Led by the strong play of both doubles teams, Delta eliminated Homestead 3-2 to win the semi-state on Saturday and advance again to the IHSAA Team State Finals.
Delta (21-3) will compete at state for the sixth time in girls’ tennis and for the 11th time overall in girls’ and boys’ tennis. The Eagles’ first trip to state took place 23 years ago in the Spring of 2000 when Delta also beat Homestead in the semi-state. One of the Delta players on that team was Beth Miller, whose daughter (Macey Parker) played No. 1 singles this year for Homestead.
Although Parker won her match 6-3, 6-1 over junior Gabby Knight, Delta dominated much of the rest of the match.
First off the court was the No. 2 doubles tandem of sophomore Kelsey Vest and freshman Rowan Hinds. They won 6-2, 6-0 and are now 23-3 for the season, including 22 wins in their last 23 matches,
Moments later the No. 1 doubles team of senior Janet Wegener and freshman Katie Manor wrapped up a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Homestead seniors Reghan Zitlaw and Kendal Frey, who entered with 19 wins and were unbeaten in sectional and regional play in Fort Wayne. Wegener and Manor controlled the match from start to finish and raised their record to 24-3.
Wegener now has 69 career victories in just three seasons, which ties her for ninth in school history with Tynan Dishman (who also achieved her total in just three seasons due to Covid). Everyone ahead of them on the all-time list played four seasons.
Wrapping up the semi-state championship was No. 3 singles player Iva Witter. The Eagle senior methodically outplayed Homestead’s Caroline Stock 6-2, 6-3 to punch the Eagles’ ticket to state. Witter improved to 21-5, including 13 wins in her last 14 matches.
The longest match was No. 2 singles, where sophomore Brylee Beckley played on mostly even terms with Homestead’s Layla Kelly before falling 3-6, 6-7 (4).
Delta, ranked 23rd, will now advance to the State Quarterfinals against 2nd-ranked Carmel. The match will be at noon Friday on Carmel’s home courts.
Delta and Carmel met in a dual match on April 13 at Delta with the Greyhounds posting a 5-0 victory.
Indiana is one of only a handful of states nationwide to have single-class competition in tennis. About 320 schools began play in the sectionals last week and only eight still remain.
Carmel is the largest school in the state with 5,327 students. This is seven times larger than Delta, which has 783 students. The only school smaller than Delta that is still alive is Sullivan, which has just 472 students.
Here are the complete IHSAA State Finals pairings:
#2 Carmel vs. #23 Delta
#4 Fishers vs Sullivan
At Center Grove
#8 Franklin Community vs. #20 Castle
#1 South Bend St. Joseph vs #3 Jasper