In a match full of momentum swings, Delta started and finished strong to sweep past Marion 5-0 on Thursday night for the Marion Regional championship at the Bill Beekman Tennis Center.
It is the third consecutive girls’ tennis regional title for the Eagles and the sixth in the past seven years. Overall, Delta has won 15 regional titles in girls’ tennis.
The 16th-ranked Eagles (18-3) will face 13th-ranked Fort Wayne Carroll (also 18-3) at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Homestead Semi-State. The winner will advance to the IHSAA State Finals. Admission is $5 per person for Saturday’s semi-state.
Delta’s girls now own a 10-3 record against Marion since the rivals began playing annually in 2010. However, this is the first time any of those matches has resulted in a 5-0 sweep for either team.
Delta jumped out rapidly in the first 30 minutes of the match, winning the first sets by scores of 6-0, 6-1, 6-1 and 6-2 in four of the five matches. But Marion roared back into contention as two matches went into a third set and two other matches got very close. The Eagles then finished strong, regaining control for the sweep.
The biggest result came at No. 1 singles, where sophomore Ellie Snider rallied past Marion sophomore Kayla Dubuque, 3-6, 7-5, 6-2. Snider is now 19-4 after avenging an earlier loss to Dubuque, an All-State Singles Second Team selection last season.
Also winning in three sets was the No. 2 doubles team of juniors Lexie Manor and Kortney Helm, who won 6-2, 4-6, 6-4. Helm and Manor improved to 19-4 with their second three-set win of the season over Marion.
Junior Grace Belangee got the quickest victory as she won 6-0, 6-0 at No. 2 singles to raise her record to 21-3.
Next off the court was sophomore Mayzie Hinkle at No. 3 singles. She quickly won the first set 6-1, then fell behind in the second set before rallying to close it out 7-5. Hinkle is 21-3 this spring.
Clinching the regional title was the No. 1 doubles team of senior Abby Shafer and junior Emma Snider. They won 6-1, 7-5 over Elizabeth Wuertley and Maria Porter and are now 21-2 together this season.
Only 16 teams remain alive in the chase for the state championship. Here is the breakdown:
Center Grove Semi-State
No. 3 Center Grove vs. unranked Oldenburg Academy
No. 8 Terre Haute South vs. No. 15 Avon
No. 2 Cathedral vs. No. 23 Concord
No. 16 Delta vs. No. 13 Fort Wayne Carroll
Culver Academies Semi-State
No. 7 South Bend St. Joseph vs. unranked Warsaw
No. 1 Carmel vs. No. 17 Munster
No. 4 Providence vs. No. 11 Columbus North
No. 9 Jasper vs. No. 20 Evansville Memorial