Delta sophomore tennis player Ellie Snider won her No. 1 singles match in Saturday’s Homestead Semi-State and earned a berth in the IHSAA Singles State Finals on Friday, June 9 in Indianapolis.
The Eagles lost the team match 3-2 to Fort Wayne Carroll in an exciting match that featured many twists and turns.
One of the twists came at No. 1 singles, where Snider improved to 20-4 with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Carroll junior Sydney Jackson, an All-State player from a year ago who entered Saturday’s match with a 24-3 record. Snider dominated most of the match, winning 6-1 and building a 5-2 lead in the second set before Jackson made a late rally that came up short.
Snider becomes the fifth player in DHS Tennis history to compete in the Individual State Singles Finals. The only other girl to accomplish the feat was Hayley Hall, who played in the Singles State Finals in 2004, 2005 and 2006. She was State Runner-Up in 2006 before going on to successful career at Ball State University. Boys who competed in the Singles State Finals have been Kaus Christopher (1990, 1991 and then on to Butler University); Zach Ervin (2006 and then on to Butler University), and Ben Bryan (2009, 2010 and then on to Ball State University).
Another exciting moment Saturday came at No. 2 doubles, where Delta juniors Lexie Manor and Kortney Helm faced a Carroll team that entered with a nearly perfect season record of 27-1. Manor and Helm fell behind early, but stormed back to win 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 for their fourth three-set win of the season. Overall, Manor and Helm finished 20-4 in their first season of varsity tennis.
To advance to the IHSAA Team State Finals, the Eagles needed one more point — and they almost got it. Senior Abby Shafer and junior Emma Snider battled Carroll’s Lauren Vanwyngarden and Mia Toscos in the day’s longest match. The match was topsy-turvy throughout as Carroll built a 5-1 lead in the first set, only to watch Delta rally for six straight games and a 7-5 first-set win. Then the Eagles built a 5-2 lead in the second set, only to see Carroll roar back for five straight games and a 7-5 win to even the match at a set apiece. The teams battled back and forth to a 2-2 tie early in the third set before Carroll finished strong with a 6-2 win and the team victory. Toscos was a returning State Finalist in last year’s individual doubles tournament and she and her new partner are 26-3 this season, while Shafer and Snider finished 21-3 in their first season together in doubles.
Carroll’s other points came at No. 2 and No. 3 singles in straight-set decisions. Junior Grace Belangee at No. 2 singles and sophomore Mayzie Hinkle at No. 3 singles each finished with fine records of 21-4 for the season.
The eight teams at the IHSAA State Finals will be:
Cathedral vs. FW Carroll
Carmel vs. Terre Haute South
South Bend St. Joseph’s vs. Jasper
Center Grove vs. Providence
Delta finished 18-4 and won its third straight regional title and its sixth regional in the past seven years. The Eagles competed against five of the eight State Finalist teams this season in a power-packed schedule.