With temperatures hovering near the 50-degree mark, North Central’s Nick Chappell and the Zionsville doubles tandem of Joe Hammond and Nick Laconi claimed state championships in the IHSAA Individual Tennis State Finals at Park Tudor High School in Indianapolis.
North Central’s Nick Chappell capped off an unbeaten season with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Munster senior Billy Heuer. The sophomore finished the season with an unblemished 25-0 record, including 8-0 in the post season, to become the first North Central boys tennis player to capture a title for the Panthers since Troy Hahn in 1998-99. In addition, Chappell’s victory was North Central’s sixth state boys singles tennis title, the most of any school since the tournament began in 1967-68.
Chappell defeated Hanover Central’s Robin Marchione in the morning semifinals, 6-4, 6-4, while Heuer disposed of Lawrence Central’s Dalton Albertin, 6-4, 6-1. Albertin, a senior, finished the season with a 20-2 record while going 5-2 in the postseason.
In doubles, juniors Joe Hammond and Nick Laconi captured the first doubles state championship for Zionsville with a 6-7 (3), 6-3, 6-4 victory over the previously unbeaten East Noble tandem of Daniel Desper and Derek Romer. The Zionsville duo finished with a 30-1 season record. Desper and Romer were dealt their first loss of the year finishing 27-1.
In the Saturday morning doubles semifinals, Joe Hammond and Nick Laconi cruised to a 6-2, 6-2, victory over Lafayette Jefferson’s Connor Braden and Tanner Braden to earn a spot in the finals. The tandem of Daniel Desper and Derek Romer defeated Terre Haute North’s Michael Eberle and Richard Holcomb, 7-5, 6-4, to earn the other spot in the championship match.