PREP GIRLS TENNIS: West Noble's Miller, Kruger fall in state quarters

AUSTIN HOUGH | THE GOSHEN NEWSWest Noble seniors Riley Kruger, left, and Tara Miller walk off the court after winning the No. 1 doubles championship at the Northeast Corner Conference girls tennis tournament in this May 11 file photo. They lost to Evansville Memorial's Beth Throop and Abby Meyers, 6-1, 6-2, in the state tournament quarterfinals Friday

INDIANAPOLIS — It was a disappointing end to a strong season for the West Noble High School girls tennis doubles pairing of Tara Miller and Riley Kruger.

The seniors lost 6-1, 6-2 in the state tournament quarterfinals to Evansville Memorial's Abby Myers and Margo Throop. Miller and Kruger finish with an 18-2 record in their final season.

"The girls left it all on the court. They gave 100 percent," West Noble coach Jeff Iden said. "They just met a team that had a lot of power and they hit a lot of passing shots. Our game is placement, accuracy and patience, and they just weren't ready for a game of power."

Iden said Miller and Kruger had played powerful duos before, but Myers and Throop were good enough to get the Chargers to play out of their comfort zone.

"They've seen power before. They just weren't playing their game, they were playing their opponent's game. It just came back to get them," Iden said. "And, this time, the accuracy and power was overwhelming from Evansville."

The duo was allowed to advance to the individual state doubles tournament after they won their match in the team sectional semifinals against Westview. From there, Miller and Kruger beat teams from Central Noble, Goshen, Angola, Andrean and Michigan City to advance to Friday's state quarterfinals.

The state tournament was the culmination of a four-year partnership for Kruger and Miller. The doubles pair advanced to the sectional championship two years ago as sophomores, the regional semifinals a year ago as juniors before finally advancing to the state tournament this year.

They were the first girls tennis players in West Noble history to advance to the last weekend of the season.

"I'm very excited for them, and I think they're very excited, too. It's a big accomplishment for the West Noble School Corporation and for our tennis program to be moving in the right direction," Iden said. "I just enjoyed watching them develop into a great doubles team. They were always wanting to win, always wanting to learn more. It's been a lot of fun to watch them grow and develop.

"It's been an excellent progression for them and I've enjoyed watching them. It's very satisfying for them and me."

This marks the end of both girl's high school careers. Miller is going to Indiana University-Fort Wayne, while Kruger is going to IUPUI for college starting in the fall.

Austin Hough can be reached at austin.hough@goshennews.com or 574-533-2151, ext. 325. Follow Austin on Twitter @AustinHoughTGN

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