WARSAW – About the only doubt at Thursday’s Warsaw Boys Tennis Sectional was whether to start the finals, and then, could they get it in before the rain came? The answers were yes, and yes. And a third, resounding yes came for the Warsaw Tigers, again the supreme team at the sectional.
The Tigers won its fifth straight and 29th overall sectional title with a 5-0 win over Wawasee in the finals, which were played immediately after the semi-final matches concluded earlier in the afternoon.
Warsaw 5, Wawasee 0
The Tigers were just too much for its neighbors to the north. On top of the talent Warsaw provided, Wawasee killed itself with a myriad of unforced errors – particularly in open rallies where Warsaw hung back off the net.
“We scored more games this time around, but when we had 30-30 games, we didn’t finish them out,” stated Wawasee head coach Vince Rhodes. “That’s where playing in the racquet club all winter long and getting into tournaments makes the difference. To get our group to do that, it’s up to them to play in the offseason. That experience showed.”
Warsaw won convincingly on its doubles courts, with Hayden Steger and Spencer Britton continuing its torrid play of late with a love-love No. 2 win over Mason Gray and Jacob Krugman. The Tiger duo, the Northern Lakes Conference champions, didn’t lose a game in the sectional including its semi-final win against Whitko.
“Two doubles will be a huge factor, and they are playing their best tennis of the year,” said Warsaw head coach Rick Orban, looking ahead to Tuesday’s regional matchup against Culver Academy. “They just won the conference and are kind of on a roll. I think they were a little confused in that first match where I was kind of on them for doing certain things. I want them to create that habit, instead of having to think about doing it. They have a chance to be huge for us next week.”
Colton Lind claimed No. 1 singles, 1-2, against Dylan Staley, Andrew Gauger at No. 2 went 3-2 against Nate Haines, David Homme at No. 3 won 1-4 over Nate Perek, and at No. 1 doubles, Justin Stout and Ryan Wettschurack beat Tim Conley and Evan Krueger 2-2.
Culver Academy, which beat Rochester 5-0 Thursday in its own sectional final, will meet Warsaw in Tuesday’s regional semi-final. Warsaw beat Culver Academy 4-1 earlier in the season.
“I was really happy with the way they played tonight,” Orban said. “With Whitko, we knew their record and what was going on with them, and I just told them you have to focus. I want to see every court focused on 6-0. Not that we have to beat them that bad, but I want them to keep that focus.
“The focus was there. And same with Wawasee. We beat them earlier this year, and we just had to keep the focus. Now we have Culver, and it’s huge. I’m real happy with the way we played. We showed focus going into what will be a very tough opponent that believes they can beat us.”
The other side of the regional draw will be Wabash, a surprise winner at the Peru Sectional, taking on either Plymouth or Bremen which play one another Friday in the Bremen Sectional championship.
Wawasee 4, Tippecanoe Valley 1
The lone escapee for the Vikings came at No. 2 doubles, where Chris Schipper and Dylan Sponseller picked up a convincing 1-4 win, serving as the only combatant of shutout tennis on the team ledger.
Wawasee won all four of the other courts in straight sets, the lone nip and tuck coming at No. 1 doubles where Conley and Krueger went 6-0, 7-5 against Garrett Feldman and Dakota Parker.
Warsaw 5, Whitko 0
Whitko provided little match for Warsaw in the semi-final. Lind gave up two games to Bailey Platt, otherwise, it was straight set shutout for the remainder of the courts. Homme was given an injury default before play opened.