The boys’ tennis teams from Delta and Mt. Vernon enjoyed a rare treat Wednesday night — and that’s in addition to the post-match pizzas that Mt. Vernon Coach Gabe Muterspaugh provided. The rare treat was the ability to be the last two teams in Indiana to play a boys’ tennis match this fall. (Teams are shown together in photo on home page banner)
Due to rainouts, the teams weren’t able to play during the final week of the regular season. Since the match was for the conference championship, the IHSAA granted permission to play after the postseason ended. The teams agreed upon Wednesday, Oct. 17, which was four days after Carmel beat North Central for the state championship.
Delta entered with a 6-0 Hoosier Heritage Conference mark, while Mt. Vernon was 5-1 and New Palestine had finished at 6-1. Delta would win the title with a victory over Mt. Vernon, but if Mt. Vernon won, then it would be a three-way tie.
But Wednesday night in crisp 50-degree conditions, the Eagles dominated from start to finish, winning 5-0 at the varsity level and 10-1 at the JV level.
The title was Delta’s 19th HHC championship in boys’ tennis and their eighth in the past nine seasons (New Palestine won last year).
Sophomore Tanner Southerland got the biggest win yesterday. He defeated Mt. Vernon senior Sam McCarty, 6-3, 6-1. Southerland improved his record to 20-5, while McCarty lost for the first time this season after 21 straight victories. Southerland was 15-10 at No. 3 singles last year and showed big improvement this season. He spoiled the unbeaten seasons of both McCarty and Richmond’s Josh Jones in late-season matches.
At No. 1 singles, senior Tannon Dishman raised his record to 22-5 with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over JD Cohee. Tannon finished with 78 career victories, which puts him 8th all-time for DHS boys’ tennis. (The others ahead of him are Zach Ervin, Jason Wegener, Dan Klingenberg, Kelly Robbins, Jay Robillard, Ben Bryan and Nick Wilson.) Tannon is expected to make the All-State Singles team this weekend.
At No. 2 singles, senior Ben Bamidele defeated Chris Hays, 6-3, 6-1. Bamidele finished his season at 19-8, a big improvement from last year’s 14-12 record at No. 2 singles.
At No. 1 doubles, senior Joel Ashman and sophomore Brandon Jackson won 6-2, 6-1 over MV’s Brayden Browning and Payton Meadors. Ashman and Jackson finished 23-3 and are likely to make the All-State Doubles team when it is selected this weekend.
At No. 2 doubles, sophomore Michael Curtis and junior Mason Knight won 6-0, 6-0 over Sam Frye and Jackson Dunlavy. Curtis finished 23-3 and Knight finished 21-3.
Both doubles teams lost only once in the last six weeks of the season, and that was to North Central in the semistate.
The Delta varsity, ranked 14th in the state, finished with a 20-4 record to go along with sectional, regional and conference titles. Seniors Tannon Dishman and Joel Ashman will play in the Indiana All-Star event on Nov. 3 at DePauw University.
The JV team finished 16-3 with the victory over Mt .Vernon’s junior varsity, which was a perfect 16-0 entering the match.
Daniel Vencel, Cade Brown, Josef Zacek, Riley Windsor, Sam Arnold, Adam Altobella and Aidan Landis won singles matches. Jaigen Glaze/Ben Slavin, Devin McKinley/Walker Boyle and Kaiden Baty/Jordan Ashton won doubles matches.
Vencel, Brown, Zacek, Windsor, Glaze, Slavin, McKinley and Boyle all won between 16 and 19 matches this season. All except Slavin will be back next season to compete for varsity positions.