The Eagles showed up ready to play Saturday morning and rolled over Yorktown 5-0 in the finals of the Delta Sectional.
This extended the team’s sectional winning streak to 30 straight years, spanning from 1993 through the current season.
Delta entered with a 15-8 record and Yorktown came in at 17-6. Just one week earlier, the Tigers had nearly upset the Eagles in the finals of the Delta Invite, losing only 3-2.
But in the sectional finals Delta took control early and never let up in front of a large crowd on a sunny, cool morning.
Senior Owen Vest was first off the court, winning 6-0, 6-0 over Yorktown junior Jaydon Sarino at No. 2 singles. Vest was won 12 of his last 14 matches.
Junior Dalton Royal at No. 1 singles was next to finish. He and Yorktown junior Anson Isaacs had many athletic points, but Royal stayed strong mentally and physically and prevailed 6-0, 6-1. Royal is 9-3 over his last dozen matches.
If Yorktown were to end the sectional streak, they would have to do it at No. 3 singles and both doubles positions. A week ago, they had nearly done just that, winning at No. 3 singles and No. 2 doubles and losing a tight match at No. 1 doubles.
But this time there was much less drama. Sophomore Kody Vest ended it with a 6-1, 6-4 victory at No. 3 singles over Yorktown senior Mark Avila. Vest won the opening set for the 17th time in his 23 varsity matches this season — an outstanding accomplishment considering the Eagles have played nine other teams that won sectional titles and eight state-ranked teams.
The next to finish was No. 1 doubles, where seniors Riley Bratton and Colin McCrady shined in a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Yorktown seniors Ethan Darby and Rafa Sabijon. Darby and Sabijon went 20-0 (without losing a set) against the rest of their schedule this fall, but won only one out of seven sets in three meetings with Bratton and McCrady. The regular season meeting went to Delta 3-6, 6-1, 6-4. Then in the invitational the position again went to Delta 6-3, 7-6. Another close match was expected in the sectional, but instead Bratton and McCrady controlled the action from start to finish. Bratton and McCrady became partners after the first couple weeks of the season and have compiled a record of 13-2 together at No. 1 doubles.
The final match to finish on Saturday was No. 2 doubles. Junior Preston Shanayda returned to the lineup after missing some matches due to illness. He partnered with senior Isaac Anderson, who himself had missed some matches recently with a leg injury. They prevailed 6-3, 7-6 (6) over Yorktown junior Joe Stinson and sophomore Ryan Richards.
At No. 2 doubles, Shanayda is 12-5, Anderson is 15-7, and junior Jake Bilby, who played in the sectional opener against Burris, is 8-4.
Delta will face Jay County at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the opening round of the Marion Regional. In the other semifinal, Madison-Grant faces Frankton.
Madison-Grant (20-4) is a sectional tennis winner for the first time in school history, and they did it in emphatic fashion. They swept the defending regional champ Mississinewa 5-0 in the first round and swept host Marion 5-0 in the finals. The 20-win season is the most victories in a season for M-G in school history.
Frankton won its first sectional title since 1995 with a 3-2 victory over Lapel.