Dick agree they’re playing their best tennis of the season.

“We really just worry about what we’re doing,” Beecher said. “I feel I’m playing a lot looser than earlier in the season, and that helps us a lot.”

As tennis coaches are wont to do, Burton spent a healthy portion of the regular season tinkering with her lineup in an attempt to construct the one most capable of postseason success.

In the end, Beecher and Dick stood tallest in doubles.

“Both have excellent serves, they’re both super competitive, and have the desire to win,” Burton said. “Anytime you have people who have competed together for multiple years, it’s a good thing.”

Regardless of how the next few days unfold, Beecher and Dick, an All-State doubles combination the past two seasons, are down to their final hours together on a tennis court.Beecher will attend the University of Tampa solely as a student, while Dick is going to play tennis at Indiana Wesleyan.

Neither will ever be categorized as introverted.

“We’ve done well being communicative throughout the point, and we’ll get in each other’s faces,” Dick said. “We do a good job of setting up a good game plan. It’s all about taking it one match at a time, and playing our game.

“Every match, we’re confident we have the game to beat them.”


State singles/doubles

At North Central

When: Friday, 2 p.m. (quarterfinals); Saturday, 10 a.m. (semifinals) and 2 p.m. (championship)

Admission: $7 per day (digital only); children age 5 and younger admitted free

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Mike Beas
Mike Beas is the Daily Journal's veteran sports reporter. He has been to more than 200 Indiana high schools, including 1990s visits to Zionsville to profile current Boston Celtics GM Brad Stevens, Gary Roosevelt to play eventual Purdue All-American Glenn Robinson in HORSE (didn’t end well) and Seeger to visit the old gym in which Stephanie White, later the coach of the Indiana Fever, honed her skills in pickup games involving her dad and his friends. He can be reached at [email protected].