School News

Huggins Competes at State Tennis

New Indian School senior Dia Huggins finished her high school singles career at the state tournament Thursday in Ankeny.

Huggins was matched up against Emily Ahlers of LaMars High School in the first round of play, a senior returning to the state tournament for the third year in a row. The match lasted more than 2.5 hours, with Ahlers eventually pulling ahead for a 6-2, 7-5 victory.

"Both girls were exhausted by the end of the second set," said Pioneer coach Sheila Higgins. "They held 30-shot rallies multiple times per game, with aggressive plays, at that. They really pushed each other to play their best tennis possible. Dia started to get severe muscle cramping in her legs in the last few games...there's just nothing you can really do at that point. She gave it her all."

Huggins went on to win her next match against Amber Schwarting of Osage in the consolation bracket 7-6, 6-4. Her long day ended in a loss to Waverly's Hannah Fox, who finished seventh in the tournament last year.

"It was an impressive display of talent, tenacity, and heart," said Higgins. "I can't count on one hand the number of complete strangers who came up to me to remark on how impressed they were with Dia's level of play and sportsmanship, and how sorry they were that she had to meet such a strong player in her first round. There's no doubt in my mind that she made a lasting impression on the entire tournament, regardless of the outcome. Dia really found her game this has been an absolute joy to watch her grow and mature as a player and do what she loves out there on the court."

Huggins will pair up with Sam Stickles, boys state single's runner-up, for mixed doubles in the co-ed state tournament this Tuesday at the Waveland Courts in Des Moines. Joining them will be teammates Chandre Morales and Alina Knight.

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