It’s not going to change the fact, however, that his talented team is a huge favorite to win their own sectional this week.
The Tigers, coming off a dominating performance on Saturday to win the Northern Lakes Conference Tournament, drew the bye in their own five-team sectional.
The Warsaw Sectional begins Wednesday at 4:30 with Tippecanoe Valley facing Whitko. The winner of that match meets the Tigers in one semifinal Thursday, also at 4:30. The other Thursday semifinal pits Wawasee versus defending champion Columbia City at 4:30. The championship match is scheduled for Friday at 4:30 at WCHS.
“I want us to play all three nights and not have the bye,” said Orban Sunday prior to the sectional draw which took place Monday night.
The Tigers bring a 9-2 mark and a ton of momentum into sectional play. The hosts, who lost 3-2 to Columbia City in the sectional title match in 2011, won championships at four of the five positions Saturday to win the three-day NLC Tourney. The Tigers also won the NLC regular-season title at a perfect 7-0.
“I can hardly wait for the sectional,” Orban said. “I’m pumped for it and that’s our first focus. I want to see our guys show the focus and dominance they had in the NLC tourney. I want them to go out there and try to win every match 6-0, 6-0.
“I’ll be stunned if we don’t dominate the sectional the way we played in the three days of the NLC tourney. This team is as good as any I’ve had since the 2004 team. I just want to see them play up to their potential in the state tournament. That’s what it’s all about for me.”The Tigers got NLC tourney titles from junior Evan Miller and senior Alek Jansen at No. 1 and 2 singles respectively. Warsaw also won championships at both doubles spots with senior AJ Herendeen and sophomore Sam Rice at No. 1 and junior Will Petro and senior Connor Singrey at No. 2.
Warsaw did not play either Tippecanoe Valley or Whitko during the regular season. The Tigers beat Columbia City 5-0 Aug. 15 and Wawasee 5-0 Sept. 11. Warsaw’s two losses this season are to No. 17 Penn (3-2) and No. 14 Culver Academies (4-1), both in August.
Wawasee, 1-14 on the season, is led by junior Kyler Love at No. 1 singles.Warsaw has lost in the sectional finals each of the last two seasons. Columbia City beat the Tigers 3-2 a year ago, while Wawasee topped Warsaw 3-2 in 2010. The Tigers won five straight sectional titles from 2005-09.
The Warsaw Sectional winner advances to the Culver Academies Regional Oct. 2-3. The semifinals there will have the Warsaw winner versus the Peru Sectional winner and the Culver Academies Sectional winner versus the Bremen Sectional winner. Culver Academies is the defending regional champion. Semistate play is set for Oct. 6 at Culver Academies with the State Finals Oct. 12-13 at Carmel High School and North Central High School in Indianapolis.
Triton will open sectional play Wednesday versus host Bremen at 4:30. The semifinals Thursday at Bremen at 4:30 have LaVille playing the winner of the Triton-Bremen match and defending champion Plymouth facing Glenn. The championship at Bremen is Friday at 4:30.