By Mike Deak
DUNLAP – For the most part, the favored participants at the Northern Lakes Conference Boys Tennis Championships did their jobs Wednesday in the opening round of the three-day tournament.
All but one seeded player from the five brackets advanced to the semi-finals of the conference tournament which took place at Concord, setting up some anticipated matchups as the championships unfold.
NorthWood has three courts playing in the winner’s bracket. Overall No. 1 seed Ben Vincent had little trouble in advancing against Wawasee’s Holden Babb, two and one, while Brady Chupp at No. 2 was even more efficient in a quick shutout of Mishawaka’s Hunter Fisher. The No.1 doubles team of Gage Gongwer and Treyton Martin had a similar dominance of Mishawaka, beating their duo love and love.
Warsaw and Wawasee both had a court advance in the first round, one at the expense of the other.
Wawasee’s No. 1 doubles team of Grant Brooks and Blaine Baut went the distance in the longest scoreline of the tournament, beating Warsaw’s Jack Reed and Tristan Anderson 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (4). Warsaw’s No. 2 doubles team did get a win, with Cole Rhodes and Michael Ray posting a love and one run of Mishawaka.
Falling into the consolation bracket for NorthWood were Chaz Yoder at No. 3 and the team of Brad Demitruk and Charles Anderson at No. 2, both falling in straight sets.
All three of Warsaw’s singles were bounced in straight sets, represented by Hayden Anderson, Quinn Martin and Zach Nicholas.
Wawasee’s No. 2 and No. 3 singles of Zeke Keim and Devon Kuhn each lost in straights as did Nathan Harper and Ty Brooks at No. 2.
Regular season champion Concord, which went 7-0 in the round robin, has set itself up well to win the title outright. All five of its courts won Wednesday, Nathan Schraw at No. 2 and Mitchell Whitehead at No. 3 the top seeds in their brackets.
Northridge also had all five of its courts win, and Goshen had all but its No. 1 doubles win to set up a top-heavy semi-final for Thursday’s action, which returns to Concord. Saturday’s final round will be held at Goshen Middle School.