Homestead Survives Early Scare

The Eagles put an early scare into fourth-ranked Homestead on Saturday morning in the semi-state, but the Spartans steadied themselves and eventually claimed a 5-0 victory to advance to state.

No. 20 Delta ended its season with a 19-5 record.

No. 1 singles player Jason Wegener built a 3-0 first-set lead.  No. 1 doubles Tannon Dishman and Joel Ashman led 3-2 in the opening set, and No. 2 doubles Michael Curtis and Brandon Jackson led 3-0.

Homestead came back to win both doubles positions 6-4 in the third sets.  And at No. 1 singles, returning All-State player David Heiney rallied for a 6-4, 6-2 victory.

Wegener ended his standout career with a record of 93 wins, 14 losses.  He ranks No. 2 in all-time varsity wins for the Eagles, trailing only Zach Ervin at 101.

Ben Bamidele fell 6-0, 6-0 at No. 2 singles.  Caleb Gillis, subbing for injured Tanner Southerland at No. 3 singles, lost 6-1, 6-1.  Southerland suffered a broken collarbone in phys ed class the day before semistate.

Last year, Delta graduated 10 seniors, including six of their top nine players, from their State Finals team.  Rebuilding with three freshmen and a sophomore among the top nine players this year, the Eagles managed to win their 25th straight sectional and their 22nd regional in the past 23 years before coming up a little short against Homestead in the semistate.

The future is bright as juniors Dishman and Ashman went 24-3 this year, junior Bamidele won 14 matches, sophomore Mason Knight won 15, freshman Curtis and Southerland each won 15, and freshman Jackson went 6-1 after recovering from a preseason broken collarbone.

In addition, sophomore Cade Brown won 19 matches at the JV level and sophomore Jaigen Glaze won 17, sophomore Daniel Vencel won 16, junior Ben Slavin won 16, freshman Riley Windsor won 13, sophomore Devin McKinley won 12, and freshman Josef Zacek won 10.