In a one-week span, the Delta boys’ tennis team has claimed victories over two of the four teams in last season’s State Final Four.
On Saturday, April 25, the 11th-ranked Eagles stayed unbeaten by edging 14th-ranked Culver Academies, 3-2. Due to rain, the match was played indoors at Culver’s on-campus indoor tennis center.
Culver returned five of its top eight players from last year when they finished in the State Final Four along with Jasper, Carmel and Park Tudor. Delta also beat Jasper on August 18 by winning the Jeffersonville Invitational and defeating Jasper in three of four head-to-head individual matches.
In the Culver match, senior Tannon Dishman outplayed Culver junior Niko Warnholtz, 6-1, 1-6, 6-1 in a hard-hitting match at No. 1 singles. Warnholtz, who is from Mexico, also played Dishman a year ago at No. 2 singles.
Sophomore Tanner Southerland played one of his best matches as a Delta varsity player by topping Culver senior Peter Gallagher (Northfield, Ill.), 6-4, 6-2.
The third point for Delta came from No. 1 doubles, where senior Joel Ashman and sophomore Brandon Jackson were dominant, 6-0, 6-1. They beat Paul Wilson (Key Biscayne, Fla.) and Jordan Craig (Crystal Lake, Ill.)
Culver’s two victories came in positions where Delta entered with unbeaten 5-0 records. Culver senior Henry Bilicic (Chicago, Ill.) defeated senior Ben Bamidele at No. 2 singles, 6-2, 7-6 (4). And Culver senior Zhaoki Huang (China) and junior Topher Bower (Cheboygan, Mich.) won at No. 2 doubles over junior Mason Knight and sophomore Michael Curtis, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.
Delta won the JV match 6-3.
Winners were Daniel Vencel, Riley Windsor, Josef Zacek and Devin McKinley in singles, and Jaigen Glaze/Cade Brown and Ben Slavin/Walker Boyle in doubles.
In addition to the match, the team experienced many highlights at Culver Academies:
> The players enjoyed a campus tour led by Culver coach Alan Loehr and players Niko Warnholtz and Henry Bilicic. Among the highlights was hearing the story behind the Logansport Gate, seeing the nation’s No. 1 ranked lacrosse team in practice, and getting a chance to row in the nation’s only indoor rowing center on a high school campus.
> The team also enjoyed Papa’s Pizza after the match at Lake Maxinkuckee. Seniors Tannon Dishman, Joel Ashman, Ben Bamidele and Ben Slavin began a new tradition by jumping into the lake in celebration of the victory. Earlier, junior Cade Brown also took the plunge.
An earlier match Saturday morning against Shelbyville was rained out and will be rescheduled.
Delta (3-0 varsity and 3-0 JV) will next play at Greenfield-Central on Tuesday evening at 5:15 p.m.