Delta survived its closest match in the boys’ tennis sectional since 2008. There were some tense moments, but in the end the Eagles came away with a 3-2 victory on Saturday over Muncie Burris for their 29th straight sectional championship.
The match was played indoors at the Muncie YMCA due to rain.
Delta has won every boys’ tennis sectional since losing in 1992. They have won 24 regional titles in that span, also.
In fact, the Eagles are an incredible 110-5 in sectional and regional matches over the past 29 years.
One of the most dramatic matches in that entire stretch came on Oct. 4, 2008, when Delta edged Burris 3-2 in the sectional finals. That match came down to No. 3 singles, where first-year varsity player senior Caleb Austin survived some match points to rally for the title-clinching victory.
This time it came down to another No. 3 singles player Eli Arnold, also a senior playing his first season on varsity. Despite battling an injury, Arnold won 6-2, 6-3 over Burris senior Jack Eads in the final match on the court.
Arnold improved to 17-5 with his 13th victory in his last 14 matches.
As they have done many times this season, Delta swept doubles on Saturday. Senior Walker Boyle and sophomore Dalton Royal won 6-0, 6-0 to improve to 21-2.
At No. 2 doubles, senior Mason Wrisley and junior Riley Bratton won 6-3, 6-1. Wrisley is 12-3 with 10 wins in his last 11 matches. Bratton is 7-4 this fall. Another senior, Landon Freiburger, won at No. 2 doubles in the semifinals against Yorktown and is 11-2 this season.
Burris picked up its two points by winning at No. 1 and No. 2 singles.
Burris junior Charlie Behrman improved to 21-0 with a 6-3, 6-0 victory over senior Adam Altobella. Adam started strong and trailed just 3-4 in the opening set before Behrman found his groove and pulled away. Behrman will advance in the individual tourney and will try to reach the state singles finals for the second time in his career.
Burris senior Adam Combs gained a hard-fought 6-3, 6-4 victory over junior Owen Vest. This reversed a 7-5, 7-6 victory for Vest over Combs last weekend in the Delta Invitational.
Delta, which is ranked 31st this week, stands 16-5 for the season. Its losses all have been to state-ranked teams: #5 West Lafayette, #10 Fort Wayne Carroll, #21 (tie) Culver Academies, #21 (tie) Cathedral, and #25 Mississinewa.
Mississinewa will be the next opponent at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the Marion Regional. Ole Miss is a senior-laden team that beat Delta 3-2 in an exciting match a month ago.
The other regional match will pit Lapel against Union City.
- Adam Altobella (D) lost to Charlie Behrman (B), 3-6, 0-6
- Owen Vest (D) lost to Adam Combs (B), 4-6, 3-6
- Eli Arnold (D) def. Jack Eads (B), 6-2, 6-3
- Walker Boyle/Dalton Royal (D) def. Michael Richards/Jonathan Slater (B), 6-0, 6-0
- Mason Wrisley/Riley Bratton (D) def. Gregory Gaydos/Caleb Martin (B), 6-3, 6-1