The Tigers, not deterred by weather or the seven other teams in the conference, rolled to the championship of the Northern Lakes Conference tournament.
Warsaw, which won the regular-season league title at 7-0, won four of the five positions Saturday to make it a clean sweep.The Tigers piled up 52 points in the three-day tourney contested at Concord High School. Due to rain Saturday, three of the finals matches were played indoors. That didn’t matter at all to coach Rick Orban’s Warsaw squad.
Warsaw, which won 14 of 15 matches in the tourney, captured championships Saturday at No. 2 and 3 singles and both doubles spots.
“Our focus for the tourney was the best it’s been all season,” said coach Orban. “On Friday, we had probably the most intense practice all year.
“It was fun and sweet to watch Saturday. The guys truly came to play and left no doubt. It was what I’ve expected from them all year.”
“Our guys wanted to go 7-0 during the season and they wanted to win the tourney and be all-conference.”
Junior Evan Miller and senior Alek Jansen led the way with singles titles for the Tigers. Miller won at No. 2, beating Spenser Gilbert of Elkhart Memorial 6-2, 6-2 in the title match. Jansen won the title at No. 3 singles with a 6-2, 6-2 win over John Hunter of Plymouth.
The doubles duo of junior Will Petro and senior Connor Singrey continued their stellar season at No. 2 for Warsaw. The pair, who have lost just once this fall to Park Tudor, bested Kameron Eisenhour and Ryan Johnson of Plymouth 6-4, 6-2 in the championship match Saturday.
The Tigers also got a title from its No. 1 doubles team. Senior AJ Herendeen and sophomore Sam Rice outlasted T Cunningham and Trevor Warren of Concord 7-5, 3-6, 6-1. The win avenged a three-set loss from last Monday in a 3-2 Warsaw win over the Minutemen in the NLC finale.
Junior Kyle Wettschurack placed fifth at No. 1 singles for Warsaw. Plymouth senior Gabe Vervynckt won the No. 1 singles championship.
“The last time we won the overall championship was 2006 and the guys knew that,” Orban said. “All of them, at every position, were focused and confident. This should be a great thing for us as we head into the sectional.”
Junior Chase Myers was the top finisher for Wawasee in the tourney. The Warriors’ No. 2 singles player captured sixth place for coach Roger Brady’s team.Warsaw claimed the team title with 52 points, while Plymouth was second with 44. Northridge and Concord tied for third with 32 points, followed by Elkhart Memorial (30), Goshen (22), NorthWood (seven) and Wawasee (two).
All of the five position champions are automatic All-NLC selections. Selected as At-Large All-NLC picks are Nick Pollock (Concord), Mazin Hakim (Memorial) and Chris Robbins (Northridge). Tabbed as honorable mention All-NLC choices were T Cunningham-Trevor Warren (Concord), Spenser Gilbert (Memorial), Andrew Gingerich-Buyron Slabach (Northridge), Jack Holloway-Kendall Foster (Plymouth) and Skylar Buller-Sam Stegelmann (Goshen).
Warsaw coach Rick Orban was named the NLC Coach of the Year.
The final overall NLC standings (combining the regular season and tournament) has Warsaw in first. Plymouth is second, followed by Concord, Northridge, Memorial, Goshen, NorthWood and Wawasee.
Warsaw hosts sectional play starting Wednesday. The sectional pairings will be drawn Monday night with the sectional scheduled for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at WCHS. The field includes Warsaw, Wawasee, Whitko, Tippecanoe Valley and Columbia City.