Challenged to display an “unbreakable will” in the opening round of the Marion Regional, the delta Eagles’ boys’ tennis team showed strong mental toughness in a 3-2 victory Tuesday night over the host Giants.
Delta (20-5) will face Lapel at 5 p.m. Wednesday in the championship round of the Marion Regional.
Delta has won 23 of the past 27 regional titles. Since 2010, Delta and Marion have met eight times in the postseason with Delta winning six of the eight meetings. Four of those wins have been by 3-2 scores.
The key match Tuesday came at No. 3 singles, where first-year varsity junior Adam Altobella defeated Marion junior Alex Spitzer 6-2, 7-5. Altobella improved his record to 18-6 for the season.
Senior Brandon Jackson and junior Walker Boyle won 6-0, 6-1 at No. 1 doubles. They are 14-1 together this season. Jackson is 23-2 overall. Boyle missed the middle part of the season in quarantine.
At No. 2 doubles, seniors Riley Windsor and Jordan Ashton prevailed 6-1, 6-3.
The No. 1 singles match was a marathon event that featured many long rallies between two strong seniors, Vikram Oddiraju of Marion and Tanner Southerland of Delta. In the end, Oddiraju came out on top in two tiebreakers, 7-6, 7-6.
Oddiraju advances in the individual singles tournament and will play Charlie Behrman of Muncie Burris next at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Marion senior Jack Fauser won 6-0, 6-2 at No. 2 singles over Delta senior Josef Zacek.
Fauser finishes his career with 87 varsity wins, which is tied for fifth all-time in Marion history. Oddiraju has 81 career wins and is also in the top 10 all-time for the Giants.