The season ended Tuesday evening for the Delta boys’ tennis team as the Eagles fell 4-1 to 25th-ranked Mississinewa in the Marion Regional semifinals.
The match was full of drama with the final outcome in doubt for nearly two hours before Mississinewa pulled out tight victories at No. 1 doubles and No. 1 singles to complete their victory.
It was just the sixth loss in the past 30 years in IHSAA sectional or regional play for the Delta boys. During that span, they have won 110 sectional and regional matches, accounting for 29 sectional titles and 24 regional championships.
This time it was Mississinewa’s time to shine. The Indians featured five seniors with four years of varsity experience and were the top team in District 4 for the entire season.
Delta seniors Mason Wrisley and Landon Freiburger, bpth first-year varsity players, dominated at No. 2 doubles with a 6-0, 6-1 victory. Wrisley finished the season 13-3 and Freiburger ended 12-2.
Two more first-year varsity players, Owen Vest at No. 2 singles and Eli Arnold at No. 3 singles, dropped their matches to experienced Mississinewa opponents.
The final two positions were long battles.
Senior Walker Boyle and sophomore Dalton Royal lost to Mississinewa seniors Ethan Sample and Ryan Scott, 6-4, 7-6 (7). Boyle and Royal played from behind all night. They rallied from a 3-5 deficit in the second set to force the tiebreaker, but couldn’t quite extend the match to three sets.
Boyle and Royal finished 21-3 for the season.
At No. 1 singles, senior Adam Altobella won the first set 6-2 over Mississinewa senior Riley Fuqua, the Indians’ all-time victory leader. Fuqua fought back with a 6-4 second-set victory. In the final set, the team match had already been determined and Altobella battled leg cramps as Fuqua collected a 6-1 victory.
Delta finished 16-6 for the season. Its losses all were to state-ranked teams: #5 West Lafayette, #10 Fort Wayne Carroll, #21 (tie) Culver Academies, #21 (tie) Cathedral, and #25 Mississinewa twice.
Season highlights were many:
> A Hoosier Heritage Conference title with a perfect 7-0 record in league matches.
> A 29th straight sectional title.
> A 15-1 JV record.
> Senior Adam Altobella being named First Team Academic All-State. He is the first boy from Delta Tennis to make Academic All-State since 2015.
> A fourth-place varsity finish in the rugged Jasper Invitational, in which the team celebrated with former Supt. Reece Mann and family.
> A trip to Culver Academies, including a massive cornhole tournament and swimming in Lake Maxinkuckee.
> A perfect day at the Peru Invitational JV tournament, in which Delta swept every match for the entire day.
> And a community service dinner earlier this week in which the team raised $2,650 for The Serenity Club, a safe haven for addicts in Muncie. That event also featured the team’s traditional Senior Talks.
- Adam Altobella (D) lost to Riley Fuqua (M) 6-2, 4-6, 1-6
- Owen Vest (D) lost to Hayden Rowley (M), 3-6, 1-6
- Eli Arnold (D) lost to John Oliver (M), 0-6,1-6
- Walker Boyle/Dalton Royal (D) lost to Ryan Scott/Ethan Sample (M), 4-6, 6-7 (7)
- Mason Wrisley/Landon Freibruger (D) def. Garrett Spencer/Kannen Smith (M), 6-0, 6-1