Delta High School Tennis


Noblesville (Noblesville Regional finals)

October 4th, 2023 at 4:45 p.m.

Loss 2 - 3

The first-ever meeting between Delta and Noblesville in boys’ tennis proved to be a back-and-forth battle with intense action on every court.  In the end, the 24th-ranked Millers edged the Eagles 3-2 in the championship match of the Noblesville Regional on Wednesday evening.

Each team won exactly 44 games on the night.  Four of the 10 contested sets were tied at 4-4, but the difference in the match was Noblesville won all four of those tight sets.

Noblesville, which with an enrollment of more than 3,200 srudents is four times the size of Delta, advances to play Leo in the Homestead Semi-State on Saturday.

Regional runner-up Delta finishes with a 17-6 record.  However, the Eagles’ season is not over.

Senior No. 1 doubles players Dalton Royal and Preston Shanayda won their match 6-3, 6-3 and will move on in the individual doubles championships.  They will take a 23-3 record into the IHSAA Doubles Regionals, which will be played on Saturday, Oct. 14.  The exact site and opponent have not yet been determined, but Dalton and Preston will need to win two matches that day to move on to the IHSAA State Finals.

Their victory against Noblesville was impressive as they started quickly, bursting out to a 4-0 lead over a team of two strong seniors, Rory Bushong and Liam Shepard.  (Bushong is the son of former Delta player Thane Bushong, who was a member of Coach Cleland’s first Delta sectional champion team in 1991.)

It was Bushong and Shepard’s second-largest margin of defeat in 25 matches this season.  Only Zionsville, which limited them to five games, beat the Noblesville pair by a bigger margin this season. Bushong and Shepard had several wins over Top 30 state-ranked teams, including Hamilton Southeastern, Cathedral, Westfield, Silver Creek and more.

Delta’s other win on Wednesday came at No. 2 singles, where junior Kody Vest thoroughly outplayed Noblesville senior Coleman Kratz.  Vest won 6-0, 6-1 to finish his season with a 20-5 record.

Noblesville claimed the other three positions, although all were highly competitive.

At No. 1 singles, senior Simon Marlow was tied at 4-4 in both sets but fell 5-7, 4-6 to Ethan Feliciano.  Marlow, who played one of his best matches of the season, broke Feliciano’s serve about 75% of the time but had trouble holding his own serve.

The No. 3 singles match featured two steady players, Delta senior Jake Bilby and Noblesville junior Zane Panning.  Many rallies went 25-30 hits or more.  Panning won the opening set 6-1, but Bilby jumped ahead 3-0 in the second set.  Penning methodically fought back, using his superior front-court skills to finish some long rallies with a winning shot near the net.  The final set was 6-4 for Panning.

No. 2 doubles followed a similar pattern.  Sophomore Aaron Elliott and freshman Tyce Dishman dropped the opening set 6-2 against the aggressive Noblesville players.  Similar to Bilby, Elliott and Dishman also built a 3-0 lead in the second set before Noblesville turned the tide for a 6-4 victory.

This was the first time for the new Noblesville Regional after the IHSAA realigned the tournament series a few months ago.  Noblesville knocked off 17th-ranked Westfield in their sectional final.

Previously, Delta had been assigned to the Marion Regional for more than a decade and before that had played at the Muncie Regional at Ball State.  Delta had won 25 of the past 28 regional titles.

Delta graduates four full-time varsity seniors: Marlow, Bilby, Royal and Shanayda.  Two other seniors, Caleb Hewitt and Will Kile, played a handful of varsity matches.  Three other seniors, Hanson Heintzelman, James Engle and Justus Subler, also will graduate.

The Eagles will return full-time varsity players Kody Vest, Aaron Elliott and Tyce Dishman along with three others with varsity experience: Owen Cupp, Kam Swoboda and Brady Williams.  Additional returnees include top JV players Ben Miller, James Root, Colten Cruea, Kaden Crist, Jacob Williams, Alexander Smith and Ayden Mitchell as well as John  Atkinson, who missed the season with ACL surgery.  In addition, several players from the successful middle school team will enter high school next fall.


Location Noblesville HS
Season Fall 2023