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Panthers, Rebels, Eagles swept in tennis sectional

Panthers, Rebels, Eagles swept in tennis sectional Panthers, Rebels, Eagles swept in tennis sectional
By Brandon Miniard, Sports Writer, [email protected]

Going into the annual Indiana High School Athletic Association sectional at New Albany, Lanesville believed this year would see change.

That confidence was warranted after dropping a tight 3-2 decision to the host Bulldogs during the regular season. Since that matchup on Sept. 12, the Eagles won seven of their final eight matches going into sectional play.

Morale boosted even more when the Eagles opened the five-team tournament against Christian Academy of Indiana, sweeping the Warriors aside on all five courts. Ben Austin and John Albers led the assault at the top two singles flights, eliminating the Warriors’ Denver Butler and Leyden Pavlica in straight 6-0 sets, respectively. Jack Crosby followed at No. 3 singles by handling the Warriors’ Devin Killion 6-1, 6-0.

Landon Campbell and Marcus Hadley had a similar time at No. 2 doubles as they dispatched the Warriors’ Corbin Murphy and Zach Hamby in straight 6-0 sets. Dawson Teeter and Dayten Campbell wrapped things up at No. 1 doubles when they took care of the Warriors’ Isaiah Gilbert and Landon Smith 6-3, 6-2.

A day later, the Eagles returned for a tougher matchup when they confronted county-rival South Central, which the Eagles edged 3-2 during the regular season. Matters weren’t nearly as contested in the rematch as the Eagles swept the Rebels, 5-0.

Austin had the toughest task, competing against reigning Southern Athletic Conference Co-Player of the Year Ty Jones. After dropping the opening set 6-2, Austin rallied to take the match in three sets, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2. Albers had an easier time against the Rebels’ Craig Simpson at No. 2 singles, the former winning in straight 6-2 sets, while Crosby handled Carson Ridge 6-3, 6-2.

Dayten Campbell and Teeter needed a pair of 6-3 victories to take No. 1 doubles against the Rebels’ Peyton Tyree and Ethan Hedden, while Landon Campbell and Marcus Hadley dispatched Thayne McCrary and Hayden Thomasson in straight 6-2 sets to punch their ticket to Friday’s championship match.

The host Bulldogs began their march to a possible 19th straight sectional title by confronting Corydon Central. Much like the Eagles, the Bulldogs had little trouble advancing to the championship round as they swept the Panthers aside 5-0. Bulldogs’ ace John Fulmer led the way by dispatching the Panthers’ Cooper Shireman 6-0, 6-1, while Sam Seigel swept Eli Kvalheim in straight 6-1 sets. Cooper Anderson needed a seventh game to win the first set at No. 3 singles before pulling away from Dylan Adams 7-5, 6-0.

Doubles competition was hardly any more difficult for the Bulldogs as Ben Seigel and Gavin Hamilton set down Sam Cox and Ryan Hamilton 6-2, 6-4 at No. 1 doubles. Blaine Hamilton and Caleb Bradshaw had similar success at No. 2 doubles, handling the Panthers’ Thomas Wilkinson and Trey Wiley 6-3, 6-4, setting up another sectional championship confrontation between the Bulldogs and Eagles on Friday.

Fulmer led the charge as he swept Austin in straight 6-0 sets, while Sam Siegel handled Albers 6-2, 6-3. Anderson had a slightly tougher time against Crosby, needing three sets before ultimately coming out on top 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.

While Dayten Campbell and Teeter fell to Ben Siegel and Gavin Hamilton in straight 6-2, Landon Campbell and Hadley battled until the end against Bradshaw and Blaine Hamilton before ultimately falling 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.