October 15, 2009
EIGHT TEAMS CHASE BOYS TENNIS STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
A new format debuts Friday as eight boys tennis teams will chase a championship in the 43rd Annual IHSAA State Finals at North Central High School.
Eight teams instead of the previous four, including three of last year’s participants, will play in a dual format to determine the new state champion. Four quarterfinal matches will be played Friday at 2 pm ET with the winners returning on Saturday at 10 am ET for a pair of semifinals and the championship match at 2 pm ET. The consolation match from prior years has been eliminated. The new format marks the first significant change to the state tournament since 1974 when four teams began advancing to the state finals.
Defending state champ and ninth-ranked Center Grove returns looking for a repeat performance along with state runner-up Zionsville, ranked 11th in the last coaches poll. Center Grove has three players that were part of last year’s title team – Justin Spicer at No. 1 singles along with Caleb Fellers and Cam Hardin at No. 1 doubles. They’ll take on No. 28 Castle on Friday. The Knights won their first semi-state crown last Saturday and have 26-1 David Butterfield at No. 2 singles and the 25-0 doubles team of Sanjeev Chilukuri and Robert Cook.
Five of the seven Zionsville players experienced last year’s championship match. At No. 1 doubles, Joe Hammond and Nick Laconi ended up winning last year’s state doubles tournament the following week along with J.P Dwyer at No. 1 singles, Conner Dunn at No. 2 and No. 2 doubles player Max Watson. The Eagles will battle undefeated and eighth-ranked Bloomington South which plays in its first state finals since 1988. The Panthers have turned away 12th-ranked Columbus North, a 2008 finalist, and No. 21 Jeffersonville, the last two matches.
No. 10 Munster also returns from last year after falling to the eventual champs in last year’s semifinal round. The Mustangs have four holdovers from a season ago – Ryan Heuer at No. 3 singles, Eli Wilson at No. 1 doubles and Chandler Marcus and Zakk Tritsch, who are 13-0 at No. 2. The Mustangs will make the school’s 12th appearance in the team finals. Their opponent will be another school in familiar territory. No. 13 Homestead will make its 18th appearance at North Central led by long-time coach Jim Clark who will step down after this season turning over the reins to assistant Jim Shull. Clark plans to return next year as assistant coach. Both schools will be shooting for their first state championship trophy.
Third-ranked Park Tudor leads the list of ranked teams having knocked out a pair of top 10 foes – No. 4 Brebeuf Jesuit (for the third time this year) and No. 7 Plainfield – during its tourney run. The Panthers make their seventh trip to state this weekend and have come away with the title in each of its previous six visits. They’ll meet No. 22 Concord on Friday, which won its first semi-state crown last weekend. The Minutemen’s Jason Denton has gone 26-0 this year at No. 3 singles.
Center Grove played three of the state finalists during the regular season. The Trojans beat Park Tudor, 3-2, on Aug. 20, Homestead, 4-1, on Sept. 26 and lost to Bloomington South, 3-2, on Sept. 22.
Regional matches in the individual singles and doubles state tournaments will be played Saturday at Bedford North Lawrence, Carmel, Kokomo and LaPorte. Each will host two rounds of play on Saturday with the surviving players advancing to next weekend's state finals at Park Tudor School in Indianapolis.
For more on each finalist, visit Meet the Teams.
State Coaches Poll
The 43rd Boys Tennis Team State Finals
Dates: Oct. 16-17.
North Central High School, 1801 E. 86th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46240. School Website | Driving Directions
Quarterfinals, Friday, 2 pm ET
Match 1: 8 Bloomington South (16-0) vs. 11 Zionsville (16-3).
Match 2: 10 Munster (20-0) vs. 13 Homestead (17-2).
Match 3: 28 Castle (21-1) vs. 9 Center Grove (17-4).
Match 4: 22 Concord (19-1) vs. 3 Park Tudor (16-2).
Semifinals, Saturday, 10 am ET
Match 5: Winner of Match 1 vs. Winner of Match 2.
Match 6: Winner of Match 3 vs. Winner of Match 4.
Championship Match, Saturday, 2 pm ET
Match 7: Winner of Match 5 vs. Winner of Match 6.
Media Host – IHSAA Sports Information Director Jason Wille will be on site throughout the day to assist you in your coverage of the event.
Media Credentials: To apply, please e-mail your request (with name of individual) as soon as possible to IHSAA Sports Information Director Jason Wille at firstname.lastname@example.org. E-mail requests MUST originate from a recognized business account; e-mails from personal accounts (ie: yahoo.com, aol.com, etc.) will not be accepted. Approved requests may be picked up in the tennis clubhouse on Saturday morning.
Parking – Available near the tennis complex at the south side of the high school. Please be advised a $5 parking fee will be in effect at the school.
Programs and Results – Media in attendance should see Jason Wille for a copy of the state finals program which includes information on each team, probable lineups and tournament history. Official results will be available in the tennis clubhouse following each session and also be posted to the IHSAA website.
Working Area – Working space and wireless internet will be available in the clubhouse for media wishing to file stories and photographs during the event.