Miamisburg twins are school’s first district tennis qualifiers since 2017

Miamisburg seniors Adrienne (left) and Mary-Kate Bussert are the first Vikings'  district tennis qualifiers since 2017. CONTRIBUTED
Miamisburg seniors Adrienne (left) and Mary-Kate Bussert are the first Vikings' district tennis qualifiers since 2017. CONTRIBUTED

From apprehensive children who hid their rackets in the family minivan to avoid going to their first tennis lesson to determined district qualifiers, Adrienne and Mary-Kate Bussert have come a long way. The Miamisburg twins are the first Vikings players to advance to the girls Southwest District tennis tournament since 2017. The seniors placed fourth at the Division I Centerville sectional tournament last week.

“There are times you can’t tell by looking at them whether they won the lottery or they’re on fire,” Miamisburg tennis coach Sean Ridley said with a smile. “They are that unflappable and that’s what makes them successful.”

The now 17-year-old twins have been playing tennis for a decade, but they haven’t always been partners. Adrienne played with two others partners her freshman and sophomore seasons while Mary-Kate played second singles for her first two seasons. It wasn’t until their junior year that they mentioned pairing up to their coach.

“They told me they wanted to play together,” Ridley said. “So, we gave it a try.”

It worked as the duo has posted a career 30 wins at first doubles.

While the twins have several similarities, they also have a few differences on the court.

“I play the net a lot, my sister does not, and I think I’m faster than she is,” Adrienne said. “But I think we work well at doubles together.”

Communication and anticipation are critical doubles skills and their sibling bond comes in handy on both counts.

“We know how each other plays and we are comfortable telling each other what they are doing wrong,” Adrienne said.

“And we can go out and hit with each other whenever we want to,” Mary-Kate added. “We always have someone to practice with.”

Ending the district drought was a thrill for the coach and players alike. As recently as 2016, the Vikings sent a school record four players to the district tournament, but the Bussert sisters are the first to advance during their four years at Miamisburg.

“As a program, it’s great to break through,” Ridley said. “We’re definitely heading in the right direction.”

In Division I play at Centerville, Bellbrook sophomore Maya Brink won the singles title while Centerville’s Clara Owen and Caroline Hinshaw prevailed in doubles.

It was a sweep for Eaton in D-II competition at Centerville with junior Macy Hitchcock taking the sectional singles title and her sister Mallory Hitchcock and Grace Murphy placing first in doubles.

In the Division I Troy sectional, Butler sophomore Natalie Schoenherr won the singles title and Troy seniors Taima Rajab and Madailein Logan teamed up to win the doubles crown. In D-II, Tippecanoe’s Mira Patel took the top spot in singles, while the Milton-Union duo of sophomore Shannon Brumbaugh and senior Taylor Falb won the doubles title.

District play gets underway Thursday at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason. The top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to the state tournament Oct. 22-23, also in Mason.