Delta withstood a stiff challenge from Yorktown on Saturday morning and came away with a 3-2 victory in the championship match of the boys’ tennis sectional.
This was the 31st consecutive sectional title for the Eagles, a streak that began in 1993. It has spanned the terms of presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
Delta players and managers celebrated their 31st straight title by getting ice cream at Baskin-Robbins, whose motto is 31 Flavors. Ironically, the Eagles also have exactly 31 players on their roster this season.
The Eagles (16-5) jumped out to a 2-0 lead with victories at No. 3 singles (Jake Bilby by a 6-0, 6-1 score over Reid Butts) and No. 1 doubles (Dalton Royal and Preston Shanayda by a 6-0, 6-3 score over Joe Stinson and Jayden Sarino).
Yorktown’s Anson Isaacs got the Tigers on the board with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Simon Marlow at No. 1 singles. Isaacs will advance in the Individual Singles tournament next week.
Delta’s Kody Vest then clinched the championship with a 7-5, 6-0 victory over Ryan Richards at No. 2 singles. The first set was tight throughout as Kody led 3-2, 4-3, 5-4 and 6-5 before gaining the 7-5 win. He then dominated the second set. This secured the Eagles’ 58th straight dual match victory over Yorktown in boys’ tennis.
At that point, No. 2 doubles had split sets and was entering a third set. Aaron Elliott and Tyce Dishman had dropped the opening set 2-6, then evened the match with a 6-3 win in the second set. The third set was all Tigers as Tyler Koss and Elijah Carter won 0-6. This was a reversal of a regular-season result when Elliott and Dishman won 6-4, 6-4.
The results again showed that experience often matters in the postseason. All of the Delta winners — Bilby, Royal, Shanayda and Vest — had sectional experience in previous years. This year was the first sectional experience for the players who dropped their matches on Saturday.
Delta will move on to play Jay County at 5 p.m. Tuesday at the new Noblesville Regional. Jay County won its own sectional Saturday with a 4-1 victory over Union City.
Noblesville and Frankton will meet in the other semifinal match on Tuesday. The semifinal winners will play Wednesday for the regional title.