The players in Delta’s boys tennis lineup weren’t even alive when the Eagles’ streak of sectional championships began. That didn’t stop them from maintaining the tradition Saturday.
The Eagles beat Yorktown 4-1 in a sectional championship match at Delta, extending their streak to 20 consecutive sectional titles.
Delta’s first doubles team was the most efficient piece of its lineup. Evan Rodenberger and Nick Wilson turned in a 6-0, 6-0 win against Tyler Campbell and Spencer Thomas, getting off the court first and giving their team a 1-0 lead early in the match.
“Me and Nick have had a really strong season,” Rodenberger said. “With me being the only senior (in the varsity lineup,) I like to be a leader for the team. So I really wanted to go out there and be really focused and get off the court. And reduce (teammates’) stress.”
While Rodenberger and Wilson were the most efficient Eagles, their teammates also didn’t take long to get their wins. Delta conceded just six total games in its four victories. Alec St. John won at second singles 6-1, 6-0 against Ian Helfert. No. 3 singles player Jordan Fenwick defeated Eric Short 6-1, 6-1, and the second doubles team of Jay Robillard and Collin Mercer won 6-3, 6-0 against Noah Kinghorn and Nathan Simpson.
“The kids work hard to protect the tradition of the program,” Delta coach Tim Cleland said. “They embrace it. It can be pressure at times, because you don’t want to be the team that breaks that streak. But I think more often than not, the tradition and the streaks and stuff really help the kids. Because it just gives them something to extend and to look up to.”
Yorktown’s Ian Landwehr defeated Bradley Wuthrich 6-1, 6-1 at No. 1 singles, providing the Tigers’ only win of the day. Landwehr, a freshman who has lost just once all season, said he focused on being more aggressive Saturday than he was when he beat Wuthrich in the regular season.
“I was very happy at how I played,” Landwehr said. “My serve, my returns set off the match early. I kept the momentum the whole match and I just made sure he couldn’t get into it today. I was really happy. In the first match, I was more defensive. Today I just came out with the mindset I had to start aggressive.”
Delta will advance to the Marion Regional, where it will play Winchester at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. The Golden Falcons won the Jay County Sectional on Friday, their first sectional crown in program history.
Landwehr has advanced to the individual sectional at Marion for going 2-0 at sectionals as a No. 1 singles player. Burris’ Jameson King and Kevin Joe have advanced there as a doubles team after going 1-0 at the Delta Sectional.
New Castle Sectional
New Castle beat Shenandoah 4-1 on Saturday to win the sectional on its home court. The Trojans have advanced to the Richmond Regional, where they will meet Northeastern at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. Shenandoah’s doubles team of Blake Rice and Simon Eller provided the Raiders’ lone win Saturday, advancing to the individual sectional at Richmond.