For the third time in school history, the Delta girls’ tennis team is headed to the IHSAA Team State Finals.
The 12th-ranked Eagles (18-3) knocked off a gritty (Elkhart) Concord team by a 3-2 score in the Homestead Semi-State on a warm Saturday morning. As a result, Delta will move on to play 11th-ranked Jasper (17-4) in the quarterfinals of the State Tournament. The match will be 3 p.m. Friday, June 1 at Carmel HS courts.
Here are the complete match-ups for the State Finals:
#2 Cathedral (16-1) vs. #6 Center Grove (17-3)
#11 Jasper (17-4) vs. #12 Delta (18-3)
At Center Grove
#1 Carmel (15-1) vs. #3 Providence (19-1)
#9 Brownsburg (17-3) vs. #10 South Bend St. Joseph (19-3)
The Delta girls first reached the Team State Finals in 2000 when they placed an all-time best of third. That year the Eagles, with five sophomores in the varsity lineup, defeated South Bend St.Joseph 4-1 in the third-place match after losing to eventual champion Park Tudor 5-0 in the semifinals. Senior Alison Peckinpaugh of Delta was chosen State Mental Attitude Award winner.
The next time the Delta girls reached Team State was 2011, when the Eagles lost to Floyd Central 5-0 in the quarterfinals.
Nine other times the Eagles have fallen by a 3-2 score in the semi-state to fall agonizingly short of making the State Finals. This time, with a varsity lineup of four seniors, two juniors and two freshmen, the Eagles got the job done and earned another chance at State.
Senior Kortney Helm and junior Mayzie Hinkle won 6-2, 6-4 at No. 2 doubles for Delta’s first point Saturday. The Eagles are now 21-3 at that position as Helm, Hinkle and freshman Maggie Manor have shared playing time.
Concord then evened the match at 1-1 when No. 1 singles player Maya Klopfenstein defeated Delta junior Ellie Snider 6-1, 6-2. Snider, 17-7 this spring, competed in the IHSAA Singles State Finals last year, but now gets to return to State with her entire team for another chance.
Delta regained a 2-1 lead in the match when freshman Tynan Dishman wrapped up a 6-3, 6-1 victory at No. 3 singles over Concord senior Camille Lozier. In perhaps her finest match of the season, Dishman broke away from a 3-3 first-set tie by rattling off nine of the last 10 games in the match. Dishman now stands 20-4 for the season.
Concord then tied the team score at 2-2 when Keegan Thursby and Meaghan Godzisz outlasted Delta’s Grace Belangee and Lexie Manor, 7-5, 6-4 at No. 1 doubles. Thursby and Godzisz have lost only once since April 23rd, and they prevailed in a hard-fought match to earn a spot in the Individual Doubles State tournament. Belangee and Manor are 20-4 for the season.
That left the team result in the hands of senior Emma Snider for Delta and junior Regan Landis for Concord at No. 2 singles. Snider won the first set 6-1, then Landis (20-2 for the season) fought back to make the second set much closer. Snider closed out the match 6-4 in the second set to send the Eagles to state. Snider’s record is now 21-3 for the season.
Jasper fields a senior-heavy team. The Wildcats have five seniors among their seven varsity players. This is the fourth consecutive year they have reached the Team State Finals. Last year they lost to South Bend St. Joseph in the quarterfinal round.
Admission for the State Finals is $5. The winners of the quarterfinal matches will meet at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 2 at North Central HS courts. The championship match will be 2 p.m.