Delta’s season theme of “FIGHT” proved to be appropriate as the Eagles opened the season Saturday with a dogfight against an experienced Huntington North team.
The Eagles and the Vikings played into the third set at three positions, No. 1 singles, No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles. Delta hung tough and won all of them to finish off a 5-0 shutout victory.
The match took nearly three hours with temperatures in the mid-80s and high humidity.
Huntington North returned six of seven starters from last year’s sectional champion team and was off to a 2-0 start this fall with wins over Peru and Warsaw. Delta, meanwhile, graduated four of its top seven players from a year ago when the Eagles finished 19-4.
And the Eagles’ most experienced players found themselves in trouble early. No. 1 singles player senior Tanner Southerland and No. 1 doubles team of senior Brandon Jackson and junior Walker Boyle each dropped the first set.
Jackson and Boyle bounced back from some early struggles to win 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 over seniors Noah Zahn and Thomas Schweller.
Southerland lost his opening set in a tiebreaker to Huntington’s Carson Kitchen, but then cruised in the final two sets, 6-3, 6-0.
At No. 2 singles, junior Adam Altobella made his varsity debut and claimed a 6-1, 4–6, 6-3 victory over Huntington’s Jacob Daugherty. Altobella, one of the team’s most improved players from a year ago, hung tough in the last set after starting to cramp late in the match.
The teams had another close match at No. 2 doubles. Delta seniors Riley Windsor and Jordan Ashton won 7-5, 6-3. Both are moving up primarily from JV from a year ago, although Windsor was a part-time varsity player.
Another Delta player making his varsity debut Saturday was junior Eli Arnold at No. 3 singles. He defeated Matthew Weill 6-0, 6-3 in the first match off the court.
Lineup positions for the Eagles remain fluid as several JV players are varsity contenders. One of those is senior Josef Zacek, who is just back from breaking his collarbone earlier in the summer. He won at No. 1 singles JV on Saturday as he rallied from 2-5 down to win 8-5.
At No. 1 doubles JV, senior Sam Arnold and freshman Dalton Royal won 8-3.
The Eagles won the JV match 10-6. Two freshmen won tiebreakers in their first career match. Ty Hickey won 7-6 in singles, and Jake Bilby teamed with junior Brad Shue to win 8-7 in doubles.
Other JV winners were junior Mason Wrisley, freshman Caleb Hewitt, and freshman Corbin Windsor in singles, and the doubles teams of Kaiden Baty/Aidan Landis, Riley Bratton/Colin McCrady, and Logan Anderson/Ross Meacham.
Next up for Delta is the start of Hoosier Heritage Conference play at New Palestine at 5 p.m. Monday. Those two teams have won the past 22 HHC boys’ tennis titles, with Delta winning 19 of them and New Pal winning in 2017, 2009 and 2008.
1. Tanner Southerland (D) def. Carson Kitchen (HN), 6-7, 6-3, 6-0
2. Adam Altobella (D) def. Jacob Daugherty (HN), 6-1, 4-6, 6-3
3. Eli Arnold (D) def. Matthew Weill (HN), 6-0, 6-3
1. Brandon Jackson / Walker Boyle (D) def. Noah Zahn / Thomas Schweller (HN), 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
2. Riley Windsor / Jordan Ashton (D) def. Chase Mickley / Reid Eckert (HN), 7-5, 6-3
1. Josef Zacek won 8-5
2. Mason Wrisley won 8-6
3. Owen Vest lost 1-8
4. Caleb Hewitt won 8-3
5. Camden Ratliff lost 3-8
6. Ty Hickey won 7-6
7. Corbin Windsor won 8-5
1. Sam Arnold/Dalton Royal won 8-3
2. Aidan Landis/Kaiden Baty won 8-1
3. Riley Bratton/Colin McCrady won 8-0
4. Preston Shanayda/Isaac Anderson lost 6-8
5. Landon Freiburger/Cooper Roach lost 5-8
6. Logan Anderson/Ross Meacham won 8-0
7. Brad Shue / Jake Bilby won 8-7
8. Will Kile / Luke Zacek lost 3-6
9. Heath Sprague / Hanson Heintzelman lost 5-7