Bolstered by a tough regular-season schedule, the Delta boys’ tennis team hung tough Wednesday evening and gained a 5-0 shutout victory over Lapel for the regional championship.
The Eagles (19-3) now have won seven straight Marion Regional titles and have won 23 of the last 24 regional crowns.
Delta, ranked 16th, will advance to the Homestead Semi-State at 10 a.m. Saturday. They will play either No. 3 Indianapolis North Central or No. 9 Fishers. Those teams play Thursday for the regional title. Admission to the semi-state is $5.
Lapel battled to some close sets at No. 1 singles, No. 3 singles and No. 1 doubles, but Delta answered every challenge and did not drop a set. The Eagles played 11 state-ranked opponents during the season, and the tough schedule helped in the key moments as the team won two tiebreakers and another 7-5 set.
The highlight match came at No. 1 singles. Delta senior Tannon Dishman outplayed Lapel junior Jesse McCurdy 7-6 (3), 6-0 in a matchup of two of the top players in the district. McCurdy had been undefeated for the past two seasons. Dishman improved to 21-4 with his win.
The Eagles also pulled out a tight victory at No. 1 doubles. Senior Joel Ashman and sophomore Brandon Jackson won 6-4, 7–5 over Lapel seniors Ross Hagan and Reid Ratzlaff. Ashman and Jackson, winners of 16 in a row, improved to 22-2.
At No. 3 singles, sophomore Tanner Southerland claimed his 20th win of the season. He won 6-1, 7-6 (4) and is 20-4.
The Eagles dominated in the other positions. Michael Curtis and Mason Knight won the 16th match in a row at No. 2 doubles, dominating Lapel 6-0, 6-0.
Senior Ben Bamidele won 6-1, 6-0 at No. 2 singles and is 18-7 this season.